Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Cleveland Clinic, JAMA / 16.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Krishna Patel, MD, PG Y3 Resident Internal Medicine Residency Program Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH 44195 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Patel: In our outpatient resident clinic practice, we found that patients with poorly controlled hypertension presenting with blood pressures in the hypertensive urgency range (SBP>=180mmHg or DBP >=110 mmHg) but with no symptoms of end-organ damage were common, however there was no clear cut manner in which these patient's blood pressures were treated. According to the comfort level of the physician, these patients were managed in the office and on serial outpatient visits and some of the patients would be referred to the emergency department for management of these elevated blood pressures. Given there was not much prior literature on this topic, we decided to study the prevalence and short term cardiovascular outcomes for this population of patients. We found that hypertensive urgency is quite common in the office setting (4.6% in our study). In absence of symptoms of end organ damage, the short term risk of major cardiovascular events was very low around 1%, and patients who were referred to the ED for management of blood pressures had a lot of unnecessary testing and more hospital admissions than those who were managed as an outpatient. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Schizophrenia / 16.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kate Merritt PhD Post-Doctoral Research Worker NOC Study (Nitric Oxide in Cognition) Institute of Psychiatry De Crespigny Park London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Merritt: Research has indicated that levels of one of the main chemicals in the brain, glutamate, may be abnormal in schizophrenia. Almost sixty studies have measured glutamate levels in schizophrenia, however the findings are inconsistent, and it is thought that changes in glutamate levels may vary with the length or the severity of illness. This study therefore analysed all the published reports of glutamate in schizophrenia. The main findings are that, overall, schizophrenia is associated with elevated glutamate in several brain regions; namely the medial temporal cortex, the basal ganglia and the thalamus. These changes also differed with the stage of illness; in the medial frontal cortex, glutamate was increased in people at risk for developing schizophrenia, but not in people who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia for several years, whereas in the medial temporal lobe the opposite pattern was detected. (more…)
Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, JAMA / 16.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer S. Lin, MD, MCR, FACP Director, Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates Evidence-based Practice Center Investigator, The Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest Portland, OR 97227 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Lin: Our systematic review was commissioned by the USPSTF, in tandem with a separate modeling exercise, to help update their 2008 colorectal cancer screening recommendations. Since the previous recommendation, there has been a wealth of new evidence, including more evidence on the long-term effectiveness of flexible sigmoidoscopy for reducing colorectal cancer mortality, the screening accuracy and decreasing radiation exposure from CT colonography, and the screening accuracy for a number FDA-approved stool tests using fecal immunochemical testing (FIT). While we have large, well-designed RCTs demonstrating that screening for colorectal cancer using flexible sigmoidoscopy and older generation stool testing reduces colorectal cancer mortality, these screening tests are no longer widely used in the United States. Well-designed diagnostic accuracy studies of screening colonoscopy, CT colonography, and various stool based tests using FIT demonstrate adequate sensitivity and specificity to detect adenomas and/or colorectal cancer, making each of them viable screening options. However, each screening option has potential harms associated with their use, particularly those allowing for direct visualization of the colon. Colonoscopy harms include perforations and major bleeding events. CT colonography requires exposure to radiation; and CT colonography not uncommonly results in detection of extra-colonic findings which necessitate additional diagnostic follow-up which may result in a benefit or harm. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pharmacology, UCSD, Weight Research / 15.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Siddharth Singh, MD, MS Postdoctoral Fellow, NLM/NIH Clinical Informatics Fellowship Division of Biomedical Informatics Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Singh: Over the last 4 years, four new medications have been approved for long-term use for weight loss by the FDA. We sought to evaluate the comparative effectiveness and tolerability of these medications through a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Based on 28 trials in over 29,000 overweight or obese patients, we observed that magnitude of weight loss achieved with these agents is variable, ranging from 2.6kg with orlistat to 8.8kg with phentermine-topiramate. Over 44-75% of patients are estimated to lose at least 5% body weight, and 20-54% may lose more than 10% of body weight; phentermine-topiramate was the most efficacious, whereas lorcaserin was the best tolerated. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Stroke / 14.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alessandro Biffi, MD Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Biffi: Intracerebral Hemorrhage (ICH) is the most severe form of stroke. It is a form of hemorrhagic (i.e. bleeding) stroke that accounts for ~ 15% of all acute cerebrovascular conditions, affecting ~ 70,000 Americans every year. However, because of its severity it is responsible for almost half of all stroke-related disability worldwide. Survivors of ICH are at very high risk for cognitive impairment (up to and including dementia) following the acute cerebral bleeding event. However, we possess very limited understanding of the time dynamics and risk factors for post-ICH dementia. In particular, prior to our study it was unclear whether the acute cerebral injury due to ICH would be the only mechanism potentially responsible for subsequent development of dementia. This question is motivated by prior observations suggesting that Intracerebral Hemorrhage represents the acute manifestation of cerebral small vessel disease, a progressive degenerative disorder of small caliber arteries of the central nervous system. There exist two major subtypes of small vessel disease: 1) cerebral amyloid angiopathy, caused by the deposition of a toxic protein product, beta-amyloid, in the blood vessels (in a process similar to the formation of beta-amyloid plaques that cause Alzheimer's disease); 2) arteriolosclerosis, caused by long-standing elevated blood pressure. ICH survivors have been previously shown to harbor very severe small vessel disease, which has been linked to dementia in patients without cerebral bleeding. Our hypothesis was that early-onset dementia (occurring in the first 6 months after ICH) is a manifestation of the acute neurological damage associated with cerebral bleeding, whereas delayed onset dementia (developing beyond 6 months from the acute ICH event) is associated with known markers of small vessel disease, including imaging findings on CT/MRI and genetic markers (such as the APOE gene). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 13.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Katri Korpela, PhD University of Helsinki Helsinki MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Korpela: Previous studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the frequency of infections in the child and is associated with lower risk of childhood overweight. Conversely, antibiotic use in early life is associated with increased BMI. Both antibiotic use and breastfeeding are known to influence the infant's microbiota. However, these two factors have not been studied together and it was not known whether antibiotic use could modify the beneficial effects of breastfeeding. We collected data on lifetime antibiotic use, breastfeeding duration, and BMI in a group of daycare-attending children aged 2-6 years. We found that the beneficial effects on long breastfeeding, particularly as regards BMI development, were evident only in the children who did not get antibiotics in early life. Antibiotic use before or soon after weaning seemed to eliminate the protection against elevated BMI in preschool age and weaken the protection against infections after weaning. (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Neurological Disorders / 11.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katya Rubia, PhD Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience King’s College London London, England MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings? Dr. Rubia: ADHD and OCD patients both suffer from poor inhibitory control and in both disorders this has been associated with structural and functional deficits in fronto-striatal networks. However, it is not clear to what extent the two disorders differ in their underlying neural substrates. This study therefore conducted a meta-analysis of all published whole brain structural and functional MRI studies of inhibitory control in both disorders. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Rubia: The main findings are that ADHD and OCD patients differ quite fundamentally in their structural and functional brain abnormalities. OCD patients have enlarged volume in basal ganglia and insula, while ADHD patients have reduced volumes in these regions. In fMRI, in the left hemisphere this was also observed for the left insula and putamen, which were increased in OCD and reduced in ADHD. In addition both disorders have different frontal deficits. OCD patients have deficits in rostro-dorsal medial frontal regions that are important for top-down control of affect while ADHD patients had reduced activation in lateral inferior frontal cortex, a key area of attention and cognitive control. The findings fit into the notion of fronto-striatal dysregulation in OCD where basal ganglia are overactive and poorly controlled by medial frontal regions and a delayed fronto-striatal maturation in ADHD where both lateral frontal regions and the basal ganglia/insula are smaller, and presumably less developed in structure and in function in ADHD. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Macular Degeneration, Ophthalmology / 09.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adam Glassman, M.S. Director, DRCRnet Coordinating Center Jaeb Center for Health Research Tampa, FL 33647 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Diabetic macular edema (DME) is the most common cause of vision loss in patients with diabetes, impairing the vision of approximately 750,000 people in the United States. The most common treatment involves the injection into the eye of one of 3 drugs that inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network, funded by the National Institutes of Health, conducted a randomized clinical trial on the comparative effectiveness of the 3 anti-VEGF drugs EYLEA®, Avastin®, or Lucentis® for eyes with decreased vision from diabetic macular edema. There are substantial cost differences between the three drugs. In the United States, EYLEA® costs approximately $1850, repackaged (compounded) Avastin® $60, and Lucentis® $1170 per injection. In eyes with relatively good starting vision, there were no differences in vision outcomes; all three groups, on average, had improved vision. In eyes with starting vision of 20/50 or worse, EYLEA® had better vision outcomes at 1 year than either Avastin® or Lucentis®, and better vision outcomes at 2 years than Avastin®. However, given that, on average, eyes will receive 9 to 10 injections within the first year of treatment and 5 injections in the second year, neither EYLEA® nor Lucentis® would be considered cost effective by standard benchmarks compared with Avastin® unless their prices decrease substantially. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, JAMA / 09.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew D. Jankowich, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Alpert Medical School of Brown University Staff physician at the Providence VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Jankowich: For some time, endothelin-1 has been known to cause vasoconstriction in the pulmonary circulation, and elevated endothelin-1 levels have been noted in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension and decompensated congestive heart failure, as well as other advanced disease states. However, endothelin-1 has not been well studied in members of the general population. In our study, we examined plasma endothelin-1 levels in participants in the Jackson Heart Study and the relationship of plasma endothelin-1 levels to pulmonary hypertension, mortality and heart failure. We found increased odds of having pulmonary hypertension, defined as an echocardiography estimation of the pulmonary artery systolic pressure>40mmHg, in those participants with higher plasma endothelin-1 levels. Having higher endothelin-1 levels was also associated with an increased risk of both mortality and heart failure. Those participant with both high endothelin-1 levels (a level in the top 25%) and pulmonary hypertension were at the highest risk of mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 08.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cynthia L Ogden PhD, MRP Public Health, Nutrition and Dietetics CDC Atlanta MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ogden: Monitoring trends in obesity prevalence is important because of the health risks associated with obesity and because obesity often tracks from childhood to adulthood. The most recent data before this point showed no increases overall in youth, men or women over the previous decade. We used the most recent nationally representative data with measured weights and heights from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to look at trends in obesity prevalence. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Columbia, JAMA, Pediatrics / 08.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lena S. Sun, MD E. M. Papper Professor of Pediatric Anesthesiology Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Anesthesiology Chief, Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology Columbia University Medical Center New York, New York 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Sun: The background for the study is as follow: There is robust evidence in both rodent and non-human primate studies that exposure of the developing brain leads to impairment in cognitive function and behavior later in life. The evidence from human studies derives mostly from retrospective studies and the results have been mixed. Some have demonstrated anesthesia in early childhood was associated with impaired neurocognitive function, while others have found no such association. Our study is the first to specifically designed to address the question of effects of general anesthesia exposure on cognitive function, comparing exposure with no exposure. (more…)
Author Interviews, FDA, JAMA, Smoking / 07.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marissa G. Hall, MSPH Doctoral Candidate, Department of Health Behavior Gillings School of Global Public Health University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires pictorial warnings on cigarette packs, but implementation was stalled by a 2012 lawsuit by the tobacco industry. The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled against pictorial warnings, saying that FDA had “not provided a shred of evidence” that the pictorial warnings reduce smoking. To address this critique, our randomized trial examined the impact on smoking behavior of adding pictorial warnings to the front and back of cigarette packs. We found that smokers with pictorial warnings on their packs were more likely to attempt to quit and to successfully quit than those whose packs had text-only warnings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Frailty, JAMA, Mayo Clinic / 07.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rozalina McCoy, M.D Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine Department of Medicine Mayo Clinic Rochester MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. McCoy: Hypoglycemia is a serious potential complication of diabetes treatment; it worsens quality of life and has been associated with cardiovascular events, dementia, and even death. Most professional societies recommend targeting HbA1C levels less than 6.5% or 7%, with individualized treatment targets based on patient age, other medical conditions, and risk of hypoglycemia with therapy. Treating patients to very low HbA1c levels is not likely to improve their health, especially not in the short-term, but can cause serious harms such as hypoglycemia. The goal of our study was to assess how frequently patients with type 2 diabetes are treated intensively, focusing specifically on patients who are elderly or have serious chronic conditions such as dementia, kidney disease including dialysis need, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and cancer. Moreover, while prior studies have suggested that intensive treatment may be common, there was no strong evidence that intensive treatment does in fact increase risk of hypoglycemia. Our study was designed specifically to assess this risk. We examined medical claims, pharmacy fill data, and laboratory results of 31,542 adults with stable and controlled type 2 diabetes who were included in the OptumLabs™ Data Warehouse between 2001 and 2013. None of the patients were treated with insulin or had prior episodes of severe hypoglycemia, both known risk factors for future hypoglycemic events. None of the patients had obvious indications for very tight glycemic control, such as pregnancy. “Intensive treatment” was defined as being treated with more glucose-lowering medications than clinical guidelines consider to be necessary given their HbA1C level. Patients whose HbA1C was less than 5.6 percent (diabetes is defined by HbA1C 6.5 percent or higher) were considered intensively treated if they were taking any medications. Patients with HbA1C in the “pre-diabetes” range, 5.7-6.4 percent, were considered to be intensively treated if using two or more medications at the time of the test, or if started on additional medications after the test, because current guidelines consider patients with HbA1C less than 6.5 percent to already be optimally controlled. For patients with HbA1C of 6.5-6.9 percent the sole criteria for intensive treatment was treatment intensification with two or more drugs or insulin. The patients were separated by whether they were considered clinically complex (based on the definition by the American Geriatrics Society)—75 years of age or older; or having end-stage kidney disease, dementia; or with three or more serious chronic conditions. This distinction has been made to help identify patients for whom adding glucose-lowering medications is more likely to lead to treatment-related adverse events, including hypoglycemia, while not providing substantial long-term benefit. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 02.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: rsz_1pasfoto_mark_de_jongMark de Jong, MD, Psychiatrist Yulius Academy, Yulius Mental Health Barendrecht, the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Compulsory psychiatric admission, defined as admission against the will of the patient, has a strong effect on psychiatric patients and their relatives, and can be traumatic. Compulsory admission also conflicts with human rights, principles of autonomy, shared decision making, and recovery focused care. We also see, that rates of compulsory admissions in several European countries are tending to rise. So, interventions that prevent patients from being compulsory admitted are urgently needed. We reviewed and meta-analyzed all currently available RCTs, that were designed to reduce compulsory admission rates in adult psychiatric patients with severe mental illnesses in outpatients settings. We found, that advance statements, like crisis plans, showed a significant 23% risk reduction in compulsory admissions. In contrast, community treatment orders and interventions for compliance enhancement showed no significant risk reduction in compulsory admissions. Although RCTs on integrated treatment showed no statistically significant risk reduction, we found a potentially clinically relevant risk reduction of 29%. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Heart Disease, JAMA / 01.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. med. Johannes Neumann Resident physician University Heart Center Hamburg Department of General and Interventional Cardiology Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf Hamburg MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The early decision making in patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction is important. Current guidelines recommend measurement of cardiac troponin at admission and after 3 hours. In our study we evaluated the performance of a high-sensitivity troponin I assay with a rapid measurement after only 1 hour. We included 1040 patients with new onset chest pain and could show, that a low cutoff concentration of 6 ng/L after 1 hour allows safe rule-out of acute myocardial infarction. The results were comparable to the recommended 3-hour approach and were validated in 2 external cohorts. When using the 99th percentile to rule-out myocardial infarction, as recommended by current guidelines, the negative predictive value was much lower. Furthermore, a troponin I concentration above 6 ng/L in combination with an absolute change of 12 ng/L after 1 hour showed a high positive predictive value for the final diagnosis of myocardial infarction. This allows early decision making after only 1 hour. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, HIV, JAMA / 31.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven Grinspoon, MD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School MGH Endowed Chair in Neuroendocrinology and Metabolism Director, MGH Program in Nutritional Metabolism and Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard MGH Boston, MA 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Grinspoon: Numerous epidemiologic studies have shown that people living with HIV face a 1.5 to 2-fold increased risk of heart attack, or myocardial infarction, as compared to individuals without the virus. Mechanisms underlying the increased risk of myocardial infarction in HIV are incompletely understood. It is possible that among people living with HIV, increased systemic immune activation fuels arterial inflammation. Arterial inflammation may, in turn, promote the development of high-risk morphology coronary atherosclerotic plaque, which is liable to rupture and result in myocardial infarction. For people diagnosed with HIV, the overall health benefits of immediate antiretroviral therapy (ART) are clear. However, the effects of newly-initiated antiretroviral therapy on arterial inflammation have not previously been studied. In this study, we set out to assess among a cohort of treatment-naive HIV-infected subjects, the effects of newly-initiated ART with a contemporary regimen on both immune function and arterial inflammation. We found that among treatment-naive HIV-infected individuals without clinical cardiovascular disease, newly initiated combined antiretroviral therapy has discordant effects to restore immune function without reducing the degree of arterial inflammation. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety / 31.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cynthia J. Brown, MD, MSPH, AGSF Parrish Professor of Medicine and Director, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, Alabama 35294 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Brown: Low mobility is common during hospitalization and associated with loss of activities of daily living ability and community mobility. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of an in-hospital mobility program on post-hospital function and community mobility. Brown and colleagues, using a single blind randomized trial design, found that a mobility program that included offering assistance with ambulation linked with a behavioral intervention that focused on goal setting and addressing mobility barriers prevented loss of community mobility one month after hospital discharge. Those who received usual care experienced a clinically significant decline in community mobility. Functional status as measured by activities of daily living was not significantly different between the usual care and mobility program groups either before or after the hospitalization. Because low mobility in the hospital is associated with adverse outcomes including functional decline and nursing home placement even after controlling for illness severity and comorbid illness, these findings have potentially significant clinical implications. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 27.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Robert J. Ursano, M.D. Professor and Chair Department of Psychiatry/ Director Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ursano: This study is part of STARRS-LS (Study to address risk and resilience in service members-longitudinal study). STARRS is a group of studies that address suicide risk in the US Army. Suicidal behavior includes suicide ideation, plans, attempts and completions. Understanding the transitions between these is an important goal. One component of STARRS is the examination of data available on all soldiers who were in the Army 2004-2009. This study examines suicide attempts in soldiers serving 2004-2009 in order to understand the association with deployment and the timing of suicide attempts as well as their association with mental health problems. STARRS is directed to identifying the who, when and where of service member risk. Then interventions can better be developed for these soldiers. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 26.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charles W. Hoge, M.D. Senior Scientist Walter Reed Army Institute of Research MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hoge: Psychiatric definitions are revised periodically based on emerging science, with the intention of enhancing diagnostic accuracy, clinical utility, and communication. The latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was published in 2013 (DSM-5). However, there were an unusually large number of changes to the PTSD definition compared with other common conditions affecting adults, raising concerns with how well these changes truly reflected emerging evidence. Since DSM-5 was published, evidence has accumulated that indicates that the revision did not improve the definition, and more importantly excludes nearly a third of individuals who would have met the previous DSM-IV definition. This article in JAMA Psychiatry provides a thorough critique of the problems with the new definition. It was written by 12 of the leading PTSD experts in the world, including strong representation from experts with experience treating veterans and service members. An accompanying editorial by U.S. Veterans Affairs researchers criticizes our findings, but lacks the scientific rigor of our analysis; for example, every reference they cite we also cite in direct support of our conclusions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Colon Cancer, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA / 26.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: NaNa Keum, ScD| Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Nutrition Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While general health benefits of physical activity are well-known, evidence on its specific benefits on cancer endpoints is limited and physical activity guidelines for cancer prevention lack details in terms of the optimal dose, type and intensity of physical activity. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: We found that the optimal exercise regime to prevent overall digestive system cancers may be to accumulate 30 MET-hours/week of physical activity primarily through aerobic exercise and regardless of its intensity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Heart Disease, JAMA / 26.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Conen MD MPH Department of Medicine University Hospital Basel Basel Switzerland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Conen: A previous study of a contemporary population with atrial fibrillation (AF) treated with oral anticoagulation showed that over a third of all deaths were due to non-cardiovascular causes, and malignancies accounted for the largest proportion of these deaths. These data suggested that AF patients may have an increased risk of malignancies, but little data existed to support this hypothesis. During more than 19 years of follow-up, our study showed that atrial fibrillation was a significant risk factor for the occurrence of malignant cancer. After taking into account a large number of other risk factors and co-morbidities, the risk of cancer was approximately 50% higher among women with new-onset AF compared to women without AF. The risk of cancer was highest in the first 3 months after new-onset AF but remained significant beyond 1 year after new-onset AF (adjusted HR 1.42, p<0.001). We also observed a trend towards an increased risk of cancer mortality among women with new-onset AF. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Salt-Sodium / 25.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jiang He, M.D., Ph.D. Joseph S. Copes Chair and Professor Department of Epidemiology School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Tulane University, New Orleans MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Jiang He: Chronic kidney disease is associated with increased risk of end-stage renal disease, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. A positive association between sodium intake and blood pressure is well established in observational studies and clinical trials. However, the association between sodium intake and clinical cardiovascular disease remains less clear. Positive monotonic, J-shaped, and U-shaped associations have been reported. Methodologic limitations, including inconsistencies in dietary sodium measurement methods, could be contributing to these conflicting findings. Furthermore, no previous studies have examined the association between sodium intake and incident cardiovascular disease among patients with chronic kidney disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, End of Life Care, Heart Disease, JAMA / 24.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James N. Kirkpatrick, MD Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory Division of Cardiology Ethics Consultation Service University of Washington, Seattle MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Kirkpatrick: With significant advances in technology, implanted cardiac devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, replacement heart valves, and mechanical pumps which assist or replace the pumping function of the heart have become standard therapies for patients with severe cardiac disease. Many patients who would previously have died after living with severe symptoms live longer and with improved quality of life. This is particularly true for elderly patients who receive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR—valve replacement that doesn’t require open heart surgery) and ventricular assist device (VAD—a durable mechanical heart pump) implantation. However, like everyone, these patients will die, and some of the patients will experience device complications which will shorten their lives. Elderly patients, in particular, are at risk for device complications, high symptom burden, and loss of the ability to make healthcare decisions, due to illnesses like strokes or dementia. Symptom management and advance care planning are the hallmarks of the medical specialty of Palliative Care and are particularly important in patients with TAVR and VADs, yet patients and clinicians don’t often think of Palliative Care when considering high tech, life-prolonging therapies. The Palliative Care Working Group of the American College of Cardiology’s Geriatrics Section therefore sought to gather data on the attitudes toward Palliative Care among cardiovascular clinicians and the current state of involvement of Palliative Care in the care of patients with TAVR and VAD. (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 23.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luis Augusto Rohde MD, PhD Full Professor Department of Psychiatry Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul Director ADHD Program Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The idea that Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder always begins in childhood has been held for decades even without proper testing. The main manuals of psychiatric diagnoses require age at onset in childhood as a core feature of the disorder. In a large birth cohort followed until age 18, we identified many young adults presenting with a full impairing ADHD syndrome. They had consistently worse outcomes - criminality, substance abuse, traffic accidents, among others - than their counterparts without ADHD. However, most of these young adults (84.6%) presenting with a full impairing syndrome did not have a prior diagnosis in their childhood years. This surprising observation held after many secondary analyses exploring possible biases, like comorbidities in young adulthood, subthreshold ADHD in childhood and change of information source. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health / 23.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven C. Moore PhD, MPH Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics Rockville, MD  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Moore: More than half of Americans fail to meet recommended levels of regular physical activity; physical inactivity has become a major public health concern. Physical activity during leisure time is known to reduce risks of heart-disease and all-cause mortality, as well as risks of colon, breast, and endometrial cancers. However, less is known about whether physical activity reduces risk of other cancers. Hundreds of prospective studies have examined associations between physical activity and risk of different cancers. Due to small case numbers, results have been inconclusive for most cancer types. In this study, we examined how leisure-time physical activity relates to risk of 26 different cancer types in a pooled analysis of 12 prospective cohort studies with 1.44 million participants. Our objectives were to identify cancers associated with leisure-time physical activity, and determine whether associations varied by body size and/or smoking history. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health / 23.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mingyang Song
Research Fellow
Department of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although substantial data support the importance of lifestyle factors for cancer risk, a study published in Science early last year “led some to conclude that only a third of the variation in cancer risk among tissues is attributable to environmental factors or inherited predispositions, while most is due to random mutations arising during stem cell divisions, so-called bad luck.” That study “has been widely covered by the press and has created confusion for the public regarding the preventability of cancer.” In response to that study, we conducted this study to estimate how many cancer cases and deaths in the US can be potentially attributed to common lifestyle factors. Our study showed that about 20-30% of cancer incidences and 40-50% of cancer deaths may be avoided if everyone in the US adopted a lifestyle pattern that is characterized by “never or past smoking (pack-years <5), no or moderate alcohol drinking ([1]1 drink/d for women,[1]2 drinks/d for men), BMI of at least 18.5 but lower than 27.5, and weekly aerobic physical activity of at least 75 vigorous-intensity or 150 moderate-intensity minutes”. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 23.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Saroj Saigal, MD, FRCP(C) Department of Pediatrics McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Saigal: We started to follow infants who were born between 1977-82 and weighed less than 1000g or 2.2 pounds (extremely low birthweight, ELBW) because not much was known about the outcomes of these infants at the time.We have reported the findings at several ages, from infancy to adulthood, in comparison with normal birth weight (NBW) infants . In this report, 100 ELBW participants between 29-36 years of age were compared with 89 NBW participants. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study that has followed infants from birth into their 30s. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Menopause, Telemedicine / 19.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Susan McCurry Principal Investigator Clinical psychologist and research professor School of Nursing University of Washington MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. McCurry: Every woman goes through menopause.  Most women experience nighttime hot flashes/sweats and problems sleeping at some point during the menopause transition.  Poor sleep leads to daytime fatigue, negative mood, and reduced daytime productivity.  When sleep problems become chronic – as they often do – there are also a host of negative physical consequences including increased risk for weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  Many women do not want to use sleeping medications or hormonal therapies to treat their sleep problems because of concerns about side effect risks.  For these reasons, having effective non-pharmacological options to offer them is important. (more…)