Author Interviews, Case Western, Education, JAMA, Surgical Research / 10.12.2014

Ravi Rajaram MD Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care, American College of Surgeons Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center (SOQIC), Department of Surgery and Center for Healthcare Studies in the Institute for Public Health and Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IllinoisMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ravi Rajaram MD Division of Research and Optimal Patient Care, American College of Surgeons Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center (SOQIC), Department of Surgery and Center for Healthcare Studies in the Institute for Public Health and Medicine Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IllinoisMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Rajaram: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medication Education (ACGME) first implemented restrictions to resident duty hours in 2003. In surgical populations, these reforms have not been associated with a change in patient outcomes.However, in 2011, the ACGME further restricted resident duty hours to include: a maximum of 16 hours of continuous duty for first-year residents (interns), direct supervision of interns at all times, a maximum of 4 hours for transitions in care activities for residents in-house for 24 hours, and that these residents be given 14 hours off prior to returning to work. The association between the 2011 ACGME resident duty hour reform with surgical patient outcomes and resident education has not previously been reported.The 2011 resident duty hour reform was not associated with a change in death or serious morbidity in the two years after the reform was implemented. Additionally, the 2011 duty hour reform was not associated with a change in any of the secondary outcomes examined, including any morbidity, failure to rescue, surgical site infection, and sepsis.Furthermore, common measures of surgical resident education, such as in-training examination scores and board certification pass rates, were unchanged after the implementation of the 2011 duty hour reform when compared to scores prior to the reform. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA / 10.12.2014

Lisa Diamond, MD, MPH, FACP | Assistant Attending Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences | Department of Medicine Evelyn Lauder Breast Center New York, NY 10065MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa Diamond, MD, MPH, FACP | Assistant Attending Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences | Department of Medicine Evelyn Lauder Breast Center New York, NY 10065Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Diamond: More than 25 million U.S. residents have limited English proficiency, an 80 percent increase from 1990 to 2010. Limited English proficiency (LEP) may impede participation in the English­ language-dominant health care system. Little is known about the non-English-language skills of physicians in training. In our analysis of the non-English-language skills of applicants to residency programs in the U.S., we found that although applicants are linguistically diverse, most of their languages do not match the languages spoken by the U.S. population with Limited English proficiency.(more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, JAMA, OBGYNE, UC Davis / 10.12.2014

Cheryl K. Walker, MD Associate Professor Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Faculty, The MIND Institute School of Medicine, University of California, Davis MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cheryl K. Walker, MD Associate Professor Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Faculty, The MIND Institute School of Medicine, University of California, DavisMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Walker: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurobehavioral condition identified in 1 in 68 U.S. children and is part of a broader group of developmental disabilities that affects 1 in 6 children. Growing evidence suggests that Autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay originate during fetal life. Preeclampsia is a complicated and frequently dangerous pregnancy condition that appears to arise from a shallow placental connection and may increase the risk of abnormal neurodevelopment through several pathways.Medical Research: What are the main findings?Dr. Walker: Children with Autism spectrum disorder were more than twice as likely to have been exposed to preeclampsia compared with children with typical development. Risk for ASD was increased further in children born to mothers with more severe presentations of preeclampsia. Mothers of children with developmental delay were more than 5 times more likely to have had severe forms preeclampsia – often with evidence of reduced placental function – compared with mothers of children with typical development.(more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Outcomes & Safety / 09.12.2014

 Dr. Amit Navin Vora MD, MPH Third Year Cardiovascular Fellow John Hopkins UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Amit Navin Vora MD, MPH Third Year Cardiovascular Fellow John Hopkins University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Current guidelines recommend timely reperfusion in patients presenting with ST-elevation myocardial infarction, with primary PCI being the preferred method if delivered in an expedient fashion. Otherwise, guidelines recommend that eligible patients should be treated with fibrinolysis prior to transfer to a PCI capable hospital. In our study, we used Google Maps to estimate drive times between the initial presenting hospital and the PCI-capable hospital looked at the association between estimated drive time and reperfusion strategy (primary PCI or fibrinolysis) selection. We found that less than half of eligible patients with an estimated drive time of more than 30 minutes received primary PCI in time, and only half of patients with more than an hour’s drive received lytics before transfer. This suggests that neither primary PCI nor pre-transfer fibrinolytic therapy is being used optimally. Among eligible patients with a drive time of 30-120 minutes, we found no significant mortality difference but higher bleeding risk among patients receiving lytics prior to transfer; this increased bleeding risk was focused in patients that required rescue PCI. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Osteoporosis, Pharmacology, Testosterone / 03.12.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shabbir M. H. Alibhai, MD, MSc and Husayn Gulamhusein, BHSc Department of Medicine, University Health Network Toronto, Ontario, CanadaMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?MedicalResearch: In 2009, we published a research letter in JAMA which examined the rate of bone mineral density (BMD) testing in men starting androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in the province of Ontario, Canada, between 1995 and 2008. Despite being recommended as a tool to better characterize fracture risk and optimize bone health, use of bone mineral density testing was low throughout the study period. This current study focuses on another aspect of bone health, which is the use of bisphosphonates among men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. Bisphosphonates are generally safe and effective medications that can reduce fracture risk particularly in those at higher risk of future fracture. Throughout the 17-year study period, we found that rates of new prescriptions for bisphosphonates remained low. Even when focusing on those men who should be receiving bisphosphonates as per Canadian guidelines due to their high risk for future fracture, i.e. those with a prior fragility fracture or prior diagnosis of osteoporosis, prescription rates remained low. Moreover, in all three groups, new bisphosphonate prescriptions dipped between the 2007-09 and 2010-12 time periods. This may be partly due to recent negative media attention regarding the association of bisphosphonates with rare but serious side effects (i.e. osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femoral fracture). (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 02.12.2014

Prof. Denise Kendrick Professor of Primary Care Research Division of Primary Care, University Park Nottingham UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Denise Kendrick Professor of Primary Care Research Division of Primary Care, University Park Nottingham UKMedical Research:What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Prof. Kendrick: More than 1 million US children aged 0-4 years attend emergency departments because of a fall each year. Approximately half of all ED attendances in this age group are for falls, and most of these are falls from furniture, most commonly from beds, chairs , baby walkers, bouncers, changing tables and high chairs. In the US around 18,000 0-4 year olds are admitted to hospital following a fall each year and in 2012 there were 31 deaths in the US in 0-4 year olds from falls. Healthcare costs for falls in the US were estimated at $439 million for hospitalised children and $643 million for ED attendances in 2005.We found that children were more likely to attend hospital because of a fall from furniture in families that did not use safety gates across doorways or on stairs. For infants (aged 0-12 months) we found they were more likely to attend hospital because of a fall from furniture if they had been left on a raised surface (e.g. beds, sofas, work tops etc), had diapers changed on a raised surface or been put in a car seat or bouncing cradle on a raised surface. We also found that children aged over 3 years who had climbed or played on furniture were more likely to have a fall requiring a hospital visit than children who had not. Finally we found that children whose parents had not taught their children rules about climbing on objects in the kitchen were more likely to have a fall needing a hospital visit than children whose parents had taught these rules.(more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Heart Disease, JAMA, Kidney Disease / 30.11.2014

Giovanni Landoni, M.D. Head of Research,Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Associate Professor at Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, MilanMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giovanni Landoni, M.D. Head of Research,Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Associate Professor at Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, MilanMedical Research: What is the background for this study?Dr. Landoni:The prevention and treatment of acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery is a major therapeutic goal, but no effective agents have yet been identified. Meta-analyses suggested that fenoldopam might be effective.Medical Research: What are the main findings?Dr. Landoni: We found that in cardiac surgery patients with early acute kidney injury (defined as a ≥50% increase of serum creatinine from baseline or oliguria for ≥6 hours), fenoldopam had no impact on the need for renal replacement therapy or 30-day mortality, while increasing the rate of hypotension.(more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 30.11.2014

Hong Ryul Jin, MD Professor and Chair Department of Otorhinolaryngology-HNS Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, KoreaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hong Ryul Jin, MD Professor and Chair Department of Otorhinolaryngology-HNS Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, KoreaMedical Research:What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Although autologous rib cartilage is a useful graft material for rhinoplasty, surgeons sometimes encounter unpleasant complication such as warping or donor-site morbidity. These complications are not infrequent, but there has been no systematic review with regarding this matter. For evidence-based practice, we aimed to assess the long-term safety of using rib cartilage by means of meta-analysis.By reviewing the 10 selected, eligible articles after extensive screening, we found that rates of warping, resorption, infection, and displacement were 3.1, 0.2, 0.6, and 0.4%, respectively. Hypertrophic scar at chest was found in 5.5%, with highest report of 23.8%. Warping and hypertrophic chest scarring showed relatively higher rates, warranting a surgeon’s attention (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Mental Health Research / 28.11.2014

Daniel Safer MD Department of Psychiatry Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, Maryland Medicalresearch.com with:Daniel Safer MD Department of Psychiatry Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MarylandMedical Research: What is the nature of this study?Dr. Safer: A large national sample of annual physician office-based visits by youth (aged 2-19) covering 12 years (1999-2010), focusing on trends in psychiatric DSM-IV diagnoses, with psychiatric diagnostic data analyzed proportionally comparing diagnoses that were subthreshold (not otherwise specified) with those that met full diagnostic criteria.(more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA / 26.11.2014

Dr. Arthur Reynolds PhD, Professor Humphrey School of Public Affairs University of Illinois at ChicagoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Arthur Reynolds PhD, Professor Institute of Child Development Humphrey School of Public Affairs University of MinnesotaMedical Research:What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Reynolds: Given the high national priority on enhancing early childhood development, evidence about the relationship between full-day preschool participation and school readiness is meager.The study found that among about 1000 children attending 11 schools in low-income neighborhood. participation in full-day preschool at ages 3 or 4 for 7 hours per day was associated with significantly higher school readiness skills at the end of preschool in language and literacy, socio-emotional development, math, and physical health than part-day participation for 3 hours per day. This translate to about a half of a year of growth in learning. Full-day preschool was also associated with significantly higher attendance and lower rates of chronic absences. No differences were found in parent involvement in school. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 26.11.2014

Dr. Mary T. Hawn Center for Surgical, Medical Acute Care Research, and Transitions, Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center University of Alabama at Birmingham, BirminghamMedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr. Mary T. Hawn MD Center for Surgical, Medical Acute Care Research, and Transitions, Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center University of Alabama at Birmingham, BirminghamMedical Research: What are the main findings?Dr. Hawn: The main findings of the study are that the recommendations made in the guidelines published by the American College of Cardiology / American Heart Association in 2007 were effective at reducing postoperative major adverse cardiac events following noncardiac surgery in patients with a cardiac stent.1 These guidelines recommended the delay of noncardiac surgeries in patients with a drug-eluting stent for 365 days if the surgery was not emergent or the delay of surgery for 4 to 6 weeks among patients with a bare metal stent. In addition to a 26% reduction in postoperative major adverse cardiac events, we also found an increase in the time between drug-eluting stent placement and non-cardiac surgery consistent with the guideline recommendations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 26.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew D. Ritchey, DPT Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GeorgiaMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Ritchey: This study analyzes the contribution of heart disease subtypes – such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease and arrhythmia – to overall trends in heart disease death rates between 2000 and 2010. Our research revealed that overall heart disease-related deaths declined during that time frame at a rate of almost four percent annually. Most of this decline appears to be driven by decreases in coronary heart disease mortality, which includes deaths due to heart attacks.However, not all heart disease subtypes saw similar decreases. Arrhythmia and hypertensive heart disease death rates increased annually during this period. In addition, there were differences depending on age group, subtype, gender and race/ethnicity. For example, hypertensive heart disease rates were much higher (more than double) among non-Hispanic blacks in 2010 than among non-Hispanic whites. That could be due to factors including uncontrolled blood pressure and obesity among younger adults. Also, the increase in arrhythmia mortality was highest among non-Hispanic whites, women and adults age 75 and over. That increase might be linked to the growing aging population, the result of individuals living longer with heart failure, increases in chronic kidney disease and hypertensive heart disease prevalence and changes in how the condition is reported.To determine these findings, we examined de-identified death certificates of U.S. residents ages 35 and up who died from 2000 to 2010. The data was pulled from the CDC WONDER database, which contains death certificate information from every U.S. state and the District of Columbia.(more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Lyme / 25.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christina Nelson, MD, MPH, FAAP Medical Epidemiologist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Vector-Borne Diseases | Bacterial Diseases Branch Fort Collins, COMedical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Nelson: Evidence-based guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease have been provided by the Infectious Diseases Society of America for many years. These comprehensive guidelines have been vetted by external review panels as the best option for patient care. In endemic areas, patients with the typical rash (erythema migrans) can be diagnosed with Lyme disease clinically. Otherwise, the guidelines recommend that diagnosis be based on a history of possible exposure, compatible clinical features, and positive two-tier serologic testing.Some patients who have been treated for Lyme disease may develop post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) – fatigue, arthralgias, or other symptoms that persist after completing antibiotic treatment. Although the exact cause of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is unknown, it is thought to be due to an altered immune response or residual damage to tissues during the acute infection. A diagnosis of exclusion, PTLDS should only be diagnosed after the patient has been thoroughly evaluated and other potential causes of symptoms ruled out.On the other hand, “chronic Lyme disease” is a loosely defined diagnosis that has been used to describe a variety of ailments. A small cadre of providers use unconventional methods to diagnose patients with chronic Lyme disease, and sometimes there is no objective evidence that the patient ever had Lyme disease. Multiple factors contribute to this phenomenon, including misconceptions about serologic testing, use of unvalidated diagnostic tests, and clinical diagnosis of Lyme disease based on nonspecific symptoms alone.We know that patients have been – and continue to be – harmed by treatments for chronic Lyme disease. Patients have suffered from emboli, severe allergic reactions to antibiotics, neutropenia, and infections such as Clostridium difficile. This is terrible and should never happen. However, there is another important danger related to these alternative practices. Some patients who have been diagnosed and treated for chronic Lyme disease later discover that another condition is the root of their physical problem. We wanted to highlight some of these cases in order to help educate providers and patients about this issue.(more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Stroke / 25.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Martin Ebinger Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CSB) Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin | CCM Berlin | GermanyMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hitherto, little has been known about the effects of thrombolysis (tPA) in ischemic stroke within the first 60 minutes of symptom onset. That's because the so-called golden hour thrombolysis is such a rare event. As James Grotta, Houston, Texas, recently pointed out there were only 2 patients receiving tPA within 60 minutes in the pivotal NINDS trial - both received placebo, and even the latest up-date on randomized trials of tPA includes only two further patients within 60 minutes. In our study, we used the Stroke Emergency Mobile (STEMO) for ultra-early thrombolysis in the pre-hospital setting. STEMO is a specialized ambulance equipped with a CT scanner, point-of-care laboratory, and a telemedicine connection to neuroradiologist on call. Aboard the STEMO, there is a paramedic, a radiology technician and a neurologist. The project was initiated und supervised by Heinrich Audebert from the Charité, Berlin, Germany.The main finding of our study is that we showed a statistically significant association between golden hour thrombolysis and discharge home as opposed to e.g. nursing facilities.(more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Surgical Research, Toxin Research / 24.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Naveed Nosrati MD Indiana University School of Medicine Staff Surgeon, Roudebush VAMCMedical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Nosrati: We originally began this study as a broader project investigating the effect of trauma induced by biopsies on the spontaneous clearance of a non-melanoma skin cancer. As part of that, we created a large database with many patient variables. Since we undertook this project at our local VA hospital, one of the variables available to us was Agent Orange exposure.Shortly after completing the study, Clemens et al published their study linking Agent Orange exposure to higher rates of invasive non-melanoma skin cancer. Their study was a pilot study of only 100 patients. As we had well over 1,000 patients, we decided to pursue a side project of how Agent Orange specifically affects our results.Our study was operating under the hypothesis that trauma induced by biopsies led to an inflammatory response that often led to the immunologic clearance of the remaining skin cancer. We actually coined the term “SCORCH” lesion, or spontaneous clearance of residual carcinoma histologically, for this phenomenon. With that mind, we would expect patients exposed to Agent Orange to theoretically have a more invasive form of malignancy and thus have lower rates of spontaneous clearance. (more…)
Heart Disease, JAMA / 24.11.2014

Giulio Conte MD Heart Rhythm Management Centre UZ-VUB Brussel, BelgiumMedicalResearch.com with: Giulio Conte MD Heart Rhythm Management Centre UZ-VUB Brussel, BelgiumMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Conte: The evolution of Brugada syndrome from pediatric to adult age has not been previously evaluated. It has been shown that the electrocardiographic phenotype of Brugada syndrome do not manifest during childhood in the large majority of cases. Drug challenge with ajmaline is recommended to unmask the diagnostic electrocardiogram in patients with family history of Brugada syndrome and normal electrocardiograms. However, the ideal age to perform such screening has not been established yet. With this study we aimed to investigate the clinical value of repeating ajmaline challenge after puberty in pediatric family members with an initial negative drug test. Repeat ajmaline challenge after puberty unmasked Brugada syndrome in 23% of family members with a previously negative drug test. Of the newly positive patients, 30% developed symptoms, 10% ventricular fibrillation and 10% spontaneous Brugada type 1 electrocardiogram. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA / 21.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Meera Viswanathan, PhD RTI International, Research Triangle ParkNorth CarolinaMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Viswanathan: Medications, when used appropriately, can alleviate symptoms. Often, however, they result in side effects, interact with one another, are prescribed incorrectly, or are taken incorrectly. These problems are particularly pronounced for the elderly who may have multiple chronic conditions and may be on numerous medications. We evaluated a variety of research studies and program evaluations regarding a distinct type of health care service known as Medication Therapy Management or “MTM.” The goals of MTM services are to help patients and their clinicians to optimize prescription and nonprescription drug regimens, thereby achieving better health outcomes from drug therapy, and. at the same time to minimize the potential for harms, such as incorrect dosing and duplicate medications. Some have proposed that optimizing drug regimens and preventing adverse drug events may reduce health-care-related costs.Medication Therapy Management services are most often provided directly to patients by pharmacists. Sometimes the same pharmacists who dispense medications to patients offer Medication Therapy Management services as well; in other models, pharmacists working in a nondispensing role within a health care system, health insurance plan administering a prescription drug benefit program, or a centralized pharmacy call center may offer such services Although Medication Therapy Management can vary quite substantially in specifics, Medication Therapy Management programs in general share common elements; these include medication therapy review of all prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, and herbal or dietary supplements; patient education and counseling to solve issues with the drug regimen that a patient may be experiencing, such as side effects or difficulty remembering to take medications; and coordination and communication with the prescribing provider. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 allowed Medicare to expand access to Medication Therapy Management services for selected patients through Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits.(more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Surgical Research, Vanderbilt / 20.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Kristy Lynn Kummerow MD Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery Vanderbilt University Medical Center Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Veterans Affairs Medical Center Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center Nashville, TennMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Kummerow: This study looked at how we are currently treating early stage breast cancer in the US – early stage breast cancer includes small cancers with limited or no lymph node involvement and no spread to other body site – it was prompted by something we observed an our own cancer center, which is that more and more women seem to be undergoing more extensive operations than are necessary to treat their cancer. It is helpful to understand the historical context of how we treat early breast cancer. Prior to the 1980s, the standard of care for any breast cancer was a very extensive procedure, which involved removal of the entire breast, as well as underlying and overlying tissues and multiple levels of lymph nodes drained by that area. Informative clinical trials were completed in the 1980s demonstrated that these extensive procedures were unnecessary, and that equivalent survival could be achieved with a much more minimal operation, by removing only the tumor, with a margin of normal breast tissue around it, and performing radiation therapy to the area; this technique is now known as breast conservation surgery, also known as lumpectomy with radiation. In the 1990s, breast conservation was established by the national institutes of health and was embraced as a standard of care for early stage breast cancer; performance of breast conservation surgery also became a quality metric – accredited breast centers in the US are expected to perform breast conservation surgery in the majority of women who they treat for breast cancer. However, what our research team observed at our institution didn’t fit – over time it appears more aggressive surgical approaches are being used for more women. This has been found in other institutions as well, and is supported by smaller national studies. We wanted to understand how surgical management of early breast cancer is changing over time at a national level using the largest data set of cancer patients in the United States.(more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 19.11.2014

Dr. Lars H. Lund Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet Department of Cardiology, Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, SwedenMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lars H. Lund Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet Department of Cardiology, Karolinska University Hospital Stockholm, SwedenMedical Research: What is the background for this study?Dr. Lund: Heart Failure and Preserved Ejection Fraction is common and associated with poor prognosis and there is no therapy.Beta-blockers reduce mortality in Heart Failure and Preserved Ejection Fraction and we hypothesized that they may be associated with reduced mortality also in Heart Failure and Preserved Ejection Fraction.(more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 19.11.2014

Dr. Abhay Lodha, MBBS, MD, DM, MSC Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Staff Neonatologist and Clinical Epidemiologist, Section of Neonatology, Alberta Health Services, Chairman, CME Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:Dr. Abhay Lodha, MBBS, MD, DM, MSC Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Staff Neonatologist and Clinical Epidemiologist, Section of Neonatology, Alberta Health Services, Chairman, CME Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, CanadaMedical Research:What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Lodha: Apneic episodes (cessation of breathing) occur in the premature infants. Caffeine is the most commonly used medication for apnea of prematurity. Normally caffeine started on day 3 of life for apnea. However, there is no strong evidence that starting caffeine on day 1 or 2 life has some extra advantages in premature infants. Our study has a large number of premature infants. Our study determined the association of early initiation of caffeine therapy in very preterm neonates and neonatal outcomes.The main finding of our study was that early use of caffeine was associated with a reduction in the rate of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia and patent ductus arteriosus. We did not find any adverse impact on any other outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, JAMA, Statins / 18.11.2014

Dr. Mike Miedema MD, MPH Minneapolis Heart InstituteMedicalResearch.com Interview with:Dr. Mike Miedema MD, MPH Minneapolis Heart InstituteMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Miedema: " Released in November 2013, the ACC/AHA guidelines for the treatment of blood cholesterol attempt to target individuals that are most likely to benefit from cholesterol-lowering statin therapy. These guidelines are a significant change from prior guidelines that relied heavily on levels of bad cholesterol to determine who to treat. Instead, the new guidelines recommend focusing statin therapy on the individuals that are at the highest risk for heart attack and stroke, even if their cholesterol levels are within normal limits. In addition to recommending statin therapy for individuals with known cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or markedly elevated cholesterol levels, they also recommend statin therapy for individuals without these conditions but with an elevated estimated risk of a heart attack or stroke in the next 10-year based on a risk calculator that factors in an individual’s age, gender, race, and risk factors. Patients with an estimated 10-year risk > 7.5% are recommended to consider statin therapy. While I believe the scientific evidence supports this “risk-based” approach, one potential concern is that the risk-calculator relies heavily on age to determine an individual’s risk, so we wanted to examine the implications for these guidelines in an older sample of adults."(more…)
Author Interviews, General Medicine, Heart Disease, JAMA / 16.11.2014

Manesh Patel, MD Associate Professor of Medicine Director Interventional Cardiology and Catheterization Labs Duke University Health System Duke Clinical Research InstituteMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manesh Patel, MD Associate Professor of Medicine Director Interventional Cardiology and Catheterization Labs Duke University Health System Duke Clinical Research InstituteMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Patel: In clinical practice, patients with acute myocardial infarction are found to have non-IRA disease of varying significant and location. The current recommendations are to have patients recover from the acute myocardial infarction and get non-invasive testing to determine revascualrization after 4-6 six weeks in uncomplicated patients. These data demonstrate that non-IRA disease is common (>50% of STEMI patients) and that these patients have an elevated 30-day mortality. (more…)
ALS, Author Interviews, JAMA / 16.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charles Tzu Chi Lee, PhD Associate Prof., Department of Public Health Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City TaiwanMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Lee: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and most patients die within three to five years after symptoms appear. Studies have suggested angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) may decrease the risk for developing neurodegenerative diseases. But there was still no human study discussing ACEIs use and ALS risk in literature. The study results indicate that when compared with patients who did not use ACEIs, the risk reduction was 17 percent (adjusted odds ratio of 0.83) for the group prescribed ACEIs lower than 449.5 cumulative defined daily dose (cDDD) and 57 percent (adjusted odds ratio 0.43) for the group prescribed ACEIs greater than 449.5 cDDD.(more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 15.11.2014

Elyse O. Kharbanda MD MPH HealthPartners Medical and Dental GroupMedicalResearch.com Interview Elyse O. Kharbanda MD MPH HealthPartners Medical and Dental GroupMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Kharbanda: In 2010, due to a pertussis outbreak and neonatal deaths, the California Department of Public Health recommended that the Tdap vaccine be administered during pregnancy. Tdap is now recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for all pregnant women during each pregnancy. We wanted to assess the impact of this recommendation.The main findings were that Tdap vaccination during pregnancy was not associated with increased risk for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm birth, or having a baby who is small for his or her gestational age.The study found a small increased risk for being diagnosed with chorioamnionitis, an inflammation of the fetal membranes caused by bacterial infection. These findings should be interpreted with caution as the magnitude of the risk was small. In addition, there was no associated risk for preterm birth, which often occurs as a result of chorioamnionitis. Furthermore, among the subset of women with a chorioamnionitis diagnosis whose charts were reviewed, many did not have a clinical picture that was clearly consistent with chorioamnionitis.(more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research / 14.11.2014

Rachel Bhak MS Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating Center West Haven, ConnecticutMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel Bhak MS Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating Center West Haven, ConnecticutMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Ms. Bhak: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) and their rupture are potentially fatal, so monitoring and understanding their expansion is of utmost importance. This study sought to characterize factors associated with Abdominal aortic aneurysms expansion, as well as their different growth patterns. The main findings are that current smoking and diastolic blood pressure are associated with increased linear expansion rate, diabetes with a decreased linear expansion rate, and diastolic blood pressure and baseline abdominal aortic aneurysms diameter with an accelerated expansion rate. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Neurological Disorders / 14.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charles Tzu Chi Lee, PhD Associate Prof., Department of Public Health Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan Kaohsiung City 80708, TaiwanMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Lee: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and most patients die within three to five years after symptoms appear. Studies have suggested angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) may decrease the risk for developing neurodegenerative diseases. But. there was still no human study discussing ACEIs use and ALS risk in literature. The study results indicate that when compared with patients who did not use ACEIs, the risk reduction was 17 percent (adjusted odds ratio of 0.83) for the group prescribed ACEIs lower than 449.5 cumulative defined daily dose (cDDD) and 57 percent (adjusted odds ratio 0.43) for the group prescribed angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors greater than 449.5 cDDD.(more…)
Author Interviews, Erasmus, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA / 12.11.2014

Dr. Adriaan J van der Meer Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, The NetherlandsMedicalResearch.com Interview with:Adriaan J. van der Meer, MD, PhD Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the NetherlandsMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. van der Meer: This study was performed in order to assess the association between the virological response to antiviral therapy and the long-term clinical outcome among patients with advanced liver disease, who have the highest risk of cirrhosis-related complications and death due to their chronic viral infection. At the time this study was initiated there was scarce data on the relation between a sustained virological response (SVR; sustained elimination of hepatitis C RNA) and reduced all-cause mortality, the most definite clinical endpoint. With our large international multicenter cohort study we were able to show this association. After 10 years of follow-up the cumulative mortality rate was 9% among patients with SVR as compared to 26% among patients without SVR after antiviral therapy (p<0.001). The current JAMA research letter concerns a related analyses, in which we compared the survival among patients included in our cohort with that of an age- and sex-matched general population. Importantly, the survival among patients with SVR was comparable to the general population, despite the fact that all these patients had histological proof of advanced hepatic fibrosis. In contrast, the survival among patients without SVR was markedly lower as compared to the general population.(more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, End of Life Care, JAMA / 12.11.2014

Ziad Obermeyer, MD, MPhil Emergency Medicine, Brigham & Women's Hospital Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical SchoolMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ziad Obermeyer, MD, MPhil Emergency Medicine, Brigham & Women's Hospital Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical SchoolMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Obermeyer: More patients with cancer use hospice today than ever before, but there are indications that care intensity outside of hospice is increasing, and length of hospice stay decreasing. We examined how hospice affects health care utilization and costs and found that, in a sample of elderly Medicare patients with advanced cancer, hospice care was associated with significantly lower rates of both health care utilization and total costs during the last year of life.Patients who did not enroll in hospice had considerably more aggressive care in their last year of life—most of it related to acute complications like infections and organ failure, and not directly related to cancer-directed treatment. Hospice and non-hospice patients had similar patterns of health care utilization until the week of hospice enrollment, when care began to diverge. Ultimately, non-hospice patients were five times more likely to die in hospitals and nursing homes. These differences in care contributed to a statistically-significant difference in total costs of $8,697 over the last year of life ($71,517 for non-hospice and $62,819 for hospice).(more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Case Western, Dental Research, JAMA / 07.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brendan J. Perry, BSc, MBBS Princess Alexandra Hospital Brisbane, Queensland, AustraliaMedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Dr. Brendan J. Perry:Oral cavity cancer is usually attributed to the “Five S’s” - smoking, spirits (alcohol), spices, syphillis and sharp (or septic) teeth. Cigarettes and alcohol are the most important recognised factors. Spices, such as betel nut, and syphillis are known carcinogens but are not commonly seen in western practice. The role of chronic dental trauma on the mucosa of the mouth to cause cancer has only been examined in a limited number of studies previously and its importance has not been elucidated and has never really affected clinical practice.This retrospective review examined the position in the oral cavity where cancers occurred with respects to smoking status and other variables over a 10 year period in a major Australian hospital. The edge of the tongue, a site of potential dental trauma, was the most common site affected, accounting for 35% of oral cavity cancers in smokers. However, in lifelong non-smokers without other significant risk factors, 65% of cancers occurred on the edge of the tongue. A significant number also occurred on the buccal mucosa (inner lining of cheek) which is also exposed to dental trauma, but to a much lesser degree than the more mobile tongue. The floor of the mouth and the alveolar ridge (gums) were also common sites of cancer, but tended to occur in an older age group. This is possibly due to irritation caused by the movement of dentures in this age group against these areas of the mouth. In recent years, dentists have been recommending clients to get removable denture nyc to tackle down on discomfort.We also found that males had an equal chance of developing oral cavity versus oropharyngeal cancer (255 cases vs 265). However, females are almost twice as likely to develop an oral cavity cancer than an oropharyngeal cancer (135 cases vs 69), and this ratio jumps to 4 times the risk for lifelong non-smoking females (53 vs 12). Although a lot of attention has been given to HPV in causing oropharyngeal cancer, for non-smokers, especially females, it appears that oral cavity cancer is a more common disease, and also that chronic dental trauma may be a significant contributing factor. (more…)