Author Interviews, JAMA, Pharmacology / 17.12.2014

Dong Wook Shin, MD, MBA, DrPH Assistant Professor, Center for Health Promotion/Dept.of Family Medicine Seoul National University HospitalMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dong Wook Shin, MD, MBA, DrPH Assistant Professor, Center for Health Promotion/Dept.of Family Medicine Seoul National University Hospital Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In South Korea, the National Health Insurance provides universal coverage and the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA) oversees claims reviews. HIRA has reported the rates of antibiotic prescriptions for upper respiratory tract infections in each clinic via web site since 2006. We assessed the effect of public disclosure. The main findings are that decreases of antibiotic uses were observed since the public disclosure of the prescription rates regardless of hospital level. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Dermatology, Emergency Care, JAMA / 16.12.2014

Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH Health economist Division of Cancer Prevention and Control’s Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch CDCMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH Health economist Division of Cancer Prevention and Control’s Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch CDC Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Guy: Indoor tanning exposes users to intense UV radiation and is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer. However, little is known about the more immediate adverse outcomes of indoor tanning. This study provides the first national estimates of visits to emergency departments related to indoor tanning. We examined cases from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a national probability sample of hospitals in the U.S. and its territories. Patient information is collected from each NEISS hospital for every emergency visit involving an injury associated with consumer products. From this sample, the total number of product-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms nationwide can be estimated. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Genetic Research, JAMA / 13.12.2014

David H. Ledbetter, Ph.D., FACMG Executive Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer, Geisinger Health System Danville, PA 17822MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David H. Ledbetter, Ph.D., FACMG Executive Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer, Geisinger Health System Danville, PA 17822 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ledbetter: One of the biggest challenges in clinical care and research of children with autism and related neurodevelopment disorders is the remarkable clinical variability between individuals. This heterogeneity is reduced, but still significant, when considering individuals who have neurodevelopment disorders due to the identical genetic mutation such as deletion 16p11.2. We proposed that family background, genetic or environmental, may contribute to the variability in cognitive, behavioral and motor performance profiles of children with a sporadic (new) mutation in 16p11.2. Our study confirmed that a significant portion of the clinical variability seen in these children is due to the performance level of their parents and unaffected siblings and suggested that this may be due in part to genetic background effects as these traits are all known to have very high heritability. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA / 13.12.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John Hayes, MD Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prominent in the discussions about ABIM MOC and recertification has been an ongoing debate about the evidence that supports a relationship between recertification, MOC and patient care. Since many healthcare organizations use board certification as a criteria for employment consideration, the new status of “certified” but not meeting MOC throws considerable disarray into credentialing and hiring committees. We can now have ABIM labeling a physician who boarded eleven years ago as “not certified” but a physician who boarded 25 years ago as “certified” with an asterisk. And of course discussions like this bring employers and healthcare organizations back to the question: What is the additive value of MOC and recertification on patient care? The integrated Veterans Health Administration electronic health record generates performance reports for primary care physicians at regular intervals. In our study, we were able to observe for any difference based on certification groups. We reviewed ten industry-standard quality care measures in approximately 68,000 patients across 4 VA medical centers and found that internists holding time-unlimited certificates performed just as well as those holding time-limited certificates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA, University of Pittsburgh / 11.12.2014

Adeel A. Butt, MD, MS, FACP, FIDSA Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs Department of Medicine Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science University of Pittsburgh School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adeel A. Butt, MD, MS, FACP, FIDSA Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs Department of Medicine Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Butt: Precise rate of progression of liver disease in Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is unknown because the precise time of infection with HCV is seldom known. Knowledge of liver disease progression is critical to determine the optimal time for treatment. We found that progression of liver disease starts early after acquiring HCV infection. This is more rapid than was previously thought. About 18% of HCV infected persons develop cirrhosis within 10 years of acquiring HCV infection, which is 3-fold higher than demographically similar HCV uninfected persons. (more…)
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, Illinois Medical 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 10065 Medical 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, Davis Medical 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, Canada Medical 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 UK Medical 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, Milan Medical 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, Korea Medical 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, Maryland Medical 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 Minnesota Medical 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, Birmingham Medical 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, Georgia Medical 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, CO Medical 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 | Germany Medical 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 VAMC Medical 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, Belgium Medical 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 Park North Carolina Medical 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, Tenn Medical 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, Sweden Medical 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, Canada Medical 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 Institute Medical 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 Institute Medical 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 Taiwan Medical 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 Group Medical 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…)