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…)
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, Connecticut Medical 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, 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 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 Netherlands Medical 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 School Medical 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, Australia MedicalResearch: 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…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Metabolic Syndrome, Weight Research / 07.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Venkatesh L. Murthy, MD, PhD Department of Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine Division) and Department of Radiology (Nuclear Medicine and Cardiothoracic Imaging Divisions), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Dr. Ravi Shah MD Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior studies in Framingham, MESA and other cohorts have demonstrated that obesity is an important risk factor for the metabolic syndrome. However, the observations that many non-obese individuals develop metabolic syndrome and diabetes and, conversely, that not all obese individuals develop these complications has motivated the search for better markers of risk than BMI. More recently, it has been shown that the location of adipose tissue is an important factor. The amount of visceral fat, which is thought to be more harmful from a metabolic perspective, can be accurately quantified with CT imaging. In many prior studies, waist circumference has been used as an approximate measure of visceral adiposity. For this study, we analyzed data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). We found that the amount of visceral fat (as quantified by CT) was an important predictor of metabolic syndrome, even after adjusting for weight, waist circumference, gender, race, smoking, exercise, serum lipids and glucose. Each additional 100 cm2/m of height of visceral fat was associated with a 29% increase in the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. In contrast, subcutaneous fat burden (also quantified by CT) was a much weaker predictor. One of the very novel findings of our study arises from an analysis of subjects who had multiple CTs longitudinally in MESA. Using these data, we found that change in visceral fat burden was associated with a corresponding 5% increase in the risk of metabolic syndrome. In part, this is because very small changes in weight could result in very large changes in visceral fat. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA / 05.11.2014

Thomas M. Maddox MD MSc Cardiology, VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System Associate Director, VA CART ProgramMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas M. Maddox MD MSc Cardiology, VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System Associate Director, VA CART Program Associate Professor, Department of Medicine University of Colorado School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Maddox: Nonobstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) is atherosclerotic plaque that would not be expected to obstruct blood flow or result in anginal symptoms (such as chest pain). Although such lesions are relatively common, occurring in 10 percent to 25 percent of patients undergoing coronary angiography, their presence has been characterized as “insignificant” or “no significant CAD" in the medical literature.  However, this perception of nonobstructive coronary artery disease may be incorrect, because prior studies have noted that the majority of plaque ruptures and resultant myocardial infarctions (MIs; heart attacks) arise from nonobstructive plaques. Despite the prevalence of nonobstructive CAD identified by coronary angiography, little is known about its risk of adverse outcomes, according to background information in the article. During the study period, 37,674 patients underwent elective coronary angiography for indications related to CAD; of those, 22.3 percent had nonobstructive CAD and 55.4 percent had obstructive CAD.  Within 1 year, 845 patients died and 385 were rehospitalized for myocardial infarction. The researchers found that the 1-year myocardial infarction risk progressively increased by the extent of coronary artery disease, rather than abruptly increasing between nonobstructive and obstructive CAD.  Patients with nonobstructive CAD had an associated risk of MI that was 2-to 4.5-fold greater than among those with no apparent coronary artery disease. Similar observations were seen with 1-year mortality and the combined outcome of 1-year myocardial infarction and death. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 05.11.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Angela Alberga, PhD Eyes High Postdoctoral Fellow Werklund School of Education University of Calgary Ronald J. Sigal, MD, MPH, FRCPC Professor of Medicine, Kinesiology, Cardiac Sciences and Community Health Sciences Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary Health Senior Scholar, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions Member, O'Brien Institute of Public Health, Libin Cardiovascular Institute and Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: The Healthy Eating, Aerobic and Resistance Training in Youth study examined the effects of exercise on body composition and cardiometabolic risk markers in adolescents with obesity. A total of 304 overweight or obese adolescents were randomized to four groups. The first group performed resistance training involving weight machines and some free weights; the second performed only aerobic exercise on treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes; the third underwent combined aerobic and resistance training; and the last group did no exercise training. All four groups received nutritional counseling. In analyses involving all participants regardless of adherence, each exercise program reduced percent body fat, waist circumference and body mass index to a similar extent, while the diet-only control group had no changes in these variables. In participants who exercised at least 2.8 times per week, we found that combined aerobic and resistance training produced greater decreases in percentage body fat, waist circumference, and body mass index than aerobic training alone. Waist circumference decreased close to seven centimeters in adherent participants randomized to combined aerobic plus resistance exercise, versus about four centimeters in those randomized to do just one type of exercise, with no change in those randomized to diet alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, University of Pittsburgh / 04.11.2014

Yuting Zhang, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Director Pharmaceutical Economics Research Group University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yuting Zhang, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Director Pharmaceutical Economics Research Group University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management. Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Zhang: Patients with atrial fibrillation who take the blood thinner dabigatran are at greater risk for major bleeding and gastrointestinal bleeding than those who take warfarin, indicating that greater caution is needed when prescribing dabigatran to certain high-risk patients. High-risk groups include those who are 75 and older; African Americans; those with chronic kidney disease; and those with seven or more co-existing medical problems. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, JAMA / 03.11.2014

dr_stefan_hansenMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stefan Nygaard Hansen PhD Student, MSc Stat Section for Biostatistics Department of Public Health Aarhus University Denmark Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: The main finding of our study is that 60% of the observed increase in autism prevalence among children born 1980-1991 in Denmark can be explained by changes in the way diagnoses are established and changes in the subsequent registration to national health registries. In 1994, the diagnostic criteria used by clinicians to establish psychiatric diagnoses was changed. This meant the recognition of autism as a spectrum of disorders but it also meant changes in the specific symptoms that form the basis of the autism diagnosis. In 1995, the national health registries in Denmark, which are often used in Danish health research, began to also include diagnoses given in connection with outpatient consultations whereas before 1995 only diagnoses given in connection with hospitalization was reported to the registries. This could mean that we after 1995 see more of the mild autism diagnoses since they may not require hospitalization. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, McGill, Mental Health Research / 03.11.2014

Frank J. Elgar, PhD Associate Professor of Psychiatry Canada Research Chair in Social Inequalities in Child Health Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University Montreal, Quebec, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank J. Elgar, PhD Associate Professor of Psychiatry Canada Research Chair in Social Inequalities in Child Health Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University Montreal, Quebec, Canada Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Elgar: Our study addressed two questions. The first was whether cyberbullying has unique links to adolescent mental health, or is an extension of traditional (face-to-face) bullying. We measured various forms of bullying and found that cyberbullying does indeed have a unique impact on mental health. Our second question about protective factors in the home environment.  We examined the frequency of family dinners as potential a moderating factor - understanding, of course, that dinners are a proxy of various family characteristics that benefit adolescents, such as communication, support, and parental monitoring. We found that teens who were targeted by cyberbullying but had ate dinner with their families more often had significantly better mental health outcomes as a result. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, Lipids / 29.10.2014

George Thanassoulis, MD MSc FRCP(C) Director, Preventive and Genomic Cardiology FRQ-S Clinician-Scientist/Chercheur-Boursier Clinicien Assistant Professor of Medicine, McGill University McGill University Health Center Montreal, QCMedicalResearch.com Interview with: George Thanassoulis, MD MSc FRCP(C) Director, Preventive and Genomic Cardiology FRQ-S Clinician-Scientist/Chercheur-Boursier Clinicien Assistant Professor of Medicine, McGill University McGill University Health Center Montreal, QC Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Thanassoulis: Although LDL-C (i.e. bad cholesterol) has been linked with aortic valve disease in several prior reports, randomized trials to lower cholesterol in aortic valve disease were not effective suggesting that cholesterol may not be important in valve disease. To address this, we performed a Mendelian randomization study, that showed that a genetic predisposition to LDL-C, was associated with both calcium deposits on the aortic valve and aortic stenosis (I.e. Valve narrowing).  These results can be viewed as the effect of a life-long increase in LDL-C on the incidence of aortic valve disease and suggest that increases in LDL-C cause aortic stenosis.   (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Macular Degeneration / 28.10.2014

Ronald Klein, MD, MPH, Professor Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Madison WIMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ronald Klein, MD, MPH, Professor Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Madison WI Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?  Dr. Klein: We found that more severe age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 1 eye was associated with increased incidence of age-related macular degeneration [levels 1-2: hazard ratio [HR], 4.90 [95%CI, 4.26-5.63] and accelerated progression [levels 2-3: HR, 2.09 [95%CI, 1.42-3.06]; levels 3-4: HR, 2.38 [95%CI, 1.74-3.25] and incidence of late age-related macular degeneration [levels 4-5: HR, 2.46 [95%CI, 1.65-3.66] in its fellow eye. Less severe AMD in 1 eye was associated with less progression of AMD in its fellow eye. We estimated that 51% of participants who develop any age-related macular degeneration maintained age-related macular degeneration severity states within 1 step of each other between eyes and 90% of participants stay within 2 steps. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, UCSF / 27.10.2014

Raquel C. Gardner, MD, Research Fellow San Francisco VA Medical Center Clinical Instructor Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology University of California, San FranciscoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Raquel C. Gardner, MD, Research Fellow San Francisco VA Medical Center Clinical Instructor Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology University of California, San Francisco Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gardner: We found that people who experience a  traumatic brain injury (TBI )when they are 55 or older have a 26% higher chance of getting dementia over the next 5 to 7 years compared to people who experience bodily trauma. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 27.10.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ian M. Paul, M.D., M.Sc. Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health Sciences Chief, Division of Academic General Pediatrics Associate Vice Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics Penn State College of Medicine Hershey, PA 17033-0850 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Paul: This study highlights that a significant placebo effect exists in the treatment of young children with cough due to colds because agave nectar and placebo both resulted in improvement of child symptoms by parents compared with no treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Bipolar Disorder, JAMA, Schizophrenia / 23.10.2014

Glenn T. Konopaske, MD McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School Boston, MassachusettsMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Glenn T. Konopaske, MD McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Konopaske: Using postmortem human brain tissue this study did reconstructions of basilar dendrites localized to pyramidal cells in the deep layer III of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Tissue from individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or controls was examined. Dendritic spine density (number of spines per μm dendrite) was significantly reduced in bipolar disorder and also reduced in schizophrenia at a trend level. The number of dendritic spines per dendrite and dendrite length were significantly reduced in subjects with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 23.10.2014

Dr Ken Ong, Programme Leader & Paediatric Endocrinologist MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge Box 285 Institute of Metabolic Science Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge  MedicalResearch.com Interview Invitation Dr Ken Ong, Programme Leader & Paediatric Endocrinologist MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge Box 285 Institute of Metabolic Science Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge Medical Research: What are the main findings of this report? Dr. Ong: We found that genetic factors that predict adult obesity were associated with faster weight gain and growth during infancy – the findings indicate that the biological mechanisms that predispose to later obesity are already active from birth. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research / 23.10.2014

Karl Ole Köhler, Research assistant  Department of Clinical Medicine The Department of General Psychiatry Aarhus UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karl Ole Köhler, Research assistant Department of Clinical Medicine The Department of General Psychiatry Aarhus University   Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response:  We found that anti-inflammatory drugs and ordinary analgesics, which mainly are used against physical disorders, may have treatment effects against depression when used in combination with antidepressants. Thereby, our results furthermore support the hypothesis regarding a comorbidity between inflammatory diseases and depression, i.e. a connection between somatic and mental disorders. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 22.10.2014

Dr. Harald Schmidt, MA, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy Research Associate, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104-3308MedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr. Harald Schmidt, MA, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy , Research Associate, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104-3308 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Schmidt: We reviewed currently available policies for aligning cost and quality of care. We focused on interventions are similar in their clinical effectiveness, have modest differences in convenience, but pose substantial cost differences to the healthcare system and patients. To control health care costs while ensuring patient convenience and physician burden, reference pricing would be the most desirable policy. But it is currently politically unfeasible. Alternatives therefore need to be explored. We propose the novel concept of Inclusive Shared Savings, in which physicians, the healthcare system, and, crucially, patients, benefit financially in moving more patients to lower cost but guideline concordant and therapeutically equivalent interventions. (more…)