Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, OBGYNE / 24.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lauren Theilen, MD Obstetrics/Gynecology specialist Salt Lake City, Utah. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Women with a history of hypertensive disease of pregnancy are known to have increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular and other causes. Our study shows that hypertensive disease of pregnancy is strongly associated with deaths due to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The association is strongest for early mortality – deaths occurring before age 50 – and life expectancy decreases with increasing number of affected pregnancies. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 24.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Josianne Paré MD, FRCSC Département d'obstétrique-gynécologie Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé de l'université de Sherbrooke 3001 12e avenue Nord, Sherbrooke (Québec), J1H 5N4 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prolonged labor is a significant cause of maternal and fetal morbidity and very few interventions are known to shorten labor course. Skeletal muscle physiology suggests that glucose supplementation might improve muscle performance in case of prolonged exercise and this situation is analogous to the gravid uterus during delivery. Therefore, it seemed imperative to evaluate the impact of adding carbohydrate supplements on the course of labor. Accordingly, we conducted a single centre prospective double-blind randomized-controlled trial comparing the use of parental IV of dextrose 5% with normal saline to normal saline in induced-nulliparous women. A total of 193 patients (96 in the dextrose with normal saline [NS+D] group and 97 in the normal saline group [NS] were analysed in the study. The median total duration of labor was 76 minutes shorter in the NS+D group (499 versus 423 minutes, p = 0.024) than in the NS group. There was no difference in the rate of caesarean section, instrumented delivery, APGAR score or arterial cord pH. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Surgical Research / 20.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adam Sachs MD Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology University of Connecticut School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: When women undergo appendectomy or cholecystectomy during pregnancy they are obviously concerned about the well being of their fetus. Unfortunately, the majority of the data available to council pregnant women is outdated and medical practice has significantly changed since their publication. (more…)
Anemia, Author Interviews, Global Health, JAMA, OBGYNE / 17.01.2017

Ola Andersson, MD, PhD Department of Women’s and Children’s Health Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ola Andersson MD, PhD Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Anemia affects over 40% of all children under 5 years of age in the world. Anemia can impinge mental and physical performance, and is associated with long-term deterioration in growth and development. Iron deficiency is the reason for anemia in approximately 50% of the children.is. When clamping of the umbilical cord is delayed, ie after 3 minutes, iron deficiency up to 6 months of age can be prevented, but it has not been shown to prevent iron deficiency or anemia in older infants. At birth, approximately 1/3 of the child's blood is in the placenta. If clamping of the umbilical cord is done immediately (early cord clamping), the blood will remain in the placenta and go to waste (or can be stored in stem cell banks). If instead clamping is postponed for 3 minutes, most of the blood can flow back to the child as an extra blood transfusion, consisting of about one deciliter (1/2 cup) of blood, equivalent to about 2 liters (half a US gallon) of an adult. A blood donor leaves 0.4-0.5 liters of blood. Blood contains red blood cells that contain hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to the tissues of the body. Hemoglobin contains a lot of iron, and the extra deciliter of blood may contain iron that corresponds to 3-4 months of the need for an infant. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends umbilical cord clamping at 1 minute or later, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends umbilical cord clamping at 30-60 seconds or later. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 13.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Alex Kemper, MD, MPH, MS Member,US Preventive Services Task Force Professor of Pediatrics and Professor in Community Medicine Department of Pediatrics Duke University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Neural tube defects, where the brain or spinal cord do not develop properly in a baby, can occur early in pregnancy, even before a woman knows she is pregnant. Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy can help protect against neural tube defects. Most women do not get enough folic acid in their diets, so most clinicians recommend that any woman who could become pregnant take a daily folic acid supplement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, JAMA, OBGYNE, Surgical Research / 09.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jianmeng Liu, PhD, MD Professor in Epidemiology and Biostatistics Director, Institute of Reproductive and Child Health/key Laboratory of Reproductive Health Ministry of Health Director, Office for National Maternal and Child Health Statistics of China Peking University Health Science Center Beijing, China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cesarean overuse can jeopardize maternal and child health. It has been widely concerned that cesarean rate in China is at an extremely high level. Concerns about “alarming” rates increased after a World Health Organization (WHO) report that 46.2% of births were delivered by cesarean in 2007-2008, based on analysis of deliveries in 21 hospitals of 3 provinces of China. Since 2002, reducing the cesarean rate has been a national priority, and a variety of policies, programs and activities have emerged at both the central and local governments. Previous national estimates of cesarean rates have been based on surveys with limited geographical coverage. Given the marked diversity of geography, economy, and life circumstances throughout China, survey estimates are likely to be sensitive to the area sampled. By analyzing county-level national data on cesarean rates that have been collected since 2008, this study aimed to determine the overall rate and change in rate of cesarean deliveries, examine geographic variation, and, in areas where declines occurred, assess changes in maternal and perinatal mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 06.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathalie Auger MD MSc FRCPC Montréal, Québec MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We carried out this study because congenital heart defects take a large share of birth defects, but not much is known on its risk factors. In previous research, we found that very high temperatures in the summer were associated with a greater risk of stillbirth. We sought to determine whether elevated outdoor heat could also be linked with congenital heart defects in a sample of about 700,000 pregnancies. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 06.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edwina Yeung, Ph.D Investigator, Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: About 1 in 5 pregnant women in the United States is obese. Other studies have looked at mothers’ obesity in terms of children’s development, but no U.S. studies have looked at whether there might be a contribution from the father’s weight. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: One of the main findings of this study is that maternal obesity is associated with a delay in fine motor skill-- the ability to control movement of small muscles, such as those in the fingers and hands. Paternal obesity is associated with a delay in personal-social skills including the way the child interacts with others. Having both a mother and a father with severe obesity (BMI≥35) was associated with a delay in problem solving ability. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, OBGYNE, Surgical Research / 22.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Rachael Wood PhD Consultant in Public Health Medicine - women and children's health NHS National Services Scotland Information Services Division Edinburgh MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Mesh surgery for female stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse is currently controversial. Mesh surgery was introduced to overcome recognised limitations of traditional, non-mesh, surgery for these conditions, in particular extensive surgery and long hospital stays for incontinence and high failure/recurrence rates for prolapse. Mesh surgery may therefore offer additional benefits over traditional surgery. Mesh surgery may also carry additional risks however, with patient advocacy groups highlighting cases of severe, long term, mesh-related complications in some women who have undergone mesh surgery. We therefore used routinely available, population based hospital discharge records from Scotland to identify women having mesh and non-mesh procedures for incontinence and prolapse. We then followed the women up for up to 5 years to assess how often they were readmitted for complications or further incontinence or prolapse surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Lancet, OBGYNE, Surgical Research / 21.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Cathryn Glazener PhD Health Services Research Unit University of Aberdeen Aberdeen,UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prolapse is a condition that affects up to half of all women after childbirth. Women notice a bulge or discomfort in their vaginas due to pressure from the bladder, bowel or womb moving downwards. Women who have surgery for their prolapse have a 3 in 10 chance of needing at least one more operation, so the success rate is not great. Gynaecologists hoped that by reinforcing their repairs the success rate would get better. PROSPECT was a pragmatic, multicentre randomised controlled trial conducted in 35 centres across the UK. Women undergoing their first operation for prolapse were randomised to having a standard repair of the front or back wall of the vagina, or a repair reinforced by synthetic non-absorbable mesh, or a biological graft. We found that, in contrast to previous research, women were just as likely to be cured after standard surgery rather than reinforced repairs. They were just as likely to have other symptoms such as bladder or sexual problems, and other adverse effects such as infection, bleeding or pain. However, about 1 in 10 of the women who had mesh did have mesh exposure when a small portion of the mesh becomes visible through the vaginal wall. Although many women did not have symptoms, about half of those women needed a small operation to remove or bury the exposed mesh. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, UCLA, Zika / 20.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karin Nielsen, MD, MPH Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Director, Center for Brazilian Studies MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our research was a prospective study in which pregnant women in Rio de Janeiro who developed a rash in the last 5 days between the end of 2015 to mid 2016 were screened for possible infection with Zika virus by a special molecular test (PCR) which looked for the virus in blood or urine. Women who were found to have Zika virus in either blood, urine or both were followed throughout time to look for pregnancy and infant outcomes. We also followed women who had a negative PCR test for Zika as a comparison group. By July 2016, we had outcomes known for 125 Zika affected pregnancies, of these 58 had abnormal outcomes, with 9 fetal losses and 49 babies who had abnormal findings on physical exam or brain imaging, all consistent with neurologic abnormalities. This meant 46% of the pregnant women in our study had an abnormal pregnancy outcome, and 42% of live birth infants were found to have an abnormality in the first few months of life. (more…)
Author Interviews, MRI, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 17.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Paul D Griffiths, FRCR and Cara Mooney, Study Manager: MERIDIAN Clinical Trials Research Unit The University of Sheffield MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Around three in every 1000 pregnancies is complicated by a fetal abnormality. In the UK Ultrasonography (USS) has, for many years, been the mainstay of antenatal screening and detailed anomaly scanning to detect such abnormalities. However previous studies have suggested that in utero Magnetic Resonance (iuMR) imaging may be a useful adjunct to USS for detecting these brain abnormalities in the developing fetus. This study was designed to test the diagnostic accuracy and clinical impact of introducing fetal MR in to the diagnostic pathway. Our results show that iuMR has an overall diagnostic accuracy of 93% compared to ultrasound at 68%, this is an increase in diagnostic accuracy of 25%. When divided into gestational age group the improvement in diagnostic accuracy ranged from 23% in the 18-23 week group, and 29% in the 24 week and over group. IuMR provided additional diagnostic information in 49% of cases, changed prognostic information in at least 20% and the contribution to clinical management was felt to be at least ‘significant’ in 35% of cases. IuMR also had high patient acceptability with at least 95% of women stating that they would have an iuMR if a future pregnancy were complicated by a fetal brain abnormality. (more…)
Author Interviews, FASEB, Microbiome, OBGYNE, Stanford / 09.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carlos Simón, M.D., Ph. D. Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Valencia University, Spain Scientific Director, Igenomix SL. Adjunct Clinical Professor, Department of Ob/Gyn, Stanford University, CA Adjunct Professor, Department of Ob/Gyn, Baylor College of Medicine, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The main findings of this study reside in the concept that the uterine cavity, which has been classically considered as a sterile organ, possess its own microbiome and that the composition of this uterine microbiome have a functional impact on the reproductive outcome of IVF patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 09.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Y. Bernard, PhD Inserm UMRS 1153 – Centre for research in Epidemiology and Biostatistics Sorbonne Paris Cité (CRESS) Team ORCHAD: early Origin of the Child Health And Development Hôpital Paul Brousse MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Despite the World Health Organization’s recommendations promoting breast feeding, wide variations in breast feeding initiation rates are observed among Western countries: some reach >95%, while others remain <80%. Many individual-level determinants of breast feeding are known, including maternal age, education, ethnicity, smoking and employment status. Less is known regarding cultural determinants, such as religion, which could be underlying and explain rate differences between and within countries. We aimed at comparing countries’ breast feeding rates with the proportions of Catholics and Protestants. We thus carried out an ecological study by collating publicly available online data for 135 countries. We additionally gathered within-country data for 5 Western nations: France, Ireland, the UK, Canada and the USA. We found that, in Western countries, the proportion of Catholics was negatively correlated with the rate of breast feeding. This was also observed within countries in France, Ireland, the UK and Canada. In the USA, where breast feeding rates vary hugely between states, race was an important confounder. Interestingly, we also found the correlation in non-Hispanic whites. All our findings hold even when we account for wealth indicators, such as gross domestic product per capita. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 01.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Kenji Tanimura M.D., Ph.D. Assistant professor Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology Graduate School of Medicine and Hideto Yamada M.D., Ph.D. Professor and Chairman Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection can cause long-term neurological sequelae, such as hearing difficulties and mental retardations, in affected children. Some investigators reported that early diagnosis and antiviral therapy can improve neurological outcomes in symptomatic congenital infected infants. However, universal screening of newborns for congenital CMV infection is not yet available. Therefore, the development of non-invasive methods for prenatal detection of mothers and newborns at high risk for congenital CMV infection has been desired. We aimed to determine maternal clinical, laboratory, and ultrasound findings that effectively predict the occurrence of congenital CMV infection in high-risk pregnant women, who were positive for CMV IgM. We performed maternal blood screening for CMV IgG and IgM, and 300 IgM-positive pregnant women, including 22 with congenital CMV infection, received series of examinations. We evaluated maternal clinical and laboratory findings, including serum CMV IgM and IgG, IgG avidity index, antigenemia testing, and CMV-DNA PCR for the maternal serum, urine, and uterine cervical secretion, and prenatal ultrasound findings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emory, Fertility, OBGYNE / 01.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer F. Kawwass, MD, FACOG Assistant Professor, Emory Reproductive Center Director of Third Party Reproduction, Emory Reproductive Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: With the increasing use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), the number of cryopreserved embryos in storage has increased, as residual viable embryos from an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle may be frozen for future use. Each embryo maintains attributes reflective of the age of the female at time of the original oocyte retrieval. Embryo donation, a form of third-party reproduction, involves donation without compensation of previously formed embryos to another couple for implantation. Limited published data exist detailing outcomes of donor embryo cycles. Patients and clinicians would benefit from information specific to donor embryo cycles to inform fertility treatment options, counselling, and clinical decision-making. We sought to quantify trends in donor embryo cycles in the United States, to characterize donor embryo recipients, and to report transfer, pregnancy, and birth outcomes of donor embryo transfers. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Fertility, OBGYNE / 21.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David McLernon PhD MPhil BSc Research Fellow in Medical Statistics Medical Statistics Team Institute of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Foresterhill Aberdeen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Normally when a couple attend a fertility clinic to begin IVF treatment they are only informed about their chances of having a baby for the first attempt of IVF. In actual fact the first treatment is often unsuccessful and many couples will go on to have several complete cycles of the treatment– each involving the transfer of one or two fresh embryos potentially followed by one or more frozen embryo transfers. We felt that a prediction model that could calculate the chances of having a baby over the complete package of treatment would provide better information for couples. (more…)
AHRQ, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, OBGYNE, Surgical Research / 20.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kamila Mistry, PhD MPH AHRQ MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Although the overall cesarean section (C-section) rate in the United States has declined slightly in recent years, nearly a third of all births continue to be delivered by C-section—higher than in many other industrialized countries. A number of medical as well as nonmedical factors may contribute to high C-section rates. C-section is the most common surgical procedure performed in the United States. This operation carries additional risks compared with vaginal delivery, such as infection and postoperative pain. A C-section also may make it more difficult for the mother to establish breastfeeding and may complicate subsequent pregnancies. Consensus guidelines from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other national efforts to improve perinatal care have shown promise in reducing nonmedically indicated C-sections. However, recent research has found wide variation in hospital C-section rates even for low-risk deliveries. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 18.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melissa C. Bartick, MD, MSc Department of Medicine Cambridge Health Alliance Harvard Medical School Cambridge, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This is the first study ever to combine maternal and pediatric health outcomes from breastfeeding into a single model. We had published a cost analysis of suboptimal breastfeeding for pediatric disease in 2010, which found that suboptimal breastfeeding cost the US $13 billion in costs of premature death costs and medical expenses, and 911 excess deaths. We followed that up with a maternal cost analysis which found about $18 billion in premature death costs and medical expenses. In both these studies, most of the costs were from premature death. We were unable to combine the results of these two studies because their methodologies were different, and both of them, especially the pediatric portion needed to be updated. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 15.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brodie Parent, MD MS General Surgery R4 University of Washington MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We already knew that women with a history of bariatric surgery are a high risk group when it comes to childbirth. Our study has confirmed prior data which show that infants from these women are at a higher risk for being premature, low birth-weight, or requiring ICU admission. However, this is some of the first data which looks at their risk over time after recovery from the operation. Data from this study show that risks to the infant are highest in the first 3 years after an operation, and diminish over time. This suggests that women should wait a minimum of three years after an operation before attempting conception. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 10.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Bentley, MBiostat Doctoral Fellow Menzies Centre for Health Policy University of Sydney MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Planned birth (labor induction or pre-labor caesarean section) is a decision to intervene and so determines a gestational age at birth that would have otherwise been later if pregnancy had progressed through to spontaneous labor. Significant changes in clinical practice have seen an increase in planned births before 39-40 completed week’s gestation from an increased use of primary and repeat cesarean section and a greater use of labor induction. At a population level this has resulted in a decrease in modal gestational age with planned birth accounting for almost half of births before 39-40 weeks. Clinical research has indicated that the threshold for planned birth and the gestational age for intervening has reduced. Numerous reasons have been given as justification for this including litigation, patient and provider perception of safety versus risk, reduced perinatal mortality, increased fetal monitoring, maternal age, obesity and convenience. There has also been the clinical perception that birth just before the optimal date carries little significant morbidity, with a focus on short-term risks to mother or baby only rather than longer-term outcomes. It is of paramount importance to ensure there are no unintended harms from such a significant shift in clinical practice. This study investigated whether the timing of planned birth was associated with poorer developmental outcomes at school age. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 09.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Sharon Unger BSc, MD, FRCP Staff Neonatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital Associate Staff Neonatologist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. Medical Director of the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank and Dr. Deborah L. O’Connor PhD, RD Senior Associate Scientist in Physiology & Experimental Medicine SickKids and Professor Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Babies who are born very early (before 32 weeks’ gestation) and/or at very low weights (less than 1,500 grams) are among the most fragile of all paediatric patients, typically facing serious medical issues and requiring care in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In addition to underdeveloped organs and risk of neurodevelopmental issues, preterm and very low birth weight babies are at risk of a severe bowel emergency called necrotizing enterocolitis, which involves the damage and potential destruction of the intestinal tissue. This disease affects approximately six per cent of very low birth weight infants each year, making it one of the most common causes of death and long-term complications in this population. As a neonatologist and a PhD-trained dietitian, we have spent our careers working to improve outcomes for babies and supporting breastfeeding. While there is already strong evidence to suggest that breastfeeding is associated with a variety of benefits including reduced risk of childhood infections and may play a role in the prevention of overweight and diabetes, in healthy, full-term infants, we launched a research program a decade ago to figure out how to ensure the same advantage could be provided to vulnerable hospitalized infants, specifically very low birth weight infants. Breastfeeding initiation rates in Canada are now at all-time high for healthy newborns, but for many reasons related to preterm birth, up to two thirds of mothers of very low birth weight infants are unable to provide a sufficient volume of breast milk to their infant. A variety of factors may limit breast milk production in these cases, including immaturity of the breast cells that make milk, maternal illness, breast pump dependency, and stress. In addition to the health benefits attributed to mother’s milk for full-term, healthy infants, previous studies have shown that use of mother’s milk in very low birth weight infants is associated with a reduction in necrotizing enterocolitis. It is also associated with a reduction in severe infection, improved feeding tolerance and more rapid hospital discharge. Ten years ago, along with our inter-professional colleagues at 21 NICUs in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, we began to examine whether using donor breast milk as a supplement to mother’s milk would improve health outcomes of very low birth weight infants when mother’s milk was not available. (more…)
Anemia, Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 07.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel C Benyshek, PhD Professor, Department of Anthropology Adjunct Professor, UNLV School of Medicine Co-Director, Metabolism, Anthropometry and Nutrition Lab University of Nevada, Las Vegas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Maternal placentophagy is ubiquitous among nearly all terrestrial mammals, but is rare to non-existent among humans in the historic and cross-cultural records. Recently, however, human maternal placentophagy has emerged as a popular trend among a small but growing number of women in many industrialized countries. Most women engaging in the practice today consume their processed placenta in capsule form, taken daily, over several weeks postpartum. While human maternal placentophagy advocates claim many maternal health benefits from the practice, including improved postpartum mood, increased breast-milk production, and improved energy, among others, no carefully designed, placebo-controlled studies have evaluated these claims. Our randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study (N=23) investigated some of these claims. Our study found that the postpartum iron status of participants who consumed their own encapsulated placenta (based on the three week daily intake recommendation of one prominent placenta encapsulation service), was no different from those women who consumed the same amount of beef placebo. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, OBGYNE / 04.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cynthia Ferre MA PhD Division of Reproductive Health National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Reductions in births to teens and preterm birth rates are two recent public health successes in the United States. To date, however, we haven’t had data to indicate whether these two declines are associated. So, we used age-specific data on trends in births overall and in preterm births to determine the effects of changes in maternal age on preterm birth. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Genetic Research, OBGYNE / 03.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Horvath, MD Paula M. Castaño, MD, MPH Anne R. Davis, MD, MPH Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Approximately 3% of pregnant women in the United States will receive a prenatal diagnosis of fetal aneuploidy (such as trisomy 21) or fetal structural abnormality (such as cardiac or CNS malformations). Many of these women will undergo abortion. Advances in screening over the past few decades have allowed earlier diagnosis of aneuploidy, but most structural abnormalities cannot be diagnosed until the anatomy ultrasound at 18-20 weeks gestational age because of fixed patterns of fetal development. Our analysis examines gestational age at time of abortion for these two types of fetal diagnosis from 2004-2014. Our main finding was that median gestational age at time of abortion for fetal aneuploidy decreased from 19 weeks to 14 weeks. However, over the same 11 year period, median gestational age at time of abortion for fetal structural abnormalities remained unchanged and at or above 20 weeks gestation. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 02.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Malini B. DeSilva, MD, MPH Clinician Investigator HealthPartners Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is a retrospective study of more than 324,000 live births at seven Vaccine Safety Datalink sites between 2007 and 2013 which showed that the Tdap vaccine in pregnant mothers was not associated with increased risk for microcephaly or other major birth defects in their offspring. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Primary Care, Yale / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ann Kurth, Ph.D., C.N.M., R.N. USPSTF Task Force member Dean of the Yale School of Nursing MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Breastfeeding is beneficial for both mothers and their babies, with the evidence showing that babies who are breastfed are less likely to get infections such as ear infections, or to develop chronic conditions such as asthma, obesity, and diabetes. For mothers, breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk for breast and ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes. While breastfeeding rates have been rising in recent decades—with 80 percent of women starting to breastfeed and just over half still doing so at six months—they are still lower than the Healthy People 2020 targets and the Task Force wanted to review the latest evidence around how clinicians can best support breastfeeding.” After balancing the potential benefits and harms, the Task Force found sufficient evidence to continue to recommend interventions during pregnancy and after birth to support breastfeeding. This recommendation includes the same types of interventions the Task Force recommended in 2008, such as education about the benefits of breastfeeding, guidance and encouragement, and practical help for how to breastfeed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, OBGYNE, Stroke / 24.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eliza Miller, M.D. Vascular Neurology Fellow New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center We collaborated with researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital and with the New York State Department of Health. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior research has found that older women of childbearing age are at higher risk of stroke during pregnancy and postpartum than younger women. We hypothesized that their increased stroke risk might not be due to pregnancy-related factors, but just due to the fact that stroke risk increases with age for all people. We used billing data from New York State hospitals to calculate incidence risk ratios for four age groups: 12-24, 25-34, 35-44 and 45-55. In each age group, we compared the incidence of stroke in women who were pregnant or postpartum to the incidence of stroke in women of the same age who were not pregnant. As in prior studies, we found that the incidence of pregnancy-associated stroke was higher in older women compared to younger women (about 47/100,000 deliveries in the oldest group, versus 14/100,000 deliveries in the youngest group). However, the incidence ratios showed that pregnancy increased stroke risk significantly in women under 35, but did not appear to increase stroke risk in women over 35. In the youngest group (age 12-24), pregnancy more than doubled the risk of stroke, and in the 25-34 age group, pregnancy increased stroke risk by 60%. In women aged 35 and older, pregnancy did not increase stroke risk. Women who had pregnancy-related strokes tended to have fewer traditional vascular risk factors like hypertension and diabetes, compared to same-aged women with non-pregnancy related strokes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Fertility, OBGYNE / 21.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kavita Vedhara FAcSS Professor of Health Psychology Division of Primary Care School of Medicine University Park,Nottingham MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There has been a longstanding interest in the role of the hormone cortisol in fertility, because of its potential to affect the functioning of the biological systems that influence both conception and pregnancy. This interest has extended to IVF, with researchers exploring the relationship between levels of the hormone and pregnancy since the advent of the treatment in the late 1970s. However, a recent review showed that the relationship between cortisol and pregnancy in IVF was unclear. A number of reasons were highlighted for this, including that all of the studies to date had relied on short-term measures of the hormone measured in blood, saliva, urine and sometimes follicular fluid. Such measures can only capture hormone levels over a matter of minutes and hours. Such ‘snapshots’ are unable to give us an accurate picture of the levels of hormone over longer periods of time. This is important because any clinically relevant effects of cortisol on fertility are only likely to occur in the context of long-term changes in the hormone. In recent years it has become possible to measure long-term levels of cortisol in hair. Cortisol is deposited in the hair shaft and because human hair grows, on average, 1cm per month, a 3cm sample of hair closest to the scalp can tell us about levels of cortisol in the previous 3 months. We used the development of this technique to examine whether long term levels of cortisol (as measured in hair), or short term levels of cortisol (as measured in saliva) could predict whether or not women going through IVF would become pregnant. If you are trying to obtain a perfect cortisol balance, I use this product that helps to do just that. (more…)