Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 19.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Gang Hu, Associate Professor LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center & Director Chronic Disease Epidemiology Lab MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Some studies have found that maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) places offspring at increased risk of long-term adverse outcomes, including obesity. However, most of studies are from high income countries, with limited data from low to middle income countries. The present study, conducted at urban and suburban sites in 12 countries, found that the increased risk for children of GDM mothers compared with non-gestational diabetes mellitus mothers was 53% for obesity, 73% for central obesity, and 42% for high body fat. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, NEJM, OBGYNE, Technology / 19.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Helen Murphy and Dr Zoe Stewart Institute of Metabolic Science University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Controlling blood glucose levels is a daily challenge for people with Type 1 diabetes and is particularly crucial during pregnancy. Previous research shows that women with type 1 diabetes spend only 12 hours per day within the recommended glucose target levels, leading to increased rates of complications including preterm delivery and large for gestational age infants. National surveys show that one in two babies suffer complications related to type 1 diabetes in the mother. The hormonal changes that occur in pregnancy make it difficult for women to predict the best insulin doses for every meal and overnight. Too much insulin causes low glucose levels harmful for the mother and too little causes problems for the developing baby. The artificial pancreas automates the insulin delivery giving better glucose control than we can achieve with currently available treatments. Previous studies show that the closed-loop system also known as artificial pancreas can be used safely in children and adults and our study aimed to investigate whether or not it was helpful for women with type1 diabetes during pregnancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE / 19.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Krista F. Huybrechts, M.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Epidemiologist Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA 02120 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The use of antipsychotic medications during pregnancy has doubled in the last decade. Yet, information on the safety of antipsychotic medication use during pregnancy for the developing fetus is very limited: existing studies tend to be small (the largest study available to date includes 570 exposed women) and findings have been inconsistent. Concerns have been raised about a potential association with congenital malformations. The objective of our study was to examine the risk of congenital malformations overall, as well as cardiac malformations given findings from earlier studies, in a large cohort of pregnant women. We used a nationwide sample of 1.3 mln pregnant women insured through Medicaid between 2000-2010, of which 9,258 used an atypical antipsychotic and 733 used a typical antipsychotic during the first trimester, the etiologically relevant period for organogenesis. We also examined the risks associated with the most commonly used individual medications. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, NIH, OBGYNE, Ovarian Cancer / 18.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Clarice Weinberg, Ph.D. Deputy Branch Chief Biostatistics and Computational Biology Branch National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Institutes of Health Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A number of studies have reported a link between genital use of talc powders and ovarian cancer. We wondered whether the practice of douching could contribute to that risk by moving fibers and chemicals into and up the reproductive tract. We are carrying out the Sister Study, a large cohort study that enrolled more than 50,000 women who each had a sister diagnosed with breast cancer and who are consequently at increased risk of ovarian cancer. During the Sister Study enrollment interview, we asked each of them about their douching and use of talc in the previous 12 months. During approximately 6 years of follow up, 154 participants developed ovarian cancer. Our statistical analyses did not show any relationship between talc use and risk of ovarian cancer, but we estimated that women who had said they douched had almost double the risk for ovarian cancer compared to women who did not douche. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, OBGYNE / 17.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gabriel Lazarin MS Vice President,Counsyl Medical Science Liaisons MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study finds there is a significant opportunity to identify more pregnancies affected by serious conditions, across all ethnicities, through the clinical use of expanded carrier screening (ECS). We found that compared to current prenatal genetic testing guidelines, expanded carrier screening for 94 genetically inherited conditions better addresses the risk of having a pregnancy affected with a serious condition. Certain physicians have been offering ECS since 2010. However, in order for it to come into routine use, a group of major medical organizations last year stated a need for further data regarding the frequency of previously unscreened genetic variants. This study uses real test results from approximately 350,000 people to provide that data. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Education, OBGYNE / 09.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Valerie Holmes Senior Lecturer Centre for Public Health School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science Queen's University Belfast Belfast MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Women with diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, are advised to plan for pregnancy as there are higher risks of complications for both the mother and baby when compared to the general maternity population. Careful planning in partnership with diabetes care teams, especially in relation to achieving optimum blood glucose control and taking folic acid can significantly reduce the risks. However, while most women know that they should plan for pregnancy, they are unaware as to why this is important or how to engage with the process, and thus the majority of women (up to two thirds of women) enter pregnancy unprepared. This study describes the implementation of a regional preconception counsellng resource, in the format of a DVD, into routine care in Northern Ireland to raise awareness of pregnancy planning. The authors assessed if the introduction of this resource improved pregnancy planning among women with diabetes in the region. (more…)
Author Interviews, Menopause, OBGYNE / 05.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Louise Wilson PhD Candidate The University of Queensland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hysterectomy remains one of the most common gynecological procedures worldwide, with rates highest among women aged between 40 and 50. Between 30 and 40% of women aged in their 40s and 50s experience hot flushes and night sweats (vasomotor symptoms) that can greatly impact upon their overall quality of life. There is consistent evidence that women who have a hysterectomy and both ovaries removed are more likely to report more frequent or severe vasomotor symptoms, probably due to the abrupt decline in estrogen levels post-surgery. For women who have a hysterectomy with ovaries retained, the evidence is less clear. We wanted to increase our understanding of the symptom experiences of these women. We examined 17 years of data from more than 6,000 women in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Approximately one in five of the women had a hysterectomy with ovarian conservation before the age of 50. We found that a third of these women experienced hot flushes that persisted in the long term, and around one in five were afflicted by constant night sweats. These rates were double those of women who did not have a hysterectomy over the 17-year study period, and could not be explained by differences in lifestyle or socio-economic factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Science, Surgical Research / 05.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr David A MacIntyre MRC Career Development Fellow Lecturer in Reproductive Systems Medicine Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology Department of Surgery and Cancer Imperial College London UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Preterm birth is the leading cause of death in children under 5 years of age. One of the first things that can happen to a women before suffering a preterm birth is early opening of the cervix, which is the neck of the womb. This also puts her and the baby at risk of infection. One of the few preventative treatments available for these women is a cervical cerclage. This is when a surgeon uses one of two types of suture thread to stitch the cervix closed. This provides mechanical support to the pregnancy and is thought to help prevent infections from ascending from the vaginal into the uterus. One type of suture thread used is thin, monofilament nylon, which appears similar to fishing line. The other is a thicker thread - around 5mm thick - that is comprised of smaller threads woven together like a shoe lace. The thicker woven thread - called multifilament - is used in around 80 per cent of procedures as surgeons believe it to be stronger, and more efficient at holding the cervix closed. In this study, we first looked at 671 women who had the procedure at five UK hospitals over the last ten years. Around half had the thinner 'fishing line' thread, while the other half had the thicker 'shoe lace' thread. The results revealed the thicker thread was associated with increased rate of intrauterine death compared to the thinner thread (15 per cent compared 5 per cent). The rate of intrauterine death in a normal pregnancy is around 0.5%. The thicker tape was also associated with an increased preterm birth rate compared to the thinner tape - 28 per cent compared to 17 per cent. The rate of preterm birth among the general population is around 7 per cent, but the cervical stitch procedure is only performed on women already deemed at high risk of premature birth. We then conducted a second study with 50 women who were due to have the cervical stitch procedure. Half received the thinner thread, while half received the thicker thread. We monitored the women at 4, 8 and 16 weeks after the procedure through ultrasound scans and analysis of bacteria in their reproductive tract. The results suggested that women who received the thicker thread had increased inflammation around the cervix. There was also increased blood flow, which is associated with the cervix opening before labour. Crucially, we also found that women who received the thicker thread had more potentially harmful bacteria in the vagina and around the cervix. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, OBGYNE, Zika / 04.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charlan D. Kroelinger, PhD Division of Reproductive Health National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. Doctors have also found other problems in pregnancies and among infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as absent or poorly developed brain structures, defects of the eye, hearing deficits, and impaired growth. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Increased access to birth control may lead to reductions in unintended pregnancies, which may result in fewer adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes in the context of a Zika virus outbreak. A new report from CDC estimates that use of highly effective, reversible forms of birth control, called long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), which includes intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, remains lower than use of moderate or less effective methods such as oral contraceptive pills and condoms, although contraception use varied across states and by age group and race/ethnicity. CDC scientists used data from four state-based surveillance systems to estimate contraception use for non-pregnant and postpartum women at risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually active female high school students who live in states with the potential for local Zika virus transmission. Less than one in four sexually active women of reproductive age and fewer than one in 10 sexually active female high school students reported using LARC. A higher percentage of postpartum women reported LARC use. Moderately effective and less effective contraceptive methods, including pills, patches, rings, injections, condoms and other barrier methods, were used more frequently than highly effective methods. These estimates are of concern because the most commonly used methods of contraception are not as effective at preventing unintended pregnancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Lancet, Methamphetamine, OBGYNE, STD / 29.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: N. Saman Wijesooriya Public Health Advisor/Technical Advisor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The article Global burden of maternal and congenital syphilis in 2008 and 2012: a health systems modeling study by Wijesooriya, et al published in the August 2016 issue of The Lancet Global Health (Open source - http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30135-8) estimates the incidence and prevalence of maternal and congenital syphilis for both time periods and identifies gaps antenatal care access and syphilis testing and treatment services to assess progress in the global elimination of congenital syphilis, or mother-to-child transmission of syphilis, as a public health problem. Untreated maternal syphilis is understood to be transmitted from mother-to-child in utero in 50% of cases resulting in tragic adverse pregnancy outcomes, or congenital syphilis infections, including early fetal death, stillbirth, preterm birth, low birthweight, neonatal death, and congenital infections in infants. Since most maternal syphilis infections are asymptomatic, it is recommended that screening for syphilis use a combination of serological tests for pregnant women and treatment of syphilis seropositive women with at least 2.4 million units of benzathine penicillin intramuscularly early in pregnancy to prevent most congenital syphilis infections. In 2007, the World Health Organization responded to estimates indicating 2 million maternal and 1.5 congenital syphilis infections would occur annually without treatment and launched the global initiative for the Elimination of Congenital Syphilis (ECS). The strategy includes reducing the prevalence of syphilis in pregnant women and mother-to-child transmission of syphilis. The objective is for countries to achieve high performing antenatal care systems providing access to antenatal care to more than 95% of pregnant women, syphilis testing for more than 95% of pregnant women, and treatment for more than 95% of seropositive women to attain a congenital syphilis rate of 50 or fewer cases per 100,000 live births. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Diabetes, Diabetologia, OBGYNE / 25.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Sandra Hummel and Dr. Daniela Much Institute of Diabetes Research Helmholtz Center Munich German Research Center for Environmental Health Munich MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Gestational diabetes mellitus is associated with a seven-fold increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes postpartum. In 2012, we published that type 2 diabetes risk was markedly reduced up to 15 years after delivery in women with gestational diabetes if they breastfed for more than 3 months. However the underlying biological mechanisms are still unclear to date. Aim of this biomarker study was to identify the mechanism underlying the protective effect of prolonged lactation. At our study site in Munich, we enrolled 197 women with previous gestational diabetes participating in a postpartum assessment of glucose tolerance at a median time of 3.6 years after delivery. By using a targeted metabolomics approach (including a broad spectrum of lipids and amino acids), we identified lactation-associated biochemical changes in maternal plasma samples. Most interestingly, these metabolite signatures have been described with decreased risk for type 2 diabetes previously. Our results indicate that lactation-associated alterations persisted up to 11 years post-lactation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Hematology, OBGYNE, Thyroid Disease / 24.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kris Poppe, MD, PhD Co-Head Endocrine Unit CHU St-Pierre UMC Université libre de Bruxelles MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: Pregnant women are often referred by gynecologists to my endocrine practice, for altered thyroid function. At that occasion, I often noticed that the women also had low iron/ferritin levels (ferritin is the iron reserve). Searching in literature did not reveal many publications on the association between iron (deficiency) and thyroid function during pregnancy and so that was the background/aim to perform this study. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Columbia, OBGYNE, Tobacco / 21.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Qiana L. Brown, PhD, MPH, LCSW Postdoctoral Research Fellow Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology Substance Abuse Epidemiology Training Program MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Brown: Prenatal substance use is a major public health concern, and poses significant threats to maternal and child health. Tobacco and alcohol are the most commonly used substances among pregnant women and non-pregnant women of reproductive age, and are leading causes of preventable adverse health outcomes for both mother and baby. Women with health insurance have more prenatal visits, and present for prenatal care earlier than uninsured women, which may increase their exposure to health messaging around substance abuse prevention at prenatal visits. Additionally, treatment for substance use disorders and maternal and child health care are part of the Essential Health Benefits covered by the Affordable Care Act, which may encourage patients and providers to engage in discussions around alcohol and tobacco use prevention during pregnancy. Given these factors, we examined the relationship between health insurance coverage and both past month tobacco use and past month alcohol use among a nationally representative sample of reproductive age women in the United States. We sampled 97,788 women ages 12 to 44 years old who participated in the U.S. National Survey of Drug Use and Health in 2010 to 2014. Among these women, 3.28% (n=3,267) were pregnant. We specifically investigated whether the relationship between health insurance and alcohol or tobacco use differed between pregnant and non-pregnant women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Fertility, JAMA, OBGYNE / 20.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexandra W. van den Belt-Dusebout, PhD Department of Epidemiology The Netherlands Cancer Institute The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In vitro fertilization (IVF) is commonly used, but because of the relatively recent use of IVF, long-term breast cancer risk is not yet known. Female sex hormones have been shown to affect breast cancer risk. Because sex hormone levels during hormonal stimulation of the ovaries for IVF are up to 10 times higher than in natural cycles, IVF was expected to increase breast cancer risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, HPV, OBGYNE, STD / 12.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dejan R. Nonato, MD, PhD Institute of Tropical Pathology and Public Health School of Medicine Federal University of Goiás Goiânia, GO, Brazil MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Human papillomavirus (HPV) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) share the same route of sexual transmission and possess similar risk factors, indicating that co-infection may act synergistically in the induction of epithelial cell abnormalities. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 09.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annefleur de Bruijn MD VU Medical Centre Department of Gynecology Amsterdam, The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since 1995 uterine artery embolization has been described in patients with symptomatic fibroids. Uterine artery embolization is a less invasive treatment option compared to hysterectomy. Studies including several randomized controlled trials established uterine artery embolization as a valuable treatment. Earlier these trials reported outcomes in terms of health related quality of life, clinical outcomes, efficacy and cost effectiveness after 1, 2 and 5 years of follow-up. In the randomized EMMY trial, we analyzed these results again, currently 10 years after treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, OBGYNE / 04.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr-Claudia-Avella-GarcíaClaudia Avella-García MD, MPH, PhD ISGlobal - Institut de Salut Global Barcelona Unitat Docent de Medicina Preventiva i Salut Publica H.Mar-UPF-ASPB MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is used by around half of all pregnant women in developed countries and is currently the recommended treatment for fever and pain during gestation. However, evidence linking exposure to this medication with negative changes in neurodevelopment has been coming to light, warranting further study. Therefore, our objective was to evaluate whether prenatal exposure to acetaminophen was adversely associated with child neurodevelopment at 1 and 5 years of age. For this reason, we evaluated 2644 mother-child pairs recruited during pregnancy as part of the INfancia y Medio Ambiente – Childhood and Environment (INMA) project, a Spanish general population-based cohort. We collected information on acetaminophen use prospectively up until week 32 of gestation. We evaluated neurodevelopment at 1 year of age using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. At 5 years of age we applied a battery of tests evaluating different aspects of neurodevelopment including both cognitive and behavioural aspects. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, OBGYNE, Sexual Health, Social Issues, UCSF / 29.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tami Rowen MD MS Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences UCSF MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study sought to answer the question of which women are engaging in genital grooming and understand their motivations. Prior studies have been limited by geography and age thus our goal was to provide a nationally representative sample of women. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Metabolic Syndrome, OBGYNE / 28.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jian-Min Niu Department of Obstetrics Guangdong Women and Children Hospita Guangzhou , China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Physiological alteration leads to the question of whether the criteria for the diagnosis of gestational hypertension are suitable because the current criteria (systolic BP [SBP] ≥140 mm Hg and diastolic BP [DBP] ≥90 mm Hg) are derived from the non-pregnant population. The optimal blood pressure levels in pregnant women remain an open question. Recent studies have demonstrated associations between prehypertension before pregnancy and hypertensive disorders during pregnancy and gestational diabetes mellitus. To our knowledge, the association between prehypertension during pregnancy and postpartum cardiovascular risk has not been addressed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 27.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lu Qi, MD, PhD, FAHA HCA Regents Distinguished Chair and Professor Director, Tulane University Obesity Research Center Department of Epidemiology Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine New Orleans, LA 70112 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prenatal malnutrition and other stresses may cause small newborn babies, who are more likely develop type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases during adulthood. However, whether such relation is causal remains to be determined. Genetic associations provide a new approach to provide evidence for such causality. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, OBGYNE, University Texas, Zika / 26.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Abigail R.A. Aiken, MD, MPH, PhD Assistant Professor LBJ School of Public Affairs University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX, 78713 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As Zika began to emerge as an epidemic in Latin America and its links with microcephaly began to be realized, we were aware that women in the region who were already pregnant or who would become pregnant would have a very limited set of reproductive options. Research and media attention about the possible biological effects of Zika in pregnancy began to appear rapidly. But much less attention was been paid to the impacts of Zika on women. We followed the responses of governments and health organizations and when they began to issue advisories warning women to avoid pregnancy, we knew it would be important to investigate the impacts of those advisories. A country-wide policy that is impossible to follow if you are pregnant or cannot avoid pregnancy is an unusual and important public issue. Accurate data on abortion are very difficult to obtain in Latin America because in most countries, abortion is highly restricted. We wanted to provide a window on the issue of how women were responding to the risks of Zika and its associated advisories, so we worked with Women on Web (WoW), an online non-profit telemedicine initiative that provides safe medical abortion to women in countries where safe, legal abortion is not universally available. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hearing Loss, OBGYNE / 22.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Álex García-Faura Scientific Director of the Institut Marquès Spain MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our clinical research during the last three years has been focused on the effects of music during the early stages of life; in our preliminary studies, applying music to pregnant patients using abdominal speakers, we discovered that there was no fetal reaction to music and that the fetus would only be able to hear it as a distorted whisper because of the effects of the abdominal wall. We thought that it would be necessary to get the music closer to the fetus, and we decided to try to apply the music vaginally. It was a great decision. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 21.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Hanan El Marroun, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Epidemiology The Generation R Study Erasmus, The Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for the study is that little is known about the potential long-term effects of cannabis exposure during pregnancy on child development. The main findings are the prenatal cannabis exposure was associated with differences in cortical thickness in childhood. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: That our findings suggest an association between prenatal cannabis exposure and cortical thickness in children. However, the results must be carefully interpreted, as there may be other factors involved that we did not take into account. Therefore, further research is needed to explore the causal nature of this association. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 17.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luisa N. Borrell, DDS, PhD Professor Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy City University of New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Borrell: Racial/ethnic disparities in birth outcomes in the United States are well documented, with non-Hispanic Black women exhibiting the worst outcomes. Several hypotheses have been proposed as explanation to this finding such as the weathering hypothesis and cumulative or chronic experiences of social inequality and racism. However, these hypotheses have only accounted for the stress burden associated with the mother’s race/ethnicity, as her race/ethnicity has been the sole information used to determine the child’s race/ethnicity, ignoring the possible stress associated with the father’s race/ethnicity. We used NYC birth- and death-linked data from 2000 to 2010 to examine the added effect of paternal race/ethnicity on adverse birth outcomes (low birth weight [LBW], small for gestational age [SGA], preterm births, and infant mortality [IM]) among NYC women. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 17.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mari Videman Senior Consultant in Child Neurology BABA Center Children’s Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Depression and anxiety are common during pregnancy, and up to 5% of all pregnant women are treated with serotonin uptake inhibitors (SRI). It is now known that SRIs do not cause major malformations in humans, however recent animal studies have suggested that fetal early SRI exposure may cause changes in brain microstructure and neuronal signaling. Prior human studies have shown that fetal SRI exposure leads to transient postnatal adaptation syndrome, as well as to an increased risk of developing childhood depression. We used electroencephalography (EEG) and advanced computational methods to assess both the local and global cortical function of the newborn brain. We found that several aspects of newborn brain activity are affected by exposuse to SRI during pregnancy. Most importantly, the communication between brain hemispheres, and the synchronization between cortical rhythms were weaker in the SRI-exposed newborns. These changes were most likely related to SRI exposure, because they did not correlate with the psychiatric symptoms of the mothers. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 17.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelli A. Komro, MPH, PhD, Professor Director of Graduate Studies Behavioral Sciences and Health Education Jointly Appointed, Epidemiology Rollins School of Public Health Emory University Atlanta, GA 30322 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Dr. Komro: Epidemiologists have done a thorough job describing the income-health gradient, which shows a clear association between income and health. That is, as income increases, exposure to health risks and premature mortality decreases. Each step down on the income ladder decreases one’s health for many reasons related to material resources, physical environment exposures and social circumstances. The income to health association begins at birth, and more than one in four women giving birth in the U.S. are below the poverty level, putting nearly 1 million babies at risk each year. Low-income mothers are more likely to give birth prematurely, to have low birth weight babies, and to suffer the death of their infant during the post-neonatal period (28 to 364 days old). Given the importance of the income-health gradient, we set out to test the health effects of policies that are designed to increase economic security among low-income families. Our main question is: Do policies designed to reduce poverty and improve family economic security also improve health? One relevant policy is minimum wage laws. A federal minimum wage was first enacted in 1938. The real value (in 2015 dollars) of the federal minimum wage reached a high of $10.85 in 1968. The current federal rate is $7.25. Many cities and states have passed minimum wage laws that are higher than the federal rate, and currently there is a range of minimum wage increases under active public and policymaker discussion. Given that some states pass minimum wage standards and others do not, and that laws within states change over time, we took advantage of all the changes that have occurred to design a natural experiment. Our natural experiment examined the effects of state minimum wage laws on infant health. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 05.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Paul T Heath MB BS, FRACP, FRCPCH Reader / Honorary Consultant Paediatric Infectious Diseases St George’s, University of London and Vaccine Institute London, United KingdomDr Paul T Heath MB BS, FRACP, FRCPCH Reader / Honorary Consultant Paediatric Infectious Diseases St George’s, University of London and Vaccine Institute London, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Heath: Vaccinating pregnant women is an important and proven strategy for protecting young infants against tetanus, influenza and pertussis. Among the infants at highest risk for complications of these infections are infants born prematurely but it is generally believed that because antibody transfer from mother to baby is maximal in the 3rd trimester, babies born prematurely may miss out on the benefits of maternal vaccination. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, OBGYNE, Schizophrenia, Smoking / 25.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alan S. Brown, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology Columbia University Medical Center Director, Program in Birth Cohort Studies, Division of Epidemiology New York State Psychiatric Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Brown: Smoking during pregnancy is a risk factor for several pregnancy-related outcomes including low birthweight and preterm birth. Evidence for a link with schizophrenia is scant. We analyzed a maternal biomarker of smoking called cotinine, a nicotine metabolite, in mothers of nearly 1,000 schizophrenia cases and 1,000 controls in a national birth cohort in Finland. We found that heavy smoking in pregnancy was related to a 38% increase in schizophrenia risk in offspring and that as cotinine levels increased even in the more moderate smokers risk of schizophrenia also increased. (more…)