Author Interviews, Microbiome, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 15.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anita Kozyrskyj, PhD, Professor Dept Pediatrics Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta Edmonton, AB MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: The first year of an infant’s life is a critical time for the development of his or her gut microbiome. Gut microbes not only help infants digest food, but they also “train” their developing immune system. An infant’s environment, from the type of birth and infant diet to use of antibiotics, has a large impact in determining which microbes are present. Frequently these early life exposures occur together. Using data from AllerGen’s CHILD birth cohort and a new analytical approach —called Significance Analysis of Microarrays—we quantified changes to gut microbiota throughout the first year of life according to common combinations of early life exposures. We found that, compared to vaginally-born and breastfed infants, formula-fed or cesarean-delivered infants had different trajectories of microbial colonization in later infancy, which could have implications for their future health. (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA, OBGYNE / 14.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Krista F. Huybrechts, MS PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02120 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: In recent years, use of stimulant medications in adults, including women of reproductive age, has increased substantially. However, data regarding the safety of stimulant medications in early pregnancy are sparse and conflicting. For example, two recent cohort studies failed to detect an association between use of methylphenidate in early pregnancy and overall or cardiac malformations, while another found an 81% increased risk of cardiac malformations, although the estimate was imprecise. Given the rapidly increasing use of stimulant medications during pregnancy and among women of reproductive age who may become pregnant inadvertently, there is an urgent need to better understand their safety. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, JAMA, Menopause, OBGYNE / 13.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Suzanne Fenske, MD Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: USPSTF recommendations are based off several studies, but is mainly based off of the Women's Health Initiative. The Women's Health Initiative was a 15 year prevention study with a focus on death, disability and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women. This study was originally performed in 1991. The USPSTF reevaluated the data along with several other studies to assess the role of hormone replacement therapy in prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, blood clot, gallbladder disease, dementia. The USPSTF has found that hormone replacement therapy has some benefit in reducing the risk of fractures, and, potentially, diabetes. The USPSTF has found that hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, blood clot, gall bladder disease, urinary incontinence and dementia. With these risks, the USPSTF states that hormone replacement therapy should not be used as a preventative medicine, but, rather, used for treatment of symptomatic menopause and not prevention of osteoporosis or heart disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Fertility, JAMA, OBGYNE, Thyroid Disease / 13.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Tianpei Hong, MD, PhD Of behalf of Prof. Jie Qiao and all the coauthors, Director, Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism Director, Department of Laboratory Medicine Peking University Third Hospital Beijing, China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Ÿ Women who test positive for thyroid autoantibodies have been reported to be at 2- to 3-fold higher risk of spontaneous miscarriage than those who test negative. However, the effect of levothyroxine on miscarriage among women with positive thyroid autoantibodies and normal thyroid function has been documented in limited studies with conflicting results.
  • Ÿ Given the substantial difficulty achieving successful pregnancy among infertile women, identifying optimal treatment for infertile women who test positive for thyroid autoantibodies is particularly important. There are a few randomized clinical trials showing a beneficial effect of levothyroxine treatment on pregnancy outcomes among women undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET). However, the sample size of those trials was rather small which may weaken the quality of the evidence.
  • Ÿ Therefore, the Pregnancy Outcomes Study in euthyroid women with Thyroid Autoimmunity after Levothyroxine (POSTAL) study was conducted in Peking University Third Hospital to evaluate whether levothyroxine treatment initiated before IVF-ET could decrease the miscarriage rate and improve the live birth rate in infertile women who tested positive for antithyroperoxidase antibody but had normal thyroid function.
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Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 10.12.2017

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 UNLV Sharon M. Young, PhD (first author) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?Response: Over the last several decades, human maternal placentophagy (postpartum ingestion of the placenta by the mother) has emerged as a rare but increasingly popular practice among women in industrialized countries seeking its many purported health benefits. Human placentophagy advocates, including many midwives, placenta encapsulation specialists, lactation consultants, and mothers who have experienced positive results previously from the practice, regularly claim improved lactation, energy levels, and postpartum mood, among other benefits, as a result of placentophagy. These advocates regularly speculate that these self-reported effects are likely due to (beneficial) changes to postpartum maternal hormone profiles as a result of the practice. While maternal placentophagy is ubiquitous among land mammals, including our closest primate relatives, recent research has shown that human maternal placentophagy is unknown as a traditional cultural practice. The conspicuous cross-cultural absence of maternal placentophagy among humans (as a long-standing traditional practice) thus remains a mystery. Our study is an important first step in the scientific (evolutionary and clinical) investigation of this rare but increasingly popular maternal practice. Our study was a double-blind, and placebo controlled trial, meaning that there was a placenta group and a placebo group, and the participants and researchers didn't know which supplement a participant had until the end of the study. We included 27 healthy women, recruited during pregnancy, who met with the researchers 4 times across pregnancy and early postpartum. At each meeting, they answered questionnaires on topics of interest (e.g., mood, energy, bonding, social support etc.), and we collected blood and saliva samples. At the first two meetings, they were not yet taking a placenta or placebo supplement, so we could collect baseline measures for their hormones and questionnaire data. After the second meeting, they were instructed to take either placenta or placebo supplements. Once the study had ended, we compared data between the two groups to identify any differences. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, NEJM, OBGYNE / 06.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Birth control pills” by lookcatalog is licensed under CC BY 2.0Lina Mørch PhD, MSc Senior Researcher Rigshospitalet MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: There was a lack of evidence on contemporary hormonal contraception and risk of breast cancer. In particular the knowledge of risk with newer progestins was sparse. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, Heart Disease, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 30.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine - development of the in vitro fertilization procedure” by Solis Invicti is licensed under CC BY 2.0Paolo Cavoretto MD PhD San Raffaele Scientific Centre Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department Milan Italy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?Response: Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the most common forms of congenital disorders and a relevant cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality involving about 0.8% of pregnancies. IVF pregnancies are very common nowadays with increasing rates in the developed countries worldwide. There is no consensus in current practice guidelines whether IVF/ICSI conception represents an indication for performing a fetal echocardiogram according to different eminent scientific societies due to differences in the estimations of the risk for CHD in the available literature. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, OBGYNE / 21.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Cairo Air Pollution with smog - Pyramids1” by Nina Hale is licensed under CC BY 2.0Pauline Mendola, PhD Investigator Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH Bethesda, MD 20892 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We compared ambient air pollution levels at the residences of couples who were trying to get pregnant and estimated the risk of pregnancy loss associated with common pollutants. No prior studies have been done in the United States and most studies are retrospective, looking back in time, and asking couples to report on their reproductive outcomes. Without detailed prospective follow-up, early pregnancy losses that occur before entry into care (i.e., before women are aware that they are pregnant) are often missed. In contrast, we studied 501 couples in the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) study who were enrolled before pregnancy and followed until they became pregnant or tried for 12 months without a pregnancy. Using this prospective data, we found that both ozone and fine particles (PM2.5) were associated with a 12-13% increased risk of early pregnancy loss. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 14.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “1. pregnancy” by TipsTimesAdmin is licensed under CC BY 2.0Ulrika NörbyMScPharm, PhD Department of E-health and strategic IT Stockholm County Council Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The use of ADHD medication has increased rapidly during the last 10 years, especially among young women. Thereby, questions regarding treatment with these drugs during pregnancy are common. Until now, data concerning fetal safety of ADHD medication have been sparse, especially when it comes to neonatal disorders. For amphetamine preparations, most previous studies concerned illicit drug use during pregnancy, which made it difficult to draw conclusions. Our objective was to estimate birth and neonatal outcomes after maternal use of prescribed ADHD medication during pregnancy. The main findings were that infants exposed to ADHD medication in utero had a somewhat increased risk of neonatal morbidity, especially CNS-related disorders. The odds ratio (OR) for a CNS-disorder was 1.9 for exposed infants compared to non-exposed infants. Further, exposed infants more often needed treatment at a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), OR 1.5, and were more frequently moderately preterm, OR 1.3. The risk for CNS-related disorders and admission to a NICU was increased also compared to infants whose mothers used ADHD before or after, but not during, pregnancy. This finding suggests a causal relationship between treatment with ADHD medication and the neonatal outcomes. Because of large differences in maternal background characteristics between treated and non-treated women, it is however uncertain to what extent the higher neonatal morbidity is caused by the ADHD medication. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 10.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Sir Nicholas Wald FRCP FRS Professor of Preventive Medicine Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary University of London London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prenatal screening for Down’s syndrome (trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) and Patau syndrome (trisomy 13) by maternal plasma DNA analysis has an improved screening performance compared with conventional screening but is too expensive to be performed routinely and has a technical failure rate. The aim of the study was to take advantage of the improved screening performance of the DNA analysis in conjunction with the existing methods thereby providing a seamless testing interface between the “old” and the “new” methods that would detect a larger proportion of affected pregnancies with a much lower false-positive rate, at a much reduced cost compared with universal DNA testing and with no failed tests. The novel approach was to conduct a conventional screening test using a screening cut-off level that identifies about 10% of women with the highest risks of having an affected pregnancy (much higher than in conventional screening) and then to perform a DNA test using a portion of the original blood sample collected for the conventional test. Progressing to the DNA test was automatic for these high risk women without their having to be recalled for counseling and a fresh blood sample (ie as a reflex response hence the term “reflex DNA screening”). (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Environmental Risks, JAMA, OBGYNE / 01.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yu-Han Chiu, M.D., M.P.H., Sc.D Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Animal experiments suggest that ingestion of pesticide mixtures at environmentally relevant concentrations decreases the number of live-born pups. However, it is unclear whether intake of pesticide residues has any adverse effects in humans, especially for susceptible populations such as pregnant women and their fetuses. Therefore, in this study we examined the association of preconception intake of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables with pregnancy outcomes among 325 women undergoing assisted reproduction. A pesticide is far cheaper than pest control services, like termite control los angeles, so it makes sense why most farmers choose to use pesticide for their farmhouse and crops. However, this isn't necessarily the best procedure for human health, or consumption! We found that intake of high pesticide residue fruits and vegetables were associated with higher risks of pregnancy loss, while low pesticide residue fruit and vegetable intake was associated with lower risks of early pregnancy loss. These data suggest dietary pesticide exposure within the range of typical human exposure may be associated with adverse reproductive consequences (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, OBGYNE / 30.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hatem A. Azim Jr, MD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, American University of Beirut (AUB) Beirut, LebanonMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study aimed at evaluating the safety of pregnancy after breast cancer particularly in patient with history of ER+ breast cancer; a subset in which safety of future pregnancy is always put into question by oncologists and obstetricians. This study included more than 300 pregnant women and 800 non-pregnant breast cancer patients who acted as a comparator group The results show that after more than 7 years after pregnancy, women who became pregnant did not have an increased risk of recurrence compared to those who did not become pregnant irrespective of ER status. There was no impact of breastfeeding, abortion or time of pregnancy on patient outcome. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 21.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jenna Jerman Senior Research Associate Guttmacher Institute New York, NY 10038 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Abortion is a critical component of public health. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of abortion among population groups and changes in rates between 2008 and 2014, as well as to provide an updated estimate of the lifetime incidence of abortion. To estimate abortion rates, we used data from the Abortion Patient Survey, the American Community Survey, and the National Survey of Family Growth; the estimate of the lifetime incidence of abortion used data from the Abortion Patient Survey. Between 2008 and 2014, the abortion rate declined 25%, from 19.4 to 14.6 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. Abortion rates declined among all groups of women, though declines steeper for some populations than others. The abortion rate for adolescents aged 15 to 19 years declined 46%, the largest of any group. Abortion rates declined for all racial and ethnic groups but were larger for non-white women than for non-Hispanic white women. Although the abortion rate decreased 26% for women with incomes less than 100% of the federal poverty level, this population had the highest abortion rate of all the groups examined: 36.6. If the 2014 age-specific abortion rates prevail, 24% of women in that year will have an abortion by age 45. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Social Issues / 20.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer Buher Kane PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology University of California, Irvine 92697-510MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It’s not uncommon for new parents to relocate in search of neighborhoods with better schools, safer streets and healthier, more kid-friendly activities. But our new study found that living in such neighborhoods before a baby is born protects against the risks of poor birth outcomes. Published online this month in SSM – Population Health, the research shows that having highly educated, wealthy neighbors reduces an expectant mother’s risk of delivering a low-weight or preterm baby – health markers that can be associated with neurodevelopmental problems, language disorders, learning disabilities and poor health later in life. Our study is the first to look at how both the level of affluence and disadvantage — two sociologically distinct attributes of neighborhoods — affect newborn health; past studies have only explored the impact of neighborhood disadvantage. Neighborhood disadvantage signals factors such as poverty, unemployment, or underemployment. On the other hand, neighborhood affluence is thought to signal the presence of locally-based community organizations that can meet the needs of all residents – health-related and otherwise – regardless of one’s own socioeconomic resources. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease, JAMA, OBGYNE / 17.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD Senior Investigator Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research NICHD/National Institutes of Health. Bethesda, MD 20817 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a common pregnancy complication. The American Heart Association identifies gestational diabetes as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women, based on consistent evidence for the relationships between gestational diabetes and subsequent hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, vascular dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Also, previous studies identify GDM as a risk factor for intermediate markers of CVD risk; however, few are prospective, evaluate hard cardiovascular disease end points, or account for shared risk factors including body weight and lifestyle. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, OBGYNE / 06.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Marc Bearak, PhD Senior Research Scientist Guttmacher Institute New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although U.S. women who live farther from abortion clinics are less likely to obtain one, no national study has examined inequality in women’s access to abortion and whether inequality in abortion access has increased as the number of abortion clinics have declined. We found that half of women live within 11 miles of an abortion provider. However, 1 in 5 women would need to travel at least 43 miles. We found substantially greater variation within than across states, because even in relatively rural states, women and clinics were concentrated in urban areas. These disparities have persisted since at least 2000. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, OBGYNE / 03.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew L. Beam, PhD Instructor in Biomedical Informatics Department of Biomedical Informatics Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study is one piece of a larger story regarding the use of 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) to treat recurrent preterm birth. This drug was originally only available in a compounded form, but since receiving an orphan drug designation in 2011, a branded and manufactured form was marketed under the name "Makena". This branded form was then sold for a much higher price than the compounded version, but a study that provided concrete data on pricing and outcomes had not been done. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 03.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tami H Skoff Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GeorgiaTami H Skoff Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Infants are at greatest risk for severe pertussis (whooping cough) morbidity and mortality, especially during the first months of life before infant immunizations begin. CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) currently recommend that women receive a dose of Tdap during the third trimester of each pregnancy. This recommendation has been in place since 2012. By getting Tdap, pregnant women pass critical short-term protection to their unborn babies. This helps protect babies until they are old enough to start getting their own whooping cough vaccines at 2 months of age. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effectiveness of maternal Tdap during pregnancy at preventing whooping cough in infants <2 months of age. In our evaluation, Tdap administration during the third trimester of pregnancy prevented more than 3 in 4 (78%) infant cases. Additionally, Tdap vaccination during pregnancy was even more effective (90%) at preventing whooping cough serious enough that the baby had to get treatment in a hospital. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, JCEM, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 28.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Duo Li, PhD Chief professor of Nutrition Institute of Nutrition and Health Qingdao University, China.MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Childhood obesity is becoming an emerging public health issue worldwide, owing to its association with a variety of health problems at younger ages in adulthood, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Identification of prenatal and early life risk factors is key for curbing the epidemic of the childhood obesity. Main finding of the present study is that among pregnant women, elevated blood pressure is associated with a greater risk of overweight and obesity for their children. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA, OBGYNE, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 20.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Carri R. Warshak, MD Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology University of Cincinnati MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cesarean deliveries are the most common major surgical procedure performed in the United States. A common complication of cesarean section is wound infections that can include infections in the skin and incision site, or infections in the uterus itself after delivery. These complications can lead to prolonged hospitalization after delivery for antibiotics and even further surgery in severe infections. Often these wound complications lead to delayed healing, wound opening which can sometimes take several weeks to heal. Studies have demonstrated as many as 12% of women experience a surgical site infection after delivery. Obesity is a strong risk factor for increased surgical site infections. Increasing maternal weight increases the risk of wound complications, with a two to five fold increase in risk, making surgical site infections and common and concerning complication of cesarean delivery in obese women. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Smoking / 19.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Filippos Filippidis MD MPH PhD Lecturer in Public Health School of Public Health Imperial College London London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Smoking kills millions of people every year. It is well established that increasing tobacco prices is the most effective way to reduce tobacco consumption and hence mitigate the devastating effects of tobacco on health. Taxation on tobacco products is high in the European Union, which makes cigarettes less affordable. However, transnational tobacco companies are known to manipulate prices, ensuring that cheap or ‘budget’ cigarettes are still available. This is particularly important for younger smokers and those of low socioeconomic status who are more sensitive in price increases. Smoking during pregnancy, as well as exposure of pregnant women and babies to cigarette smoke increase infant mortality. There is also evidence that increasing tobacco prices is associated with lower infant mortality. However, researchers typically use average or premium cigarette prices. We analysed 54 million births from 23 European Union countries to see if the differential between average priced and budget cigarettes (i.e. the availability of cigarettes much cheaper than average priced ones) is associated with infant mortality. We found that increasing average cigarette prices by 1 Euro per pack was associated with 0.23 fewer deaths per 1,000 live births in the same year and an additional 0.16 fewer deaths per 1,000 live births in the following year. A 10% increase in the price differential between budget and average priced cigarettes was associated with 0.07 more deaths per 1,000 live births the following year. This means that 3,195 infant deaths could potentially have been avoided in these 23 countries if there was no price difference between cigarette products over the 10-year study period. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, OBGYNE / 13.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leslie V. Farland, ScD Assistant Director of Epidemiologic Research Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery Brigham and Women's Hospital | Harvard Medical School Instructor | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Endometriosis is chronic gynecologic condition that affects approximately ten percent of women. Women with endometriosis can experience painful menstrual periods, general chronic pelvic pain, and pain associated with intercourse. Currently we know very few modifiable risk factors for endometriosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Environmental Risks, OBGYNE, Toxin Research, UC Davis / 12.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca J. Schmidt, M.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Public Health Sciences UC Davis California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Maternal folic acid taken near conception has been linked to reduced risk for autism in the child in previous studies. Separate studies show that exposure to pesticides during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for autism. Animal studies demonstrate that folic acid and other B-vitamins can attenuate effects of certain environmental contaminants, including pesticides. This case-control study examined combined maternal folic acid and pesticide exposures in relation to autism in the child. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE, Pharmacology / 10.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Xiaoqin Liu, PhD Department of Economics and Business Economics Aarhus UniversityMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous research on the long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use during pregnancy has primarily focused on offspring risk of autism spectrum disorder. Given SSRIs cross the placental barrier and affect the fetal brain, in-utero SSRI exposure may increase risks of other psychiatric disorders as well as autism spectrum disorder. We conducted a population-based study to look at a range of diagnostic groups of psychiatric disorders in children whose mothers used antidepressants during pregnancy. This was possible because of the nature of information available in Danish population registers, allowing us to follow children for many years. We found increased risks of various diagnostic groups of psychiatric disorders in children whose mothers continued antidepressant treatment during pregnancy, in comparison to children whose mothers stopped antidepressant treatment before pregnancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nature, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 05.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashley Larsen, PhD Assistant professor Bren School of Environmental Science & Management University of California, Santa Barbara MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The relationship between pesticides and adverse birth outcomes has been recognized as an important question for quite some time, and there have been many good studies on the topic. Since randomly exposing people to different levels of pesticides is clearly unethical, researchers focused on the health consequences of non-occupational pesticide exposure often have to choose between detailed studies that follow a couple hundred or couple thousand individuals through pregnancy or larger scale studies that use easier to observe, but less accurate metrics of pesticide exposure (e.g. nearby crops or crop types). Here we tried to provide complementary insight by bridging the gap between detail and scale using detailed pesticide use data and individual birth certificate records for hundreds of thousands of births in an agriculturally dominated region of California. While we found negative effects of pesticide use on birth outcomes including low birth weight, preterm birth and birth abnormalities, these effects were generally in the magnitude of a 5-9% increase in probability of an adverse outcome, and only observed for individuals exposed to very high levels of pesticides. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMC, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 05.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jan Alexander, MD,PhD Norwegian Institute of Public Health Oslo NorwayMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study was the widespread uncertainty and general concern among the public about increasing exposure to weak radio frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF-RF). The concern on whether using your cell phone while pregnant can harm your foetus are mainly due to the extensive use of cell phones, that emit EMF-RF. Even though the RF-EMF exposure that may reach the foetus is very low, evidence from previous epidemiological studies with mothers and children are inconsistent as to whether EMF-RF emission from cell phone might harm the developing brain of the foetus. This includes also animal experiments where the exposure may be very different from that in humans. We therefore studied the association between maternal cell phone use during pregnancy and child’s neurodevelopment at 3 and 5 years. We included around 45,000 mother and their children from all over Norway from the Norwegian Mother and Child Study (MoBa study) and used language development as the outcome because we in previous studies found this parameter to be sensitive to exposure to neurotoxicants. T here was no evidence of a harmful effect of the mother using her cell phone during pregnancy on her child’s neurodevelopment at 3 and 5 years. Surprisingly, we even found that the more the mother was using her cell phone during pregnancy the better language and motor skills her child had at 3 years of age. We observed no associations when the child was 5 years old. (more…)
OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 30.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Leanne M. Redman MS, PhD LPFA Endowed Fellowship Associate Professor Pennington Biomedical Research Center Baton Rouge, LouisianaMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Two well-documented risk factors for aberrant weight gain and obesity is whether your mother was obese when she was pregnant and the amount of weight she gained. Up until now few studies have asked questions about whether the pattern of weight gain in pregnancy affect outcomes in offspring, such as birth weight. In a cohort of over 16,000 pregnant women and infants, we found that regardless of the obesity status (BMI) of the mother at the time of pregnancy, weight gain that occurs up until week 24, had the strongest effect on infant birth weight. Infants born to mothers who had weight gain in excess of the 2009 IOM guidelines from conception until week 24, had a 2.5 times higher likelihood of being born large for gestational age. The weight gain that occurred after 24 weeks until delivery, did not attenuate this risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, PLoS, Weight Research / 23.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:Prof. Deborah A Lawlor MSc(Lond), MBChB, PhD(Bristol), MPH(Leeds), MRCGP, MFPHM Professor of Epidemiology MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School Oakfield House, Oakfield Grove, Bristol MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As the obesity epidemic has occurred there has been increasing concern about pregnant women being more adipose (having higher levels of fat) during their pregnancy. One particular concern is that women who are on average fatter will have more extreme changes in pregnancy on their lipid, fatty acid, amino acid and glucose levels. In normal ‘healthy’ pregnancy these metabolites increase during pregnancy as part of the physiological response to pregnancy which ensures that the developing fetus has sufficient fuel (nutrients – fats, proteins, sugars) for healthy growth and development. Women who are more adipose tend to have a more extreme change in these fuels and as a consequence the developing fetus is ‘overfed’. There is a linear relationship between a pregnant woman’s body mass index and her infants birth weight, such that each increment greater adiposity (body mass index) of the mother there is on average and increment greater infant birth weight. Recently, using a method that uses genetic variants (Mendelian randomization) we have shown that this association is likely to be causal (JAMA 2016). But whether there is a lasting effect on offspring health of being overfed in the uterus is unknown. There are concerns that there will be a lasting effect and that for daughters of more adipose women, this would mean that they go into their pregnancies on average fatter and with higher levels of the metabolites that could then overfeed their developing fetus. If this were the case it would mean the obesity epidemic could be accelerated across generations. There are associations of mothers body mass index with later offspring body mass index, BUT this might not be anything to do with developmental overfeeding of the feeding in the uterus – it could simply reflect shared lifestyles that offspring adopt from their mother (and father) or shared genetic effects. In this study we tried to separate out whether there was evidence for a long-term offspring effect on their lipids, fatty acids, amino acids, glucose, and an inflammatory marker, of having a mother who was on average fatter during her pregnancy that was due to overfeeding in the uterus, as opposed to shared family lifestyle and genetics. We did this by comparing associations of mothers pre-pregnancy BMI with offspring outcomes to the same associations of fathers pre-pregnancy BMI with the same outcomes. Our assumption here was that fathers BMI could not directly result in overfeeding of the fetus and so if the associations were similar this would suggest that they were largely driven by family factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, OBGYNE, PLoS / 11.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jane McElroy, Ph.D. Associate professor Department of Family and Community Medicine MU School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: More than 31,000 new cases of endometrial cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2017. Through a five-year observational study, we found that women with increased levels of cadmium had an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Cadmium is a metal commonly found in foods such as kidneys, liver and shellfish as well as tobacco It’s a finding we hope could lead to new treatments or interventions to prevent the fourth most common cancer in women. (more…)