Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 12.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison Bovell-Ammon, M.Div. Deputy Director of Policy Strategy Children's HealthWatchAllison Bovell-Ammon, M.Div. Deputy Director of Policy Strategy Children's HealthWatch MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Children’s HealthWatch was founded in 1998 by pediatric providers treating children with failure to thrive in six US cities across the country. They began their research on the health impacts of economic hardships like food insecurity in response to the 1996 welfare reform legislation after witnessing deteriorating health among young children in their clinics as a result of welfare sanctions on families. Over the years, the scope of the research has expanded to include research on food insecurity, housing instability, energy insecurity, health care hardships, and child care constraints. Through our current network of pediatricians and public health researchers in five US cities (Boston, Baltimore, Little Rock, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia), we seek to improve the health and well-being of children under age 4 and their families by informing policies that address and alleviate economic hardships. Our ongoing data collection in emergency departments and primary care clinics enables us to rapidly respond to emerging public health issues as policies and economic conditions change. While we have produced other papers and analyses specifically addressing health and economic disparities relevant to immigrant families, we were specifically interested in exploring this topic because the clinicians in our group as well as national media began anecdotally reporting that immigrants were forgoing accessing critical public health programs like SNAP out of fear. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders, Surgical Research / 09.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tom Marshall, MSc, PhD, MRCGP, FFPH Professor of public health and primary care Institute of Applied Health Research University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Tonsillectomy is one of the most common childhood surgical procedures. There are two main indications: recurrent sore throat and sleep-related breathing problems (including obstructive sleep apnoea). Jack Paradise’s 1984 study made clear tonsillectomy is modestly effective in children with frequent, severe sore throats: seven in one year, or five yearly in two successive years, or three yearly in three successive years. Sore throats must have symptoms: fever, pus seen on tonsils, lymphadenopathy or confirmed Streptococcal infection. With surgery, children average two sore throats in the next year, without surgery, three. Two years later there is no difference. Further research shows the benefits are too tiny to justify surgery in children with less frequent, less severe or undocumented sore throats. Subsequent randomised controlled trials have not changed the evidence. There isn’t enough good evidence to support surgery in children with obstructive sleep apnoea or sleep related breathing problems. Tonsillectomy is not a trivial procedure, about 2% are readmitted with haemorrhage and about 1 in 40,000 dies. Childhood tonsillectomy is linked to risk of adult autoimmune diseases. It is important to be sure tonsillectomy is only undertaken in children where there are evidence-based indications. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease / 08.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea Hahn, M.D., MS Infectious disease specialist and lead study author Children's National Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: People who have the genetic disease cystic fibrosis have increased sticky secretions in their lungs that put them at risk for repeated bacterial infections. They often will receive courses of intravenous antibiotics to treat more severe or difficult-to-treat infections associated with decreased lung function. However, not all patients fully recover their lung function after antibiotic treatment, despite directing antibiotic therapy toward the specific bacteria thought to be causing the infection. The goal of this study was to determine if the pharmacokinetics of commonly used antibiotics was associated with recovery of lung function. First, we found that patients with therapeutic blood levels of beta-lactam antibiotics had better lung recovery than patients with sub-therapeutic levels of these antibiotics. Second, we found that using higher antibiotic dosing according to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation guidelines was not sufficient to predict which patients would have therapeutically meaningful blood levels of antibiotics. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 08.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Anesthesia" by Liran Szeiman is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0James D. O’Leary, MD Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Child Health Evaluative Sciences The Hospital for Sick Children Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is substantial evidence from laboratory studies that the developing brain is susceptible to injury from general anesthetic drugs, which culminated in the US Food Drug Administration issuing a safety communication in 2017 stating that the use of general anaesthetic drugs “for lengthy periods of time or over multiple surgeries or procedures may negatively affect brain development in children younger than 3 years”. Considering the substantial number of children who require general anesthesia every year (almost 3 million in the US annually) even small differences in child development outcomes after surgical procedures that require general anesthesia may have significant public health implications. Undertaking studies of anesthesia-related neurotoxicity in humans is difficult as adverse child development is a function of the complex interaction between many risk and protective factors. By examining differences between biological siblings in Ontario, Canada, this study seeks to mitigate differences in risk from biological vulnerability and environmental factors, to provide a more accurate estimate of the adverse effects of anesthesia and surgery on child development. In the current study, young children who had surgical procedures that require general anesthesia were not found to be at increased risk of adverse child development outcomes compared to their biological siblings who did not have surgery. These findings further support that exposure to anesthesia and surgery in early childhood is not associated with detectable adverse child development outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Global Health, Pediatrics / 07.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala Professor of Biostatistics Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering Northumbria University, UKProfessor Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala Professor of Biostatistics Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering Northumbria University, UK  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The background “UNICEF (2014) estimates that worldwide more than two hundred million women have undergone some form of FGM/C, and approximately 3.3 million girls are cut each year. Recent estimates show that if FGM/C practices continue at current, 68 million girls will be cut between 2015 and 2030 in 25 countries where FGM is routinely practiced and more recent data are available (UNJP, 2018).” Main findings: The prevalence of FGM/C among children varied greatly between countries and regions and also within countries over the survey periods. We found evidence of significant decline in the prevalence of FGM/C in the last three decades among children aged 0–14 years in most of the countries and regions, particularly in East, North and West Africa. We show that the picture looks different in Western Asia, where the practice remains and affects the same age group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Opiods, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 07.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Troy Quast, PhD Associate Professor in the University South Florida College of Public Healt MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: One of the cited repercussions of the opioid epidemic is its effect on families. However, there is considerable variation in opioid misuse across the county. This is the first nation-wide study to investigate the relationship between opioid prescription rates and child removals at the state level. I found that there are significant differences across states in the relationship between opioid prescription and child removal rates associated with parental substance abuse. In twenty-three states, increases in opioid prescription rates were associated with increases in the child removal rate. For instance, in California a 10% increase in the county average prescription rate was associated with a 28% increase in the child removal rate. By contrast, in fifteen states the association was flipped, where increases in the opioid prescription rate were associated with decreases in the child removal rate. There was no statistically significant relationship in the remaining states.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 06.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Stukus, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics Associate Director, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Fellowship Program Director of Quality Improvement, Division of Allergy and Immunology Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine Columbus Ohio 43205 Dr. David Stukus discusses the emerging science behind food allergy prevention. MedicalResearch.com: How many US children are affected by food allergies?  Response: Food allergies affect roughly 5-8% of all U.S. children, which is approximately 6 million children. This translates to about 1 in every 13 children, or an average of two children in every classroom.  MedicalResearch.com: Are food allergies becoming more common? Response: Yes, we know that the prevalence of food allergies have doubled over the past two decades. Unfortunately, there is no single or definitive answer as to why this increase has occurred. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Gender Differences, JAMA, Pediatrics / 05.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrée-Anne Ledoux, PhD Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute Ottawa, Ontario, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The natural recovery processes from a pediatric concussion remains poorly characterized throughout childhood. Children’s brains go through many phases of growth during development and sex differences exist. Therefore a 6-year-old child may not have the same recovery trajectory as an adolescent because of biopsychosocial differences. Thus, this study explored symptom improvement after concussion while considering these two key demographic factors. Understanding symptom improvement at different stages of development is important in order to provide the best possible care. The study examined data from 2,716 children and adolescents who had presented at nine emergency departments across Canada and were diagnosed with concussion. We examined the natural progression of self-reported symptom recovery following pediatric concussion over the initial three months after injury. Participants in the study were aged 5 to 18 years old with acute concussion, enrolled from August 1, 2013, to May 31, 2015. We examined different age cohorts – 5 to 7 years of age, 8 to 12 years of age, and 13 to 18 years of age, and investigated how sex is associated with recovery. Our study represents the largest study to evaluate symptom improvement trajectories in concussed pediatric population. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 01.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "babies (365-222)" by Robert Couse-Baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Christopher M Stark Department of Pediatrics William Beaumont Army Medical Center El Paso, Texas Department of Pediatrics Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Rates of pediatric obesity have increased over the past decade, which has led researchers to search for modifiable risk factors that may explain this increase. Recent studies have identified an association between native gut bacteria alterations and the development of obesity. Several population-based studies have evaluated whether or not there is an association between antibiotic exposure and the development of obesity, with mixed results. No studies have previously evaluated if acid suppressing medications are associated with developing obesity. We found that young children prescribed antibiotics, acid suppressants, and combinations of these medications in the first two years of life are more likely to develop obesity after two years of age. Our study represents the largest study to evaluate pediatric antibiotic prescriptions and obesity risk, with nearly ten times as many patients as the next largest study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 28.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Snape, Ph.D. Chief executive officer Chief scientific officer AMO Pharma  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: This is a further analysis of the Phase II Proof of Concept study that was described in March.  We have extended the findings from that study by performing further analyses of the data obtained and also commencing an analysis of the relationship between the levels of AMO-02 involved and the clinical response seen. The main finding is a confirmation that our previously reported conclusions are supported.  The concordant trend analysis revealed a clear dose-response relationship that favored the 1000 mg over 400 mg dose for four of the 10 response variables differed in favor of 1000 mg over 400 mg dose on key clinician and caregiver measures, autism scores and grip strength.  (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 27.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anna Beavis, MD, MPH Assistant Professor The Kelly Gynecologic Oncology Service Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics Johns Hopkins Medicine Baltimore, MD 21287-128 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We wanted to look at reasons parents don’t vaccinate their children against HPV, including how those reasons have changed over time from 2010-2016 and how those reasons are different between boys and girls in the most recent data from 2016. We used a nationwide dataset which is publically available from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) – the National Immunization Survey-Teen, or NIS-Teen - which surveys parents of teens ages 13-17 years old every year to determine rates of all recommended vaccinations. In parents who report that they don’t intend to vaccinate their child against HPV , the survey asks parents why. We found that from 2010 to 2016, the percentage of parents reporting concerns about their child not being sexually active yet went down significantly for both boys and girls. Also, in boys specifically, parents reported male gender as a less common reason for not vaccinating. For both boys and girls, we found that concerns about safety and side effects, necessity, and lack of knowledge about the vaccine were common reasons for not planning to vaccinate.  Also, 10% of parents of girls vs. 20% of parents of boys reporting never having a provider recommendation for the vaccine as their primary reason for not vaccinating. These results may reflect the growing public understanding of the HPV vaccine as a vaccine which is best given before exposure, so before initiation of sexual activity between the ages of 11 and 12, and that it is recommended for both boys and girls. Also, over 80% of people will have an HPV infection in their lifetime, so everyone should get vaccinated regardless of anticipated sexual activity. Additionally, providers should focus their counseling and recommendation on improving knowledge about the HPV vaccine, including its decade-long track record of safety and necessity.    (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Exercise - Fitness, Pediatrics / 26.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital Assistant professor of Pediatrics The Ohio State UniversitySean C. Rose, MD Pediatric sports neurologist and co-director Complex Concussion Clinic Nationwide Children’s Hospital Assistant professor of Pediatrics The Ohio State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The link between sub-concussive head impacts and declines in neurocognitive function has been reported by some studies, yet refuted by others.  There is very little evidence that has been collected in children as they are sustaining these head impacts. We initiated a multi-year study of youth football players to provide a more in-depth look at the question.  We measured head impacts using helmet sensors during the 2016 football season.  112 players age 9-18 completed a battery of neurocognitive tests before and after the football season. We found that neither the total burden of head impacts nor the intensity of individual impacts were associated with changes in testing performance from pre to post-season. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Opiods, Pediatrics / 26.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua Barocas, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Section of Infectious Diseases Boston Medical Center / Boston University School of Medicine Joshua Barocas, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Section of Infectious Diseases Boston Medical Center / Boston University School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Massachusetts has been particularly hard hit by the opioid epidemic despite lower opioid prescribing rates, near universal health insurance, and availability of opioid treatment. That said, it is difficult to estimate the population with or at-risk for opioid use disorder. It is generally a highly stigmatized disease and typical methods to estimate of opioid use disorder relay on contact with the healthcare system and/or patient reporting. We used a unique and powerful methodology coupled with a first-in-the-nation linked database in Massachusetts to obtain both an accurate count of people with opioid use disorder who are known to the healthcare system and estimate the number who are out there but not yet known to the system. We found that more than 275,000 people – or 4.6 percent of people over the age of 11 in Massachusetts– have opioid use disorder, a figure nearly four times higher than previous estimates based on national data. In 2011 and 2012, the prevalence of opioid use disorder in Massachusetts for those over the age of 11 was 2.72 percent and 2.87 percent, respectively. That increased to 3.87 percent in 2013, and even more, to 4.6 percent in 2015. Those between the ages of 11 and 25 experienced the greatest increase in prevalence of all age groups. The number of “known” persons increased throughout the study period – from 63,989 in 2011 to 75,431 in 2012, and 93,878 in 2013 to 119,160 in 2015.  (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 25.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gary A. Smith, MD, DrPH Director, Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When residential fires happen at night while people are sleeping, deaths are more likely to occur. Smoke alarms are important for preventing these deaths, yet many young children don’t wake up to traditional high-pitch tone alarms. Children sleep longer and deeper than adults and require louder sounds to awaken than adults. For these reasons, children are less likely to awaken and escape a nighttime home fire. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Stanford, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 22.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Janey Pratt, MD Clinical Associate Professor, Surgery Stanford UniversityDr. Janey Pratt, MD Clinical Associate Professor, Surgery Stanford University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2013 obesity became recognized as a disease.  The rate of pediatric obesity continues to rise.  Severe pediatric obesity is rising at a even faster rate than obesity in pediatrics.  Despite this Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (MBS) remains underutilized in the treatment of severe pediatric obesity.  There is a significant amount of adult data and now pediatric data about effective treatments for severe obesity.  These support the use of MBS as a primary treatment for severe obesity in children. (BMI > 120% of 95th percentile with a comorbidity or BMI > 140% of 95th percentile). (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 19.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Tortillas di una miscela di mais azzurro tostato" by fugzu is licensed under CC BY 2.0Vijaya Kancherla, PhD Research Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Epidemiologist, Center for Spina Bifida Prevention Rollins School of Public Health Emory University Atlanta GA 30322 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: The scientific evidence since 1991 has shown that folic acid prevents from 35%-95% of neural tube birth defects that are caused due to low folic acid (also known as vitamin B9) in the mother’s diet prior to conception and during early pregnancy. Neural tube defects form in the embryo at 4th week of gestation when most women are unaware they are pregnant. Taking any amount of folic acid after the 4th week of pregnancy will not prevent neural tube defects. There is no cure for these birth defects. So, it matters for women to have enough folic acid prior to conception and in the first four weeks of pregnancy. If a woman is not taking prenatal vitamins that early, folic acid fortified foods come to rescue. Foods fortified with folic acid will prevent folate deficiency for everyone, and offer the benefit to mothers who were not planning their pregnancies or were not taking folic acid pills. If corn masa flour and tortillas were fortified with folic acid, that would help millions of reproductive aged women have healthy stores of folic acid in their bodies, to prepare them for their pregnancy, irrespective of their pregnancy plans. Prior to April 2016, folic acid (also known as vitamin B9) was not allowed to be added to corn masa flour (or products made from masa such as tortillas and tortilla chips) in the US. So, there was no expectation of having folic acid in these products. The March of Dimes, Spina Bifida Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatricians, Gruma Corporation and others filed a petition with the US FDA and succeeded in allowing millers to voluntarily add folic acid to corn masa flour and tortillas as a food additive. This regulation was implemented by the US FDA in April 2016.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies, Vanderbilt / 18.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Vacuna influenza / Flu vaccine" by El Alvi is licensed under CC BY 2.0Kathryn M. Edwards, M.D. Sarah H. Sell and Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Pediatrics Professor of Pediatrics Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Dr. Edwards discusses the statement from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new data on child vaccine rates across the United States. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: To monitor the uptake of vaccines the CDC conducts a National Immunization Survey each year.  This survey is conducted by random-digit dialing (cell phones or landlines) of parents and guardians of children 19-35 months of age.  The interviewers ask the families who provides the vaccines for their children and if these providers can be contacted to inquire about the immunizations received.  The overall response rate to the telephone survey was 26% and immunization records were provided on 54% of the children where permission was granted.  Overall 15, 333 children had their immunization records reviewed. When comparing immunization rates for 2017 and 2016, the last two years of the study, several new findings were discovered. First the overall coverage rate for 3 doses of polio vaccine, one dose of MMR, 3 doses of Hepatitis b, and 1 dose of chickenpox vaccine was 90%, a high rate of coverage.  Children were less likely to be up to date on the hepatitis A vaccine (70%) and rotavirus vaccine (73%). Coverage was lower for children living in rural areas when compared with urban areas and children living in rural areas had higher percentages of no vaccine receipt at all (1.9%) compared with those living in urban areas (1%). There were more uninsured children in 2017 at 2.8% and these children had lower immunization rates.  In fact 7.1% of the children with no insurance were totally unimmunized when compared with 0.8% unimmunized in those with private insurance. Vaccine coverage varies by state and by vaccine. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, University Texas / 18.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Linda Ewing-Cobbs PhD Professor in the Department of Pediatrics McGovern Medical School University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Harriet and Joe Foster Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Children may have long-lasting psychological and physical symptoms after an injury. Post-concussive symptoms (PCS) are nonspecific cognitive, physical, and mood symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, headache, and irritability. These symptoms occur in approximately 15 to 30% children after mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although PCS often resolve within one month, some children experience symptoms for longer periods of time. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Genetic Research, Pain Research, Pediatrics / 17.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "DNA model" by Caroline Davis2010 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Hakon Hakonarson, MD, PhD Corresponding Author Xiao Chang, PhD Lead Author The Center for Applied Genomics Children’s Hospital Philadelphia PhiladelphiaPennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Migraine is a genetic disorder characterized by recurrent and intense headaches often accompanied by visual disturbances. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) are a powerful hypothesis-free tool for investigating the genetic architecture of human disease. Currently, multiple GWASs have been conducted on European adults with migraine that have successfully identified several migraine susceptibility genes involved in neuronal and vascular functions. Considering the prevalence of migraines varies across ethnicities, the genetic risk factors may be different in patients of African ancestries and European ancestries. In addition, if migraine presents at an early age (childhood), it may reflect elevated biological predisposition from genetic factors or increased susceptibility to environmental risk factors. We performed the first GWAS to investigate the susceptibility genes associated with migraine in African-American children. The main out come was that common variants at the 5q33.1 locus in the human genome are associated with migraine risk in African-American children. The genetic underpinnings at this locus responsible for this finding are less relevant in patients of European ancestry.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Pediatrics, Smoking / 04.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Electronic Cigarette/E-Cigs/E-Cigarettes" by Chris F is licensed under CC BY 2.0Brian King, PhD Lead author and Deputy Director for Research Translation Office on Smoking and Health. CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since first entering the U.S. marketplace in 2007, e-cigarettes have been a rapidly evolving product class. Typically, national surveys provide annual, self-reported estimates of e-cigarette use among adults and youth. However, given the dynamic nature of the e-cigarettes landscape, data collected at a sub-annual level can be useful for identifying rapid changes and patterns. For example, retail sales data, which is available at more frequent intervals, such as weekly, can complement annual surveys and help keep a pulse on emerging trends. This study assessed e-cigarette retail sales data in the United States from 2013 through 2017. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Sexual Health / 02.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura M. Padilla-Walker, PhD Professor, School of Family Life Associate Dean, College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences Brigham Young University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The current study included approximately 500 teens that we followed for 8 years starting at approximately age 14. In this particular study, we explored how parent-child sex communication regarding sexual safety changed from ages 14-18, and then how this change was associated with children’s sexual outcomes at age 21. Though we would hope and expect that parents would discuss sexual safety with their children at increasing levels as children age, findings from this study suggested low and unchanging levels of parent-child sex communication over time. In other words, parents are talking very little to their children about sexual safety, and how much they talk to children isn’t changing from age 14 to 18. In addition, mothers reported significantly higher levels of sex communication than did children and fathers, suggesting that mothers think they talk about sexuality more than children think they do. Though this is an issue of perception, what the child perceives is generally a more important predictor of positive outcomes. Mothers also reported talking with their sons less than their daughters, though sex communication with sons increased over time and by age 18 mothers reported the same (relatively low) levels of sex communication with both daughters and sons. That being said, initial levels and positive change in parent-child sex communication was associated with safer sex at age 21, suggesting that parents SHOULD talk with their children more and at increasing levels over time, because these factors are associated with positive child outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Pediatrics / 01.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew D. Weaver, PhD Instructor in Medicine · Harvard Medical School Associate Epidemiologist · Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02215 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We were interested whether high school students who tended to sleep less than 8 hours per night reported more risk-taking behaviors compared to high school students who slept at least 8 hours per night on a school night. We utilized a nationally representative dataset from the CDC of surveys that were completed by high school students between 2007 and 2015. Over that time, approximately 67,000 students were surveyed. Students were asked about the hours of sleep that they obtained on an average school night. They were also asked how often, in the month prior to the survey, they engaged in a number of risk-taking behaviors. Some behaviors were related to driving, like driving without a seatbelt or driving drunk, while others were related to using alcohol, doing drugs, or being involved in a fight. They were also asked about their mood, including whether they felt sad or hopeless, considered suicide, and whether they had attempted suicide.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Pediatrics / 28.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Barry M. Lester, PhD Center for the Study of Children at Risk Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island Providence, Rhode Island;  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know from rodent studies that maternal care or nurturing behavior can change the rat pups physiologic response to stress. More nurturing behavior makes it easier for rat pups to relax after stress. Not only that, these changes are permanent, they last into adulthood and there is evidence that these changes can be passed on to the next generation. With animal studies you can unlock the mechanism for this in ways that you can’t do with humans and we know from the rodent studies that the mechanism for these changes has to do with changes in gene activity. Nurturing behavior controls a specific gene that regulates the infant’s physiological response to stress. In other words, we are looking at maternal behavioral programming of a gene that can make, in our case, a human infant less physiologically reactive to stress. The physiological reactivity to stress that we studied was the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is part of the body’s flight or fight reaction, the body’s major response to stress and too much or too little cortisol can be harmful and is related to a wide range of mental and physical health disorders in children and adults. The concerns about separating immigrant children from their parents that we read about every day in the paper are based on this same physiological system, where brain structures that control cortisol production are damaged by the stress of separation.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Education, Exercise - Fitness, Pediatrics / 26.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Marcus Smith PhD Reader in Sport and Exercise Physiology University of Chichester Co-founder, Clem Burke Drumming ProjectDr. Marcus Smith PhD Reader in Sport and Exercise Physiology University of Chichester Co-founder, Clem Burke Drumming Project MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The research group first started to examine rock drumming from a scientific perspective in 1999 through collaboration with Clem Burke, drummer with the iconic band ‘Blondie’. In 2008 the Clem Burke Drumming Project (CBDP) was formed (visit clemburkedrummingproject.org for further information) where academics from different disciplines came together to not only explore the physiological demands of rock drumming but also the potential use of rock drumming as an intervention in research studies. Rock drumming is attractive to the scientist in that it is a unique activity that requires the coordination of multiple limbs to produce the required drumming pattern. Inherent demands relating to timing, tempo and volume must also be met. Therefore, the ability to manipulate these facets of drumming performance in a research setting is very appealing. In relation to potential research populations drumming has a universal fascination regardless of age, gender, culture, language competency and ethnicity. Anecdotal evidence suggests that drumming is a ‘cool’ activity that has a unique ‘language currency’ in terms of stimulating communication within and between those who can and cannot play the drums. The impetus for our research study came from parents of autistic children contacting us to express their belief that drumming was having a positive effect on their child’s physical and psychological behaviour. A review of the literature showed a range of anecdotal evidence in support of such statements (Freidman 2000) and an increase in empirical drumming based research being undertaken (Bungay 2010). More recent studies have reported psychosocial benefits such as enhanced communication (Maschi et al. 2010; 2012), emotional processing and tension reduction (Flores et al. 2016; Maschi et al. 2010; 2012), group cohesion and connectedness (Blackett et al. 2005), concentration, psychomotor coordination and posture (Chen et al. 2017). The majority of this work was undertaken with adolescents with very little work focused on younger age groups. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, CDC, JAMA, Pediatrics / 24.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa, PhD Senior Health Scientist Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Traumatic brain injury in children results in a large number of emergency department visits each year and can result in long term difficulties
  • The purpose of this study was to estimate lifetime prevalence of TBI in children based on a nationally representative sample of U.S. parents/adults and to describe the association between TBI and other childhood health conditions.
  • CDC researchers examined the National Survey of Children’s Health, a cross-sectional telephone survey of U.S. households, to provide a national estimate of TBI in children.
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Abuse and Neglect, Addiction, Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Pediatrics / 24.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michelle M Johns, MPH, PhD Health Scientist Division of Adolescent and School Health CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Gender nonconformity is an under-researched area of adolescent health that is often linked to negative health outcomes. To address this gap, we analyzed Youth Risk Behavior Survey data to describe the associations between gender nonconformity and risk behaviors, including mental distress, and substance use. Gender nonconformity was associated with feeling sad and hopeless, as well as suicidal thoughts and/or behaviors among female and male students. In addition, gender nonconformity was strongly associated with substance use among male students. (more…)