Author Interviews, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Pediatrics / 16.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Constadina Panagiotopoulos, MD, FRCPC Department of Pediatrics, Endocrinology & Diabetes Unit British Columbia Children’s Hospital Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: I decided to conduct this study after observing a few cases of severe acute kidney injury (AKI) in children hospitalized with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) (with two patients requiring dialysis) while on call in the 18 months prior to initiating the study. While caring for these patients, I scanned the literature and realized that aside from 2 published case reports, there had been no large-scale systematic studies assessing AKI in children with DKA. It immediately became apparent to me that managing patients with AKI and DKA was more challenging. On presentation to hospital, many of these children with DKA present quite volume depleted but fluid management is conservative because of the risk for cerebral edema. One of the most important management strategies for acute kidney injury in patients with DKA is early detection and correcting volume depletion in a timely manner to prevent further injury. I discussed my observations and these clinical cases with pediatric nephrologist and co-investigator Dr. Cherry Mammen, a pediatric AKI expert, and he confirmed my initial literature review findings. Thus, we decided to conduct this study to better understand the scope of the problem and any associated risk factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Pediatrics, Smoking, Tobacco Research / 15.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Saskia Trump PhD Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ Department of Environmental Immunology Leipzig, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Environmental chemicals have long been discussed to contribute to the exacerbation or even the development of allergic diseases. In our study we were particularly interested in the effect of tobacco smoke exposure, which is the main source for indoor benzene exposure, on regulatory T cell (Treg) function and its relation to the development of childhood atopic dermatitis (AD). Tregs play a critical in controlling T effector cell activity by avoiding overexpression. A deficiency in this T cell subset increases the risk for allergic inflammation. We have previously described that exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy can decrease the number of regulatory T cells (Treg) in the cord blood and predispose the child to the development of AD (1). In this subsequent study we were interested in the underlying mechanism involved. Benzene itself is not considered to be toxic, however its metabolization leads to the formation of highly reactive molecules. In humans for example the metabolite 1,4-benzochinone (1,4-BQ) can be found in the blood as a consequence of benzene exposure. To further assess the effect of benzene on Treg and the development of AD we combined in vitro studies, evaluating the impact of 1,4-BQ on human expanded Treg, with data from our prospective mother-child cohort LINA. The LINA study, recruited in Leipzig, Germany, is a longitudinal evaluation of mother-child pairs with respect to lifestyle and environmental factors that might contribute to disease development in the child. Based on this deeply phenotyped cohort we were able to translate our in vitro findings to the in vivo scenario. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 11.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Elsie M. Taveras, MD MPH Chief, Division of General Pediatrics Director, Pediatric Population Health Management Director, Raising Healthy Hearts Clinic MassGeneral Hospital for Children MedicalResearch.com: What are the primary findings of this study and why are they important? Response: The primary findings of this study are that children who get an insufficient amount of sleep in their preschool and early school age years have a higher risk of poor neurobehavioral functioning as reported by their mothers and independently by their teachers at age 7. These behaviors included poorer executive function and more hyperactivity/inattention, emotional symptoms, conduct problems, and peer relationship problems. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 09.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Margaret T. RedmondMD Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus, Ohio  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Food allergies are becoming more prevalent and can cause a life threatening reaction if not managed correctly. Much of the previous focus has been on food allergy in the school setting and little was known about the camp setting. Analysis of survey data from camp directors, medical personnel and staff reveal that there are deficiencies of training and policy at camps that could place food allergic campers at increased risk of reaction. A prospective registry of epinephrine administration from 51 camps revealed an increased rate of epinephrine administration compared to school data. (more…)
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 09.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth C. Matsui, MD MHS Professor of Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Environmental Health Sciences Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 21287  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We designed this study after our previous work indicated that mouse allergy was common among low-income children living in some urban neighborhoods in the US, that these children also had high levels of mouse allergen exposure in their homes, and that children who are both allergic to mice and exposed to high levels of mouse allergen are at greater risk of asthma symptoms, emergency room visits and hospitalization.   Given this background, we designed a randomized clinical trial to determine if an intensive professionally delivered mouse intervention was better than education about mouse control in reducing asthma symptoms and lowering home mouse allergen levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Lancet, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Vitamin D / 07.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Audry H. Garcia PhD Scientist Department of Epidemiology Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam Rotterdam, the Netherlands  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Fetal bone mineralisation requires an adequate transfer of calcium to the fetus by the end of the pregnancy. Considering that vitamin D is required to maintain normal blood concentrations of calcium, adequate 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations in pregnant women seem to be crucial for bone development of the offspring. Maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been associated with abnormal early skeletal growth in offspring and might be a risk factor for decreased bone mass in later life. Several studies have linked vitamin D deficiency in fetal life to congenital rickets, craniotabes, wide skull sutures and osteomalacia. However, the evidence of long-lasting effects of maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy on offspring’s skeletal development is scarce and inconsistent, and has led to contradictory recommendations on vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Pediatrics / 04.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Patrick W. Sullivan, Ph.D. Professor Regis University School of Pharmacy Denver, CO 80221 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders among children. It affects 7.1 million children in the U.S. Of these, 4.1 million children suffered an asthma attack in 2011. An asthma attack is an acute period of extreme difficulty breathing. It can be life threatening and is always very frightening for children. Because asthma can be dangerous and frightening, it ends up costing a lot because patients need to go the doctor, hospital or take medications to try to control it. Asthma also has a negative effect on the patient’s health and outlook about their health – both mentally and physically. Previous studies have focused on adults with asthma and have found that it is very expensive – it costs $18 billion in the U.S. to manage adults with asthma. Those studies also showed that adults with asthma have lower quality of life. However, there is not a lot of good evidence on the burden of asthma in children. This study was designed to quantify the cost and mental and physical health of children with asthma in the U.S. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 03.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Hans Jorgen Stensvold, M.D and Dr. Arild Ronnestad, MD PhD Neonatal Department, Oslo University Hospital and the Norwegian Neonatal Network, Oslo, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Over the last decades, advances in perinatal care have led to improved survival of extremely preterm infants in most countries. Still, the decision to initiate or withhold active care for infants at the border of viability is challenging. Different attitudes and traditions in perinatal care influence the rates of stillbirths, admissions to intensive care and outcomes. Consequently, there is a continuous need for up-to-date results to guide caregivers and parents in decision making, and to evaluate current medical practices. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Environmental Risks, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 02.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jean-Francois Viel Department of Epidemiology and Public Health University Hospital Rennes, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The use of pyrethroid insecticides has increased substantially throughout the world over the past several decades, replacing organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, because of their chemical potency against many pests, their relatively low mammalian toxicity and their favorable environmental profiles. However, despite the neurotoxicity of these insecticides at high doses, the potential impact of environmental exposure to pyrethroid insecticides on child neurodevelopment has only just started to receive attention. Using a longitudinal design (PELAGIE mother-child cohort), we were able to assess pyrethroid exposure (trough urine concentrations) both prenatally and during childhood (at 6 years of age). We showed that increased prenatal concentrations of one pyrethroid metabolite (cis-DCCA, a metabolite of permethrin, cypermethrin and cyfluthrin) were associated with internalising difficulties (children showing behaviours that are inhibited and over-controlled). Moreover, for childhood 3-PBA (a common metabolite of up to 20 synthetic pyrethroid insecticides) concentrations, a positive association was observed with externalising difficulties (children showing behaviours that are under-controlled and having generally a more challenging temperament). (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cancer Research, Imperial College, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Maria Kyrgiou MSc, PhD, MRCOG Clinical Senior Lecturer & Consultant in Gynaecologic Oncology IRDB - Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London West London Gynaecological Cancer Centre, Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea-Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Obesity has become a major public health challenge and it's prevalence worldwide has more than doubled amongst women n the last four decadesExcess body weight has been associated with an increased risk of developing and dying from numerous cancers. Although the reported associations may be potentially causal, some of the associations may be flawed due to inherent study biases such as residual confounding and selective reporting of positive results. We included 204 meta-analyses investigating associations between adiposity and the development or death from 36 primary cancers and their sub-types. Adiposity was associated with a higher risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma, gastric cardia, colon and rectal cancer in men, biliary tract system, pancreatic, postmenopausal breast among HRT non-users, endometrial, ovarian, and kidney cancer and multiple myeloma. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Flu - Influenza, Karolinski Institute, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Pharmacology / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Sophie Graner Department of Women's and Childrens Health Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pregnant women are at increased risks of severe disease and death due to influensa infection, as well as hospitalization. Also influenza and fever increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes for their infants such as intrauterine death and preterm birth. Due to this, the regulatory agencies in Europe and the US recommended post exposure prophylaxis and treatment for pregnant women with neuraminidase inhibitors during the last influenza pandemic 2009-10. Despite the recommendations, the knowledge on the effect of neuraminidase inhibitors on the infant has been limited. Previously published studies have not shown any increased risk, but they have had limited power to assess specific neonatal outcomes such as stillbirth, neonatal mortality, preterm birth, low Agar score, neonatal morbidity and congenital malformations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Pediatrics, Radiation Therapy / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lucie Turcotte, MD, MPH University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Assistant Professor Minneapolis, MN 55455 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have observed dramatic improvements in the number of survivors of childhood cancer over the last 60 years. As more children are surviving, we have identified many important late health consequences of cancer therapy. One of the most devastating of these late health consequences is the diagnosis of a second cancer. As we have identified late effects, such as second cancers, we have modified therapy in an effort to prevent long-term sequelae of therapy, while still maintaining superior survival rates. For this study, we utilized data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), which is a cohort of more than 23,000 survivors of childhood cancer from multiple centers in North America, who were initially diagnosed between 1970 and 1999. Our analysis focused on elucidating whether survivors diagnosed more recently were experiencing fewer second cancers, and determining whether a reduction in second cancers could be associated with treatment modifications. The most important finding from this study is that the reductions in therapeutic radiation exposure that occurred between 1970-1999 resulted in a significant reduction in the second cancers experienced by survivors of childhood cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 28.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Alison McFadden, PhD Senior Research Fellow School of Nursing & Health Sciences University of Dundee MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The World Health Organization recommends that infants should be breastfed exclusively until six months of age with breastfeeding continuing as an important part of the infant’s diet until he or she is at least two years old. Breastfeeding has an important impact on the short-term and long-term health of both infants and their mothers. There is good evidence that not breastfeeding increases mortality and morbidity due to infectious diseases. Not breastfeeding is also associated with increases in hospitalisation for problems such as gastroenteritis, respiratory disease, and ear infections, as well as higher rates of childhood diabetes, obesity and dental disease. Breastfeeding is also important for women’s health. It’s been found that not breastfeeding is associated with increased risks of breast and ovarian cancer, and diabetes. Few health behaviours have such a broad-spectrum and long-lasting impact on population health, with the potential to improve life chances, health and well-being. It has been estimated that each year, 823,000 deaths in children under five years and 20,000 deaths from breast cancer could be prevented by near universal breastfeeding. However, many women stop breastfeeding before they want to as a result of the problems they encounter. Current breastfeeding rates in many countries do not reflect the WHO recommendation. Only around 37% of babies under six months worldwide are exclusively breastfed, and in many high and middle income countries, the rates are much lower. Good care and support may help women solve these problems so that they can continue to breastfeed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Pediatrics / 28.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD Conrad M. Riley Professor of Epidemiology and Pediatrics Director, Lifecourse Epidemiology of Adiposity and Diabetes (LEAD) Center University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Aurora, CO 80045 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: These recent increasing trends in type 1 and 2 diabetes diagnosed in young individuals raise the question of whether the pattern of complications differs by diabetes type at similar ages and diabetes duration. The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Stud, looked at five health complications and co-morbidities of diabetes, including: retinopathy, diabetic kidney disease, peripheral, arterial stiffness and high blood pressure. The researchers studied 1,746 adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes and 272 with type 2 diabetes diagnosed when < 20 years, with a similar average duration of 7.9 years and at a similar age of 21 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Social Issues, Stroke / 28.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily C. Maxwell, Ph.D. Pediatric Neuropsychology Bugher Fellow Division of Neurology Instructor | Department of Pediatrics University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, CO 80045  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous research has found increased psychological problems and significantly higher rates of psychiatric disorders after pediatric stroke. However, past studies have mainly used global indices, without comparison to age-based norms. Thus, little is known about the discrete symptomatology exhibited by these children and how discrepant these symptoms may be from normative expectations. At the University of Colorado Denver and Children’s Hospital Colorado, we studied 50 patients who suffered an arterial ischemic stroke during childhood. The parents of these patients completed the Child Behavior Checklist, a questionnaire assessing emotional and behavioral problems. We found that children with stroke had higher symptoms of depression, anxiety, physical complaints, and behavioral difficulties compared to a normative sample of same-aged peers. Additionally, levels of anxiety were higher in children who had a stroke at an early age (before 6 years of age) compared to children who had a stroke at a later age (after 10 years of age). (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Thyroid Disease, Toxin Research / 27.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jana Weiss PhD Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry Stockholm University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In an earlier publication, we could see an association between elevated concentrations of brominated flame retardants (BFR) in the blood of cats with developed Feline hyperthyroidism, compared to healthy cats (Norrgran et al 2015, ES&T 49:5107-5014). To establish the exposure pathway we now took paired samples from healthy cats and dust from their households. We also analysed the cats food to include another major exposure pathway. In total 17 families participated. They lived in houses in the countryside or in apartments in the city. All families had kids under 12 years of age living at home, thus representing a household with typical child products. The dust was sampled from the living room, the child’s room and from the adult’s bedrooms. We could not see any difference in the composition of compounds between the rooms, but we saw that levels were in general higher in the living room compared to the other two rooms. This was expected as many products being treated with BFRs can be found in the living room. We could see that higher levels of some  brominated flame retardants in the dust were correlated to elevated levels in the cat’s blood. Therefore, this hypothesized exposure pathways is now statistically established. We could also confirm cat food to be the major exposure pathway for naturally brominated compounds coming from the marine food web, such as6-OH-BDE47, a known thyroid hormone disruptor. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 24.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shannon K. de l’Etoile, Ph.D., MT-BC Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Professor, Music Therapy University of Miami Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music Coral Gables, FL MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Infant-directed (ID) singing allows infants to have emotionally-synchronized interactions with caregivers, during which they gain valuable experience in self-regulation. Maternal depression can disrupt mother-infant interaction, thus hindering infants’ efforts at self-regulation and possibly contributing to a depressed interaction style that can generalize to infant interaction with strangers. Additionally, maternal depression can alter the acoustic parameters of ID singing, such that mothers may not modify musical elements (i.e., tempo and key), to accommodate infant state. (more…)
Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Education, Pediatrics, Smoking / 23.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. James Williams UCL Medical School UCL, London, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite a downward trend over the last decade in the usage of particular substances amongst adolescents in the UK, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis remain prevalent behaviours in this demographic. These risky health behaviours present a large problem in terms of public health due to the immediate and long-term health problems they cause, as well as negative non-health outcomes such as poor educational attainment and reduced employment. The role of academic ability in determining patterns of substance use is not clear and no study has evaluated academic ability at age 11 in relation to the onset and persistence of all three substances from early to late adolescence and into young adulthood. Our study sought to determine the association between academic ability and the onset and persistence of substance use in adolescence in a representative sample of English school pupils. This would answer for the first time whether ability was associated with ‘experimentation’ in early adolescence or if the association persists into late adolescence. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Social Issues, University of Pittsburgh / 21.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christian D. Pulcini, MD, MEd, MPH Pediatric Resident Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Chair, Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT) American Academy of Pediatrics MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Poverty influences the well-being of children and adolescents in a negative way. Poor children are often exposed to toxic health stressors, including violence, environmental toxins, and inadequate nutrition. Children in poverty with chronic health conditions also are more likely to have higher rates of secondary disorders and worse outcomes. We studied children with asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to describe the how much disease and if the children had multiple (comorbid) conditons and how these vary by poverty status. Parents reported through the National Survey of Children's Health that asthma and ADHD rose 18% and 44% from 2003-2011/2012, respectively, whereas the lifetime prevalence of ASD rose 32% from 2007-2011/2012 in all income levels. For asthma, the rise was most among the poor at 25.8%. For ADHD, the percent change among the poor was similar, however the rise in autism spectrum disorder was associated with being non-poor. Publicly insured children with asthma, ADHD, and ASD also had a significant higher chance (1.9×, 1.6×, 3.0×, respectively) of having higher more than one chronic condition. In addition, kids who were poor with asthma and ADHD. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 21.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julia R.G. Raifman, ScD Post-doctoral fellow Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 years old in the United States. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents have elevated rates of suicide attempts. In our study, we found that 29% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents reported attempting suicide in the past year relative to 6% of heterosexual adolescents. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 20.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James K. Rilling, PhD Professor, Anthropology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Emory University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It has been known for a long time that female mammals experience hormonal changes during pregnancy that prepare them to care for their offspring. More recently, it has been shown that some mammalian males, including humans, can also experience hormonal changes that prepare them to care for their offspring. For example, oxytocin levels can increase in human fathers and studies have shown that oxytocin facilitates paternal physical stimulation, play and emotional synchrony with their children. We examined the effects of intranasal oxytocin on brain function in human fathers. We found that intranasal oxytocin increased activation in brain areas involved with reward and empathy when human fathers viewed pictures of their children, but not unknown children. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Global Health, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 18.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chris Malley PhD The Stockholm Environment Institute University of York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When a baby is born preterm (at less than 37 weeks of gestation, an indicator of premature birth), there is an increased risk of infant death, or long-term physical and neurological disabilities. For example, 965,000 infant deaths in 2013 (35% of all neonatal deaths) have been estimated to be due to preterm birth complications. In 2010, an estimated 14.9 million births were preterm – about 4–5% of the total in some European countries, but up to 15–18% in some African and South Asian countries. The human and economic costs are enormous. There are many risk factors for preterm birth – from the mother’s age, to illness, to poverty and other social factors. Recent research has suggested that exposure to air pollution could also be a risk factor. Our study quantifies for the first time the global impact of pregnant women's exposure to outdoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by combining data about air pollution in different countries with knowledge about how exposure to different levels of air pollution is associated with preterm birth rates. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 17.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carla M. Bann, Ph.D. Division of Statistical and Data Sciences RTI International Research Triangle Park, NC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Several medical advances have been made over the past two decades to improve the care and survival of infants born pre-term. However, approaches to care differ greatly among providers for infants born at the limits of viability (22 to 24 weeks gestation), far earlier than the 40 weeks generally expected for a pregnancy to reach full-term. Little is known about the outcomes of these infants, particularly whether those who survive experience significant neurodevelopmental impairments. RTI served as the data coordinating center for this research that examined the survival and neurodevelopmental impairment at 18-22 months corrected age of over 4,000 infants born at 22 to 24 weeks gestation during 2000 to 2011 at medical centers participating in a national research network funded by the NIH. In this group of babies, infant survival improved over time from survival rates of 30 percent in 2000-2003 to 36 percent in 2008-2011. The proportion of infants who survived without a neurodevelopmental impairment also increased from 16 percent in 2000-2003 to 20 percent in 2008-2011. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 14.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Scott E. Hadland, MD, MPH, MS Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Boston University School of Medicine Urban Health & Advocacy Track Director | Boston Combined Residency Program Boston, MA 02118 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Studies to date have shown that states’ alcohol laws can help prevent young people from dying in car crashes. However, studies to date have usually only looked at a single policy at once. We wanted to build on these previous studies by looking at the overall effect of multiple alcohol laws acting at once. We also wanted to look at laws not necessarily only targeting drinking and driving among young people, but also policies aimed primarily at adults over 21. We studied deaths of young people under 21 who were killed in motor vehicle crashes across the United States between 2000 and 2013. We found that one-quarter of all young people died in a crash involving a driver who alcohol level was over the legal limit. One-half died in a crash in which the driver had any level of alcohol in their bloodstream above zero. We also found that most young people died on evenings and weekends, which is when people are most likely to have been drinking. Importantly, almost half of all young people died in a crash in which they were the passenger, not the driver. In 80% of cases in which they were the passenger, it was actually an adult >21, not a young person, who was driving the vehicle. We then looked at states’ alcohol laws, and found that the stronger the set of alcohol policies in a state, the lower the likelihood of young people dying in a crash that was alcohol-related. Policies included laws relating to alcohol taxes, alcohol availability and hours of sales, and graduated driver’s licensing for young people, among many others. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 13.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. David Greenberg MD Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Sanofi Pasteur U.S.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the importance of improved vaccination rates in light of recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases? Response: It’s imperative. Too many children remain under-vaccinated against serious infectious diseases, and as the CDC reminds us – in addition to our country’s most credible medical associations – immunization is key in helping prevent both sporadic and outbreak-related cases of these diseases.1 In 2015, the CDC reported 6,448 new cases of pertussis in kids younger than 7 years of age, some of which could have potentially been avoided if vaccination completion was better. 2 (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology, Pediatrics / 10.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Esther van Zuuren MD on behalf of the authors Department of Dermatology Leiden University Medical Center Leiden, Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In view of the high prevalence of eczema and the exponential increase in number of clinical trials over recent years, the NIHR designated this clinical topic, emollients and moisturisers for eczema, as a high priority. Widely prescribed as the basis of eczema management the treatment strategy is often supported by a mixed array of reviews and guidelines. Evidence for the effectiveness of emollients and moisturisers is also of variable quality. Eczema is a chronic skin disorder, the main symptoms being dry skin and intense itching with a significant impact on quality of life. As dry skin is an important feature, moisturisers are a cornerstone of eczema treatment, but there was uncertainty about their efficacy and whether one moisturiser is preferable to another. The main finding of our review is that indeed moisturisers are effective. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Pediatrics / 10.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bobbi Pineda, PhD Assistant professor of occupational therapy and of pediatrics Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We published findings in 2014 from a study in which we investigated differences in outcome among preterm infants hospitalized in an open ward NICU compared to those hospitalized in a NICU private room.  In this study, we found that infants who were in the open ward had differences in brain structure by the time they were discharged from the hospital, and by age 2 years they had significantly better language outcomes than those in private rooms.  The study NICU is located in an urban area and cares for families who have a high risk of social challenges, resulting in rates of parent engagement that were not optimal.  However, such findings made us question if the sensory exposure, specifically auditory stimulation, may be significantly reduced in the private room and could explain our findings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Technology / 09.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson PhD Professor of Psychology Stetson University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The degree to which screen time influences youth across a variety of behavioral outcomes has been a source of debate and contention for decades. For many years the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended to parents that they allow older children no more than 2 hours of screen time per day. However, this number was never clearly based on good data. And in 2014 one study (Przybylski, 2014 in Pediatrics) suggested that ties between screen time and behavioral outcomes were very weak, and only seen for the most extreme screen users. So I was curious to see if these results would replicate for a large sample of US youth. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 08.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristi Roberts, M.S., M.P.H. Research Project Coordinator Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus, Ohio  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • We know that 74.1 million US households own at least one pet and one-half of households have a child age 19 years or younger living in the home so there is a potential for unintentional pediatric exposure to pet medication.
  • We realize that pets are common and an important part of families, especially those with young children. However, pets often require medications to keep them healthy and these medications could be dangerous to a child if the child is exposed (gets a hold of or swallows the medicine).
  • We looked at 15 years’ worth of data and found that over 1,400 children were exposed to a veterinary pharmaceutical product. That is about 95 each year or 2 children every week that are being exposure to medications intended for pets.
  • Children under 5 years old are the age group most frequently exposed to medications intended for pets. These young children typically ate or swallowed the medication after they found it when climbing on the counter or while the parent was trying to give the medication to a pet. Most of the calls were for medications intended for dogs.
  • Teenagers were also exposed to medications intended for pets but for different reasons. Many teens mistakenly took pet medication instead of human medication.
  • The majority of exposures occurred at home (96%) and were not expected to result in long-term or long-lasting health effects (97%).
  • While many people don’t think of their pet’s medication as harmful some medications, both human and veterinary, could be highly dangerous even at low dosages, especially for small children.
(more…)