Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Psychological Science, Radiology / 19.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Luca Passamonti MD Department of Clinical Neurosciences University of Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Passamonti: We wanted to study if the brain of young people with two different forms of conduct disorder (CD) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conduct_disorder), a neuropsychiatric disease associated with severe and persistent antisocial behaviors (weapon use, aggression, fire-setting, stealing, fraudulent behavior), was different from that of young peers with no such abnormal behaviors. There is already evidence that conduct disorder may have a biological basis (i.e., reduced levels of cortisol under stress) and brain alterations but a whole “map” of the brain in conduct disorder studying cortical thickness was never been done before. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 17.06.2016

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

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kelli A. Komro, MPH, PhD, Professor Director of Graduate Studies Behavioral Sciences and Health Education Jointly Appointed, Epidemiology Rollins School of Public Health Emory University Atlanta, GA 30322 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Dr. Komro: Epidemiologists have done a thorough job describing the income-health gradient, which shows a clear association between income and health. That is, as income increases, exposure to health risks and premature mortality decreases. Each step down on the income ladder decreases one’s health for many reasons related to material resources, physical environment exposures and social circumstances. The income to health association begins at birth, and more than one in four women giving birth in the U.S. are below the poverty level, putting nearly 1 million babies at risk each year. Low-income mothers are more likely to give birth prematurely, to have low birth weight babies, and to suffer the death of their infant during the post-neonatal period (28 to 364 days old). Given the importance of the income-health gradient, we set out to test the health effects of policies that are designed to increase economic security among low-income families. Our main question is: Do policies designed to reduce poverty and improve family economic security also improve health? One relevant policy is minimum wage laws. A federal minimum wage was first enacted in 1938. The real value (in 2015 dollars) of the federal minimum wage reached a high of $10.85 in 1968. The current federal rate is $7.25. Many cities and states have passed minimum wage laws that are higher than the federal rate, and currently there is a range of minimum wage increases under active public and policymaker discussion. Given that some states pass minimum wage standards and others do not, and that laws within states change over time, we took advantage of all the changes that have occurred to design a natural experiment. Our natural experiment examined the effects of state minimum wage laws on infant health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 16.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leland McClure, PhD Director in Medical Affairs for Quest Diagnostics Fellow of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. McClure: Quest Diagnostics is the leading provider of diagnostic information services, providing clinical lab testing to about one in three American adults each year. As a result, we've amassed the largest private clinical laboratory database in the United States, based on 20 billion data points from lab testing. Quest uses this data (in de-identified, HIPAA compliant form) to perform research -- called Quest Diagnostics Health Trends(TM) -- to reveal insights on important health issues to inform clinical patient management and health policy. Other Health Trends reports have focused on diabetes, pregnancy and influenza, among others. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 13.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Katri Korpela, PhD University of Helsinki Helsinki MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Korpela: Previous studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the frequency of infections in the child and is associated with lower risk of childhood overweight. Conversely, antibiotic use in early life is associated with increased BMI. Both antibiotic use and breastfeeding are known to influence the infant's microbiota. However, these two factors have not been studied together and it was not known whether antibiotic use could modify the beneficial effects of breastfeeding. We collected data on lifetime antibiotic use, breastfeeding duration, and BMI in a group of daycare-attending children aged 2-6 years. We found that the beneficial effects on long breastfeeding, particularly as regards BMI development, were evident only in the children who did not get antibiotics in early life. Antibiotic use before or soon after weaning seemed to eliminate the protection against elevated BMI in preschool age and weaken the protection against infections after weaning. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Columbia, Pediatrics / 11.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hannah Carliner, ScD MPH Post Doctoral Fellow in Substance Abuse Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Carliner: We know from previous research that traumatic experiences in childhood can have far-reaching effects on the mental and physical health of adults, including increasing the risk for substance use disorders. There is a particularly strong body of evidence about this concerning exposure to child abuse and various other forms of family dysfunction and violence. However, no previous studies have examined a wider range of traumatic childhood experiences and their link to experimentation with different kinds of drugs in adolescence. While some studies have interviewed adults about initiation of drug use at this age, those results are not as reliable as interviewing teens directly. Using a nationally-representative sample of almost 10,000 non-institutionalized U.S. adolescents, we therefore determined that childhood trauma was associated with lifetime drug use in teens-- not only with clinically-significant disordered drug use, but even with just trying drugs one time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Lancet, Pediatrics / 10.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea Cipriani, MD PhD Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry University of Oxford Warneford Hospital Oxford UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Cipriani: Major depressive disorder is common in young people, with a prevalence of about 3% in school-age children (aged 6–12 years) and 6% in adolescents (aged 13–18 years). Compared with adults, children and adolescents with major depressive disorder are still underdiagnosed and undertreated, possibly because they tend to present with rather undifferentiated depressive symptoms—eg, irritability, aggressive behaviours, and school refusal. Consequences of depressive episodes in these patients include serious impairments in social functioning, and suicidal ideation and attempts. Our analysis represents the most comprehensive synthesis of data for currently available pharmacological treatments for children and adolescents with acute major depressive disorder (5620 participants, recruited in 34 trials). Among all antidepressants, we found that only fluoxetine was significantly better than placebo. According to our results, fluoxetine should be considered the best evidence-based option among antidepressants when a pharmacological treatment is indicated for children and adolescents with moderate to severe depression. Other antidepressants do not seem to be suitable as routine treatment options. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics / 09.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Kann, PhD Chief, School-Based Surveillance Branch Division of Adolescent and School Health National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) MedicalResearch.com: What is YRBSS? Dr. Kann: The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) is the only surveillance system designed to measure the major health risk behaviors among our nation's high school students and to track those behaviors over time at the national, state, and local levels. Reports from this surveillance system have been released every two years since 1991. More information is available at: www.cdc.gov/yrbs. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 08.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cynthia L Ogden PhD, MRP Public Health, Nutrition and Dietetics CDC Atlanta MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ogden: Monitoring trends in obesity prevalence is important because of the health risks associated with obesity and because obesity often tracks from childhood to adulthood. The most recent data before this point showed no increases overall in youth, men or women over the previous decade. We used the most recent nationally representative data with measured weights and heights from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to look at trends in obesity prevalence. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Columbia, JAMA, Pediatrics / 08.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lena S. Sun, MD E. M. Papper Professor of Pediatric Anesthesiology Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Anesthesiology Chief, Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology Columbia University Medical Center New York, New York 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Sun: The background for the study is as follow: There is robust evidence in both rodent and non-human primate studies that exposure of the developing brain leads to impairment in cognitive function and behavior later in life. The evidence from human studies derives mostly from retrospective studies and the results have been mixed. Some have demonstrated anesthesia in early childhood was associated with impaired neurocognitive function, while others have found no such association. Our study is the first to specifically designed to address the question of effects of general anesthesia exposure on cognitive function, comparing exposure with no exposure. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Pediatrics / 06.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katie Greenzang, MD Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Greenzang: Advances made over the last several decades mean that more than 80 percent of children diagnosed with cancer will become long-term survivors. However, many of these survivors experience physical and cognitive late effects of the treatment that cured them. We surveyed 352 parents of children recently diagnosed with cancer to assess how well they understood their children’s risk of future limitations in physical abilities, intelligence, and quality of life. We found that an overwhelming majority of parents (92 percent) are very interested in learning about possible late effects, and most (86 percent) seek detailed information. Yet, parent and physician predictions of a child’s risk of experiencing late effects of treatment often don’t match. Among children identified by their oncologists as being at high risk for such challenges, only 38 percent of parents recognized this risk in physical abilities, 21 percent in intelligence, and 5 percent in quality of life. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 05.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Paul T Heath MB BS, FRACP, FRCPCH Reader / Honorary Consultant Paediatric Infectious Diseases St George’s, University of London and Vaccine Institute London, United KingdomDr Paul T Heath MB BS, FRACP, FRCPCH Reader / Honorary Consultant Paediatric Infectious Diseases St George’s, University of London and Vaccine Institute London, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Heath: Vaccinating pregnant women is an important and proven strategy for protecting young infants against tetanus, influenza and pertussis. Among the infants at highest risk for complications of these infections are infants born prematurely but it is generally believed that because antibody transfer from mother to baby is maximal in the 3rd trimester, babies born prematurely may miss out on the benefits of maternal vaccination. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 04.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jimmy Celind Postgraduate student The Sahlgrenska Academy University of Gothenburg MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background is that there is a widespread belief that birth weights are increasing, and that this at least partly is a product of the obesity epidemic (together with decreased smoking prevalence and higher maternal age). Several studies from countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, USA, Scotland, Israel and Australia have shown a slight increase during the last decades of the 20th century. Our aim was to see when the increase started and how much it had increased. Our main findings are that the trends of birth weight are stable during the study period of 65 years (1946-2011), regarding mean, distribution, and odds ratios for being born with a high birth weight (>4,5 kg) per birth year increment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Kaiser Permanente, Pediatrics / 03.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea C. Wickremasinghe, MD Neonatologist Kaiser Santa Clara California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Neonatal jaundice is common and is often treated with phototherapy. Phototherapy is typically considered to be benign. In the past decade, phototherapy use has increased and it is sometimes started at bilirubin levels below recommended treatment thresholds. Beginning in the 1970’s, in-vitro and in-vivo studies have shown phototherapy to be associated with cellular changes implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer. Epidemiologic studies have yielded mixed results, with some studies showing associations between phototherapy and leukemia and other studies failing to show this association. In this study, we used a large statewide administrative dataset to investigate the relationship between neonatal phototherapy and cancer in the first year after birth. (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 01.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicole Pratt PhD Senior Research Fellow Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences University of South Australia Adelaide South Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Pratt: The cardiac safety of methylphenidate has been debated. This study aimed to measure the risk of cardiac events in a large population of children treated with these medicines. We found that there was a significantly raised risk of arrhythmia in time periods when children were treated with methylphenidate compared to time periods when they were not. While the relative risk of cardiac events was significant the absolute risk is likely to be low as cardiac events are rare in children. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 01.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Nina Berentzen PhD National Institute for Public Health and the Environment Bilthoven, the Netherlands MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Berentzen: Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes often occur together and share risk factors including an unhealthy diet, a lack of physical activity, and being overweight or obese. This study is the first to investigate the occurrence of both diabetes and CVD across two generations of parents and grandparents, and relate it to measurable risk factors in children. We found that one third of the 12-year-olds studied had a strong family history of one or both of cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction and stroke) and type 2 diabetes. Children had a ‘strong family history’ if they had one affected parent, or at least one grandparent with early disease onset, or 3–4 grandparents with late disease onset. These children had higher levels of total cholesterol, and a higher ratio of total/HDL cholesterol than children with no family history of disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Infections, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 01.06.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Markus Juonala, MD, PhD Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Parkville Victoria, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Juonala: This is an epidemiological follow-up study investigating whether childhood infections and socieconomic status are associated with cardiovasular risk factor and early chances in vasculature. The main finding was that childhood infections were associated with obesity and impaired vascular function in adulthood among those individuals with low socioeconomic status. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Pediatrics / 31.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristy Arbogast, PhD Co-Scientific Director Center for Injury Research and Prevention The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Professor Division of Emergency Medicine Department of Pediatrics University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Arbogast: The research team looked retrospectively at four recent years of data on children diagnosed with concussion at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to determine how children access the health system for a concussion. For those 8,000 kids with a CHOP primary care provider, 82% entered the health system via a primary care location, 12% entered through the ER and 5% through a specialist. One-third of concussion diagnoses were to children under age 12. Many current counts of concussion injury among children are based on emergency room visits or organized high school and college athletics data. Thus, we are vastly underestimating child and youth concussions in the US. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 27.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jianghong Li, Senior Scientist (PhD) From the President’s Project Group, WZB Berlin Social Science Center (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung GmbH: www.wzb.eu) Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Jianghong Li: Commuting to work is a common phenomenon in developed countries. In the US full-time wage workers residing in urban counties on average commuted about 55 minutes to work. In the UK, workers commuted 42 minutes (round trip) for work in 2008. German workers commute 13 kilometers and 44 minutes both ways to work on average. The average daily commuting time for work in other European countries ranges from 29 minutes in Portugal to 51 minutes in Hungary. To make your commute a little easier, why not try the Moovit app with its handy tracking tools such as the metro map. Men commute longer than women to work and working fathers commute further to work than working mothers. Men who are employed full-time and with children commute longer than their counterparts without children, regardless of the age of the youngest child. Previous research has shown that long commuting to workplace is associated with reduced civic participation and social interactions, lower life satisfaction, elevated stress hormone and reduced task performance, and increased risk for marriage breakdown. Daily experiences of unreliable transport, conflicting time schedules, congested roads and crowded trains contribute to commuters’ physical and psychological stress. These health and psychosocial consequences of commuting raise a concern about its plausible negative impact on children’s well-being. Yet, there was no inquiry about the effect of commuting on children’s well-being, except one small-scale study in the US of mothers leaving welfare for employment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Duke, Genetic Research, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 27.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Johnna Swartz, PhD Postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Ahmad Hariri Duke postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Ahmad Hariri MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Swartz: Prior research has shown that low socioeconomic status is a risk factor for the development of depression. In this study, we examined whether this risk factor was associated with changes in an epigenetic tag near the gene coding for the serotonin transporter, which has previously been linked to depression. We found that adolescents growing up in families with lower socioeconomic status accumulated more of these tags over time, which may lead to decreased gene expression. Moreover, we found that more of these tags were associated with increased activity in the amygdala, a brain region that plays an important role in the stress response. Finally, we found that adolescents with increased activity in the amygdala were more likely to develop depression symptoms a year later, particularly if they had a close relative with a history of depression. This is some of the first research to draw a link from an environmental risk factor to changes in depression symptoms through changes in epigenetic markers and brain function. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Nutrition, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 25.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Brian Stansfield MD Neonatologist Children's Hospital of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia Augusta University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Stansfield: Since the mid-20th century, we have experimental evidence in animal models and human data demonstrating the influence of maternal nutrition on the offspring - both in the short term and long term. Low birth weight has been connected with higher incidence of cardiometabolic diseases including insulin resistance, coronary artery disease, and hypertension. Interestingly, low birth weight infants grow up to be relatively thin adults compared to their normal or high birth weight counterparts. Conversely, high birth weight infants tend to become heavier adults and obesity is directly linked with the same adult outcomes. So the association of cardiac and metabolic diseases with low birth weight is not linked to adult obesity in general. Thus, speculation as to why extremes of birth weight lead to adult onset cardiometabolic disease suggests different mechanisms and modifying factors. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Stansfield: The findings of our study shed considerable light on the relationship between birth weight and risk factors for insulin resistance and visceral adiposity. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to achieve precise measurements of visceral adipose content and biomarkers for insulin resistance, we show that both low and high birth weight are associated with increased visceral adiposity and insulin resistance in a healthy population of adolescents aged 13-17 years. This association persists when we account for several recognized confounders including age, sex, race, activity level, and socioeconomic status. The most interesting finding of our study is that when you account for each adolescent’s current body mass index, a measure of obesity, the relationship between increased visceral fat and insulin resistance and low birth weight is strengthened suggesting that these adolescents had relatively high visceral adipose content despite obesity rates that were similar to their normal birth weight counterparts. On the other hand, correction for adolescent BMI (obesity) reduced the relationship between these metabolic markers and high birth weight infants. Thus, low birth weight infants may develop insulin resistance and increased visceral fat, both significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease, despite having a relatively normal body shape in adolescents. (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 23.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luis Augusto Rohde MD, PhD Full Professor Department of Psychiatry Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul Director ADHD Program Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The idea that Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder always begins in childhood has been held for decades even without proper testing. The main manuals of psychiatric diagnoses require age at onset in childhood as a core feature of the disorder. In a large birth cohort followed until age 18, we identified many young adults presenting with a full impairing ADHD syndrome. They had consistently worse outcomes - criminality, substance abuse, traffic accidents, among others - than their counterparts without ADHD. However, most of these young adults (84.6%) presenting with a full impairing syndrome did not have a prior diagnosis in their childhood years. This surprising observation held after many secondary analyses exploring possible biases, like comorbidities in young adulthood, subthreshold ADHD in childhood and change of information source. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 23.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Saroj Saigal, MD, FRCP(C) Department of Pediatrics McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Saigal: We started to follow infants who were born between 1977-82 and weighed less than 1000g or 2.2 pounds (extremely low birthweight, ELBW) because not much was known about the outcomes of these infants at the time.We have reported the findings at several ages, from infancy to adulthood, in comparison with normal birth weight (NBW) infants . In this report, 100 ELBW participants between 29-36 years of age were compared with 89 NBW participants. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study that has followed infants from birth into their 30s. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 22.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Summer Sherburne Hawkins, PhD, MS Assistant Professor Boston College School of Social Work Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sleep is so important for all of us—especially for children and adolescents as their brains and bodies continue to develop. Inadequate sleep is associated with a number of health problems including obesity, cognitive functioning, and chronic illnesses. Increasing the amount and quality of sleep are public health priorities in the US. Currently, school-aged children are recommended to get at least 10 hours and adolescents to get 9-10 hours of sleep daily. However, less than one third of students report getting 8 or more hours of sleep during the school week and total sleep time decreases from infancy through adulthood. The new Healthy People 2020 ‘Sleep Health’ target only monitors adolescent sleep and there are no national data for younger children. Thus, there is little known about the age that sleep issues may begin and whether the prevalence of sleep issues is changing over time. Furthermore, only a few studies have examined the social determinants of sleep in children and adolescents, particularly whether there are differences across racial/ethnic and educational groups. An overarching gap in the literature remains—monitoring sleep and identifying disparities across the life course. Using a nationally-representative sample of US children and adolescents, we examined trends and social determinants of inadequate sleep in 6-17-year-olds. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 19.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: PD Dr. med. Giancarlo Natalucci OberarztKlinik für Neonatologie UniversitätsSpital Zürich MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Natalucci:: Survival of very preterm infants has increased over the last decades but still they are at risk of developing long-term neurodevelopmental delay. The underlying pathology is termed encephalopathy of prematurity where both structural lesions of the very fragile brain and the disturbance of the physiologic maturational processes are recognized as the main causative entities. Among many pharmacological candidates to prevent brain injury and improve development, erythropoietin has been shown to be among the most promising. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 18.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Claire Roberts PhD Robinson Research Institute Adelaide University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Roberts: Our research aimed to identify novel risk factors for the four main complications of pregnancy;
  • preeclampsia where the mother gets high blood pressure and her kidneys don’t work properly,
  • preterm birth which is delivery before 37 weeks of gestation,
  • small for gestational age and
  • gestational diabetes. We have studied over 5500 pregnant women in 6 centres in 4 countries, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland. We have identified a number of factors that contribute to these major pregnancy complications. However, in this paper we have focused on well known risk factors for pregnancy complications including maternal cigarette smoking, BMI and socioeconomic status. To these we added maternal use of marijuana before pregnancy, in first trimester, at 15 weeks and at 20 weeks gestation. After adjusting the data for the other factors, we found that continued maternal marijuana use at 20 weeks gestation is strongly associated with spontaneous pre-term birth independent of maternal cigarette smoking. Women who continued to use marijuana at 20 weeks’ gestation were over 5 times more likely to deliver preterm than women who did not use marijuana. Previous studies have shown conflicting evidence but none have accounted for maternal cigarette smoking.
Importantly, not only did continued use of marijuana increase risk for preterm birth but it also made these births 5 weeks earlier on average with a greater number of women delivering very preterm. That is much more dangerous for the baby who inevitably would require admission to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Earlier delivery would be expected to increase the baby’s risk for dying and having long term disabilities. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 18.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Gerda Pot Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences King’s College London | Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences Division | London UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Pot: Previous evidence suggested that the timing of food intake can have a significant impact on circadian rhythms (i.e. the body's internal clock) and therefore on metabolic processes within the body, potentially leading to an increased risk of being overweight or obese. However, the evidence from studies in children is very limited so we set out to establish whether this risk was also associated with the timing of children's evening meals.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Pediatrics, Toxin Research, Weight Research / 18.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lori A. Hoepner, DrPH Department of Environmental Health Sciences Columbia University New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Hoepner: The Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health was funded starting in 1998.  Pregnant African American and Dominican mothers residing in Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx were enrolled from 1998 to 2006, and mothers and their children have been followed since this time.  We collected urine samples from the pregnant mothers in their third trimester and from the children at ages 3 and 5.  At ages 5 and 7 we measured the height and weight of the children, and at age 7 we also measured body fat and waist circumference. MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings? Dr. Hoepner:  We found a significant association between increased prenatal exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) and increases in childhood body fat measures of waist circumference and percent body fat at age 7.  Our research builds on earlier findings of an association between prenatal exposure to BPA and body fat in children up to age 4, and this is the first study to report an association at age 7. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, NEJM, NIH, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Disease / 18.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. James P. Kiley Ph.D National Institutes of Health Bethesda Maryland  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kiley: While a higher proportion of children have asthma compared to adults, the disease is limited to childhood for many individuals who appear to be unaffected as adults. Regardless of whether asthma continues into adulthood or reoccurs during adulthood, the impact of childhood asthma on lung function later in life is unclear. This study demonstrated that in children with chronic persistent asthma at the age of 5-12 years who continued to be followed through their early twenties, 75% of them had some abnormality in the pattern of their lung growth. The study examined the trajectory of lung growth, and the decline from maximum growth, in a large cohort of persons who had persistent, mild-to-moderate asthma in childhood and determined the demographic and clinical factors associated with abnormal patterns of lung growth and decline. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, BMJ, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 17.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Edward Tyrrell NIHR In-Practice Research Fellow Division of Primary Care University Park Nottingham  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Tyrrell: Poisonings are among the most common causes of death amongst adolescents across the world, many of them related to self-harm. Poisonings leading to death are just the tip of the iceberg with many more resulting in invasive treatment, time off school and long term health effects. Many adolescent self-harm episodes are linked to mental health problems, which are often predictive of mental health problems in adulthood, making adolescence a key window for preventative intervention. However, up to date rates and time trends for adolescent poisonings are lacking, hindering the development of evidence-informed policy and planning of services. To quantify this problem at a national level and provide recent time trends of poisonings, we used routinely collected primary care data from 1.3 million 10-17 year olds. We assessed how intentional, unintentional and alcohol-related poisonings for adolescent males and females vary by age, how these have changed between 1992 and 2012 and whether socioeconomic inequalities exist. (more…)