Addiction, Author Interviews, Methamphetamine, Pediatrics, UCLA / 22.01.2016

More on Pediatrics on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lynne M. Smith, MD FAAP LA BioMed lead researcher Vice Chair for Academic Affairs Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Department of Pediatrics Division of Neonatology Medical Director, High Risk Infant Follow-up Program Associate Program Director, Neonatal-Perinatal Fellowship Training Program Co-Director, Third Year Medical Student Clerkship Founding co-Leader, Schwartz Rounds at Harbor-UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Torrance, CA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Smith: It is the first study of its kind, and it holds hope for improving outcomes for children exposed to the methamphetamine in the womb. The study found that while prenatal methamphetamine exposure can lead to targeted behavioral issues, a supportive home environment significantly decreases the severity and risk of these issues. The study is a follow-up to the Infant Development, Environment and Lifestyle (IDEAL) study, which is a prospective, multi-center, longitudinal study of children exposed to methamphetamine in the womb. It is designed to address some of the limitations of earlier studies. The IDEAL study enrolled children from Los Angeles; Des Moines, IA; Tulsa, OK, and Honolulu, HI, who had been exposed to methamphetamine in utero. Previous reports from the IDEAL study documented the outcomes up to age 5 and found emotional issues and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders in the children with prenatal methamphetamine exposure. The new study surveyed 290 children enrolled in IDEAL up to age 7.5 years and found a strong relation between prenatal methamphetamine exposure and rule-breaking and aggressive behavior. It also found a strong relation between adversities in the home and rule-breaking and aggressive behavior. Among the adverse conditions considered were maternal substance abuse, extreme poverty, changes in the primary caregiver, sexual abuse of the caregiver and maternal depression. The researchers concluded that while prenatal methamphetamine exposure is strongly related to behavioral and emotional control issues, early adversities may be a strong determinant of behavioral outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Pharmacology / 20.01.2016

More on Mental Health on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christoph U. Correll, MD Professor of Psychiatry and Molecular Medicine Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine Hempstead, New York, USA Investigator, Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Manhasset, New York, Medical Director, Recognition and Prevention The Zucker Hillside Hospital, Department of Psychiatry  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Correll: Antipsychotics have been used increasingly for psychotic, but also for many non-psychotic conditions, including for disorders and conditions for which they have not received regulatory approval. Moreover, antipsychotics have been associated with weight gain and abnormalities in blood fat and blood glucose levels. Although data in youth have been less available than in children and adolescents, youth appear to be more sensitive to the cardiometabolic adverse effects of antipsychotics than adults in whom significant weight gain might have already occurred due to long-term prior antipsychotic treatment. Nevertheless, type 2 diabetes, which is related to weight gain, overweight and obesity, seemed to be more common in adults than youth, likely due to the fact that it takes a long time for the body to develop diabetes. Recently, several individual epidemiologic or database studies with sufficient long-term follow-up durations suggested that the type 2 diabetes risk was higher in youth exposed to antipsychotics than healthy control youth and, possibly, even compared to psychiatrically ill patients treated with non-antipsychotic medications. However, a meta-analytic pooling of all available data has not been available to estimate the absolute and relative risk of type 2 diabetes in youth receiving antipsychotic treatment.  Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Correll: The main findings of the study that meta-analyzed data from 13 studies with 185,105 youth exposed to antipsychotics (average age 14.1 and 59.5 percent male) are that the absolute rates of type 2 diabetes are fortunately still relatively low, i.e. a cumulative type 2 diabetes  risk of 5.7/1,000 patients and an exposure adjusted incidence rate of 3.1/1,000 patient-years. Nevertheless, the cumulative risk of type 2 diabetes and its exposure adjusted incidence rate per patient were 2.6 times and three times higher compared with 298,803 healthy controls. Furthermore, the cumulative risk of type 2 diabetes and its exposure adjusted incidence rate per patient were 2.1 times and 1.8 times higher compared with 1,342,121 psychiatric patients not exposed to antipsychotics. Main modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes development in antipsychotic-treated youth were treatment with the antipsychotic olanzapine and longer antipsychotic exposure time. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, NYU, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 20.01.2016

More on Obesity from MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center Amy Schwartz, PhD, Director, New York University Institute for Education and Social Policy, and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs, Syracuse University Michele Leardo, MA, Assistant Director New York University Institute for Education and Social Policy Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: New York City, as well as other school districts, is making tap water available to students during lunch by placing water dispensers, called water jets, in schools. Surprisingly, drinking water was not always readily available in the lunchroom. Water jets are part of a larger effort to combat child obesity. We find small, but statistically significant, decreases in weight for students in schools with water jets compared to students in schools without water jets. We see a .025 reduction in standardized body mass index for boys and .022 for girls. We also see a .9 percentage point reduction in the likelihood of being overweight for boys and a .6 percentage point reduction for girls. In other words, the intervention is working. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 19.01.2016

More on Obgyne on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sandra Schulte (candidate Medicine) University Hospital Bonn Dept. Ped. Endocrinology and Diabetology MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main  findings? Response: Low birth weight, unfavourable intrauterine conditions and post-natal catch-up-growth are associated with impaired growth, accelerated pubertal maturation and metabolic disturbances later in life. However, normally, study designs cannot rule out the influence of different genetic backgrounds and familiar environments between their subjects and control groups. Therefore, we recruited a very special study cohort, solely composed of monozygotic twins. These twins had significant differences in birthweight, due to twin-to-twin-transfusion-syndrome (TTTS). Because of irregular placental anastomoses, one twin, the recipient, receives more blood becoming hypertensive and polyuric, leading to polyhydramnios and ultimately congestive heart failure and hydrops fetalis. In contrast, the donor twin becomes hypovolemic, hypotensive and oliguric, leading to oligohydramnios and growth restriction. We followed 30 pairs of these twins regularly from birth up to this current follow-up at a mean age of 14.6 years, to examine the impact of a lower birthweight on auxologic development and pubertal maturation later in life. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, BMJ, Pediatrics, Tobacco Research / 16.01.2016

More on Alcohol on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Joanne Cranwell PhD, CPsychol The UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies  School of Medicine Division of Epidemiology & Public Health Clinical Sciences Building University of Nottingham MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Cranwell: We conducted this particular study because it is well established that adolescent exposure to alcohol and tobacco in the media, such as film, television, and paid for advertising are determinants of subsequent alcohol and tobacco use in young people. The extent of potential exposure has been transformed over the past decade by the emergence of social media, in which exposure to pro-tobacco content has also been linked to favourable attitudes towards tobacco, including intention to smoke, in young non-smokers. Our previous published research highlighted that popular YouTube music videos contain tobacco and substantial alcohol content, including branding. Alcohol advertising is largely self-regulated by the alcohol industry and the Portman Group who speaks on behalf of the UK drinks industry.   The Advertising Standards Authority also provides guidance on marketing of alcohol products in the UK. Broadly speaking the guidelines from these three regulators state that “Marketing communications for alcoholic drinks should not be targeted at people under 18 and should not imply, condone or encourage immoderate, irresponsible or anti-social drinking”. However the extent to which adults and adolescents are exposed to tobacco or alcohol content from YouTube at a population level has not been quantified. In this new study we have therefore estimated population exposure to tobacco and alcohol impressions, defined as appearances in 10-second intervals in a sample of popular videos, in the British adolescent and adult population. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 11.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annie Gatewood Hoen, PhD  Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and of Biomedical Data Science and Juliette Madan, MD, MS Associate Professor of Pediatrics The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Lebanon, NH 03756 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: When newborns are delivered they begin the process of acquiring vast numbers of bacteria that are critical for healthy nutrition and for immune training for a lifetime of health. Diseases such as obesity, heart disease, colitis, autism, and even cancer risk is associated with particular patterns in the gut microbiota; interestingly breast milk exposure is associated with decreased risk of many of these diseases. The intestinal microbiome plays a critical role in development, and delivery mode (cesarean section versus vaginal delivery) and feeding method (breast milk vs. formula) are important determinants of microbiome patterns.  We observed the intestinal microbiome in 6 week old infants and how it relates to delivery type and feeding. We were particularly interested in examining patterns in the microbiome in infants who received combination feeding of both breast milk and formula, an area that has been understudied. We prospectively studied 102 infants and, with gene sequencing of bacteria, identified important patterns in microbiome composition that differed greatly based upon delivery method and between feeding groups.  Babies who were combination fed (formula and breast milk) had an intestinal microbiome that was more similar to babies who were exclusively formula fed than breast fed babies. We identified individual bacteria that were differentially abundant between delivery mode and feeding groups. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Lancet, Pediatrics / 08.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Svetlana Popova, M.D., Ph.Ds., M.P.H. Senior Scientist Social and Epidemiological Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Associate Professor, Epidemiology Division, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto Associate Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto Graduate Faculty Associate Member, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Popova: It has been known for many years that prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with a number of adverse health consequences for both the mother and developing fetus. Women who consume alcohol during pregnancy place their child(ren) at risk of developing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), and can experience a number of other adverse pregnancy outcomes including stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, premature birth, intrauterine growth retardation, and low birth weight. It was also previously known that people with FASD have many comorbidities (the simultaneous presence of two or more chronic diseases or conditions in a patient) due to the permanent damage of prenatal alcohol exposure on the fetus. However, until now it was unknown how many and what type of diseases, and at what frequencies they occur. Therefore, we reviewed the medical and epidemiological literature to identify the disease conditions that have been found to occur in people with FASD. Then based on the identified studies we estimated the pooled (combined) prevalence of the comorbid conditions found to occur among individuals with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS; the most severe and visibly identifiable form of FASD). We restricted our analysis to FAS because it is the only expression of FASD in the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, version 10 (ICD-10). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 07.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel A. Mulrooney, MD, MS Cancer Survivorship Jude Children's Research Hospital TN 38105-3678 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Dr. Mulrooney:  This is a cross-sectional analysis performed in the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study (SJLIFE), an ongoing study designed to facilitate longitudinal evaluation of health outcomes among adults previously treated for childhood cancer.  Following patients over the life spectrum can be challenging making it difficult to understand the long-term health effects of childhood cancer therapy.  Previous studies have relied on self-report, registry, or death certificate data.  Our study is novel because we clinically evaluated cancer survivors on the St. Jude campus and identified substantial, asymptomatic cardiac disease (cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, valvular disease, and conduction/rhythm disorders).
  • Cardiomyopathy was present in 7.4% of survivors and newly identified by screening in 4.7%.
  • Coronary artery disease was present in 3.8% of survivors and newly identified by screening in 2.2%.
  • Valvular disease (regurgitation or stenosis) was present in 28% of survivors and newly identified by screening in 24.8%.
  • Conduction or rhythm abnormalities were present in 4.4% of survivors and newly identified by screening in 1.4%.
The prevalence of these cardiac findings might be expected in an older population but not necessarily in this young adult (median age at time of study 31 years, range: 18-60) population.    (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Pediatrics, Pharmacology / 02.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Diane C. Chugani, PhD Director, Nemours Neuroscience Research Nemours—AI DuPont Hospital for Children Wilmington, DE 19803  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Chugani: This clinical trial was performed at 5 sites throughout the country and was lead by our team at Wayne State University and Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.  The study was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health through an Autism Centers of Excellence Network grant.  Based upon our previous PET scanning studies showing low  serotonin synthesis  in the brains of young children with autism, we tested whether the serotonin-like drug buspirone would be beneficial in treating young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  We found that low doses of buspirone were effective in reducing repetitive behaviors with no significant side effects in this group of children. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 28.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Rebold, PhD, CSCS Assistant Professor Department of Exercise Science Bloomsburg University Bloomsburg, PA 17815 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Rebold: The obesity epidemic seen in children.  If we can make children at a young age physically active then maybe they will be more likely to be physically active into their adult years.  Since parents are the primary role models for younger children we must find ways to get the parents involved in physical activity as well, because children will model their parent's behaviors. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Rebold: The main findings from this study are that when parents are actively participating in activities with their children, their children spend more time in physical activities and less time in sedentary activities. When parents are not present and children are alone, then they spend more time engaging in sedentary activities and less time in physical activities.  When parents are actively watching their children, children still engaged in a significant more amount of time in physical activities than sedentary activities when compared to the alone condition but still not as great as with parents participating. Children also liked and were motivated to engage in additional physical activity time when parents were participating with them. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Technology / 27.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Deirdre Murray Senior Lecturer/Consultant Paediatrician Dept of Paediatrics and Child Health University College Cork Clinical Investigations Unit Cork University Hospital Principal Investigator Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Murray: Everyday in clinic, and in waiting rooms and in restaurants we see parents are handing over their smart phones and iPads to occupy young children. The nature of childhood play is changing rapidly. The exact frequency and the effect of this change in unknown. We wanted to first measure how young children 12-36 months are using touchscreen devices. We asked parents who attended our paediatric unit, both outpatients and short stay inpatients to answer a study specific questionnaire. We found that of the 82 parents surveyed, 82% of parents owned a touchscreen device, and of these 87% gave their device to their toddler to play with. Thus 71% of toddlers had access to a touchscreen device. This rate was similar across the age range studied (12-36 months). By parental report, 24 months was the median age of ability to swipe (IQR: 19.5–30.5), unlock (IQR: 20.5–31.5) and active looking for touch-screen features (IQR: 22–30.5), while 25 months (IQR: 21–31.25) was the median age of ability to identify and use specific touch-screen features. Overall, 32.8% of toddlers could perform all four skills. Touchscreen usage was common at a very young age and from 2 years of age toddlers have the ability to interact purposefully with touch-screen technology.  (more…)
Author Interviews, HPV, Infections, Pediatrics, Sexual Health / 23.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Seo Yoon Lee, RN Department of Health Policy and Management Graduate School of Public Health Eun-Cheol Park MD, PhD Institute of Health Services Research Department of Preventive Medicine Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are a major public health issue which causes acute illness, infertility, long-term disability or other serious medical and psychological consequences, around the world. Adolescence is a key developmental period with rapid cognitive growth. In recent decades, substantial change in the sexual behaviors and attitudes of adolescents has occurred and this would lead them greater risk of STIs than other. Our study looked at the relationship between adolescents’ first sexual intercourse age and their STI experience, as well as to identify vulnerable time table of their sexual activity by considering the time gap between their secondary sex characteristic occurrence age and first sexual intercourse age. The findings from our study show that earlier initiation of sexual intercourse increases the odds of experiencing STIs. Also as the age gap gets shorter, the odds of experiencing STIs increase. Approximately 7.4% of boys and 7.5% of girls reported had STI. For both boys and girls, the chance of experiencing STIs increased as the age of first sexual intercourse decreased [boys: before elementary school (age 7 or under) OR=10.81, first grade (age 7or 8) OR=4.44, second grade (age 8 or 9) OR=8.90, fourth grade (age 10 or 11) OR=7.20, ninth grade (age 15 or 16) OR=2.31; girls: before elementary school OR=18.09, first grade OR=7.26, second grade OR=7.12, fourth grade OR=8.93, ninth grade OR=2.74]. The association between the absolute age gap (AAG: defined as absolute value of “Age gap” = [Age at first sexual intercourse] - [age of secondary sexual manifest]) and STI experience was examined additionally which the result showed, students who had sexual intercourse after their secondary sexual manifestation, as the AAG increases, the odds of STI experience were decreased (boys OR=0.93, girls OR=0.87). (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 23.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: S. Bryn Austin, ScD, Professor Dept. of Social and Behavioral Sciences Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Director, Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders and Katherine L. Record JD, MPH Massachusetts Health Policy Commission Boston  Medical Research: What is the background for this editorial? What are the main concerns regarding thinness in 'Paris' models? Response: The fashion industry has long been criticized for promoting unrealistic and patently unhealthy standards of thinness for girls and women. Furthermore, decades of psychological research have documented the pervasive and pernicious harm caused to body image and sense of self especially for adolescent girls during a most vulnerable time of development. What is often left out of the discussion, though, is the immediate and sometimes deadly harm caused to the girls and young women working as professional models as a result of what amounts to coerced starvation as a condition of employment. Most models begin working in the industry in their early or mid teens -- in other words, as children. We must ask ourselves, what other industry or employer in the United States would ever be allowed by our government to foster practices of coerced starvation of American child labor? (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 22.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kim Van Naarden Braun, Ph.D. Epidemiologist Developmental Disabilities Branch National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA  30341 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Van Naarden Braun: Over the past five decades, remarkable improvements have been made in obstetric and neonatal care resulting in significant declines in infant mortality both in the US and abroad, particularly for infants born premature and very low birthweight. Successes in neonatal survival have been met by concerns that the occurrence of developmental disabilities, most notably cerebral palsy, would increase. By monitoring changes over time in the prevalence of cerebral palsy, we can try to understand the impact of these advances further. Our recently published study reported that the birth prevalence of cerebral palsy has not decreased from the mid-1980’s to early 2000’s. The study also looked at whether the birth prevalence over time differed for children with cerebral palsy who were in certain racial and ethnic groups, had certain birth characteristics, or had other developmental disabilities and found that:
  • The birth prevalence of children with cerebral palsy with moderate to severe intellectual disability decreased about 2.6% each year from 1985 to 2002.
  • Birth prevalence of cerebral palsy among black children was higher than among white and Hispanic children, and this higher prevalence continued over the 17-year period.
  • Overall, there was no change over time in cerebral palsy birth prevalence among children born at certain birthweights or gestational age, but there were some differences when looking at these factors in different racial/ethnic groups.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, UCSD, Weight Research / 17.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Geert W. Schmid-Schonbein, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor and Chairman Department of Bioengineering Adjunct Professor in Medicine University of California San Diego Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Schmid-Schonbein: Most approaches to control/reduce body weight focus on reducing food quantity, improving quality and promoting daily activity. These approaches, effective in the short term, only yield modest weight control. Weight management strategies recommended in the past have not significantly diminished the current trend towards childhood and adolescence obesity. We developed and tested an alternative approach to control weight gain in healthy individuals to reduce the risk for development of obesity and diabetes complications. The essence is to: “Eat deliberately slow AND stop eating when you feel no longer hungry”. The approach avoids any form of special diet, uses no drugs, can be adopted for a lifetime and used in any ethnic environment. Children in a Mexican School in Durango were instructed by a pediatrician to learn to eat deliberately slow and to stop eating when the satiety reflex sets in, i.e. the moment when the feeling of hunger has disappeared. They were instructed to:
  • quench the thirst at the beginning of a meal with water,
  • use a portable 30 second hourglass sand timer,
  • take a bite only when the sand timer was turned, and
  • stop eating when they were no longer hungry (as compared to feeling of fullness), and
  • limit food consumption after the point of satiety.
Over a one-year period, children not using the hourglass excessively increased their body-mass index, while in contrast children using the hourglass grew normally their body-mass index. Body surface area and waist hip ratio followed the same trend. The study shows feasibility of regulating food intake by education that is directed at developing slow eating habits and cessation of eating at satiety. A combination of behavioral training and focused eating monitoring may constitute a weight control method that may serve a life-time and can be promoted for children and adolescents at moderate costs, on a national basis. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 16.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Peter C. Minneci, M.D., MHSc Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice Assistant Professor, Pediatric Surgery The Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Minneci: Non-operative management of uncomplicated appendicitis has been shown to safe and effective studied in several international adult trials. To be a reasonable treatment alternative to urgent appendectomy, non-operative management of appendicitis in children must have a clinically acceptable success rate with minimal harm in patients that fail and subsequently undergo appendectomy. We performed a prospective single-institution patient choice trial allowing the families of children with acute uncomplicated appendicitis to choose between urgent appendectomy or non-operative management with antibiotics alone. We enrolled 102 patients, with 65 choosing surgery and 37 choosing non-operative management with antibiotics alone. Non-operative management had an in-hospital success rate of 94%, a 30-day success rate of 89%, and a 1-year success rate of 76%. Compared to the surgery group, patients managed non-operatively reported higher quality of life scores at 30 days and had significantly fewer disability days and lower costs, with no differences in the rates of complicated appendicitis or treatment-related complications at 1 year of follow-up. With this being said, there are some cases that I have read about where doctors have failed to diagnose patients for Appendicitis even after they have complained about having a number of the symptoms associated with it. Following this, some patients have even contacted companies like Negligence Claimline to get back what they deserve. You go to doctors as they are the ones who can help you get your health back in order, but when something like this happens, it is understandable as to why some people lose faith in this system. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Pediatrics / 16.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Alison Cooke PhD, MRes, BMidwif (Hons), RM Lecturer in Midwifery (Teaching and Research) School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work The University of Manchester Oxford Road Manchester  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Cooke: The use of topical oils for the management of newborn dry skin or for massage is a common practice across the globe. In the UK, olive oil and sunflower oil are commonly recommended by maternity service health professionals for baby dry skin, yet there is no evidence to support this practice. The OBSeRvE study was conducted to investigate the effect of these two oils on healthy term newborn baby skin barrier function. The study found that both oils impeded the development of the skin barrier function from birth. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Health Care Systems, Pediatrics / 14.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Eric W. Christensen, PhD Health Economist Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Christensen: National healthcare expenditures are up from 5.0% of gross domestic product in 1960 to 17.4% in 2013. We must find ways to control cost while maintaining quality. Accountable care organizations (ACOs) were designed to control a population’s health care cost while maintaining or improving quality. This study was an examination of one ACO exclusively covering a pediatric Medicaid population. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Christensen: We found that health care utilization and cost patterns were associated with the length of time patients were attributed to this ACO, where attribution length can be thought of as a proxy for consistent primary care from ACO providers. Specifically, attribution length of 2 or more years was associated with a 40.6% decrease in inpatient days. This decrease was partially offset by increases in outpatient visits (as one would expect with a primary care focus), emergency department visits, and use of pharmaceuticals. Combined these utilization changes resulted in a cost reduction 15.7% for those attributed 2 or more years. These changes were achieved while meeting quality benchmarks. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, CDC, Exercise - Fitness, Orthopedics, Pediatrics / 11.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zachary Y. Kerr, PhD, MPH Sports Injury Epidemiologist Director, NCAA Injury Surveillance Program Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention Indianapolis, IN 46202  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kerr: The NCAA Injury Surveillance Program has been ongoing since 1982, but the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention began management in 2009.  We provide the NCAA sports and medical committees with evidence-based data they can use to make rule and policy decisions aimed at student-athlete health and safety.  However, among the research community, there lacks current injury incidence data across the collegiate student-athlete population. The main findings of this study is that the rate of injury was higher in competitions than in practices.  However, the total number of injuries estimated in practices exceeds that of competition, which suggests that interventions should be aimed at reducing injury incidence in both practices and competitions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Pediatrics / 10.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria C. Magnus PhD Norwegian Institute of Public Health Department of Chronic Diseases Nydalen Norway Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Magnus: Type 1 diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic diseases with onset in childhood, but environmental risk factors have not been convincingly established. A few previous studies report that childhood weight increase might influence the development of type 1 diabetes. This study combined information from two Scandinavian birth cohorts, including more than 99,000 children. The results showed that a higher weight increase during the first year of life increased the risk of type 1 diabetes. The same was not seen for height increase during the first year of life. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 01.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Mairead Black MBChB, MRCOG, MSc Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust Clinical Lecturer, Obstetrics and Gynaecology School of Medicine and Dentistry, Division of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Cornhill Road Aberdeen AB25 2ZD  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Black: The current thinking is, if a baby is exposed to labour, then it is also exposed to ‘good bacteria’ that mothers pass on during the birth, and they are also exposed to a degree of natural stress at the time of birth that might make them more resistant to developing future illnesses. The World Health Organisation formerly recommended that no more than 15 percent of deliveries should be C-sections. However rates in some countries have soared – China and Brazil have rates in excess of 50%, whilst in the UK the figure is 26% with almost half of these being planned in advance. The main purpose of this study was to explore whether health outcomes in children up to very early adulthood differ according to how they are delivered and whether avoiding labour entirely, i.e. via a planned C-section, could put children at a disadvantage compared to those delivered vaginally or by emergency C-section, where most will have been exposed to labour. The study analysed data from over 300,000 births between 1993 and 2007 across Scotland, using routinely collected data from seven linked databases. (more…)
Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, OBGYNE, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics / 28.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Benjamin Thompson PhD School of Optometry and Vision Science Faculty of Science, University of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario Canada Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Thompson: Our investigation was part of the longitudinal Infant Development and Environment and Lifestyle (IDEAL) study that was designed to investigate the effect of prenatal methamphetamine exposure on neurodevelopment. Although the negative impact of prenatal drug exposure on a wide range of neurodevelopmental outcomes such cognitive and motor function is established, the effect on vision is not well understood. To address this issue, vision testing was conducted when children in the New Zealand arm of the IDEAL study turned four and half years of age. Although the primary focus of the IDEAL study was the impact of methamphetamine on neurodevelopment, the majority of children enrolled in the study were exposed to a range of different drugs prenatally including marijuana, nicotine and alcohol. Many children were exposed to multiple drugs. This allowed us to investigate the impact of individual drugs and their combination on the children’s visual development. Alongside standard clinical vision tests such as visual acuity (the ‘sharpness’ of vision) and stereopsis (3D vision), we also tested the children’s ability to process complex moving patterns. This test, known as global motion perception, targets a specific network of higher-level visual areas in the brain that are thought to be particularly vulnerable to neurodevelopmental risk factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Pediatrics / 25.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview Grant S Schulert MD, PhD Clinical Fellow, Division of Rheumatology Cincinnati Childrens Hospital  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Schulert: Influenza infection causes millions of illnesses annually, but most of those are relatively mild.  In a subset of cases, patients can become critically ill, even if they are relatively young and healthy.  Several previous reports had observed in these critically ill patients features of a hyperinflammatory syndrome known as HLH (hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis) or MAS (macrophage activation syndrome).  This hyperinflammation can be triggered by other infections as well as in a subtype of juvenile arthritis, but there is also a familial form occurring in early childhood with known genetic causes.  Our questions with this study were 1) how often are features consistent with HLH/MAS seen in fatal H1N1 influenza infections and 2) do patients with fatal H1N1 infection have genetic mutations associated with HLH/MAS? Our collaborator Paul Harms, MD, and his team at the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School identified 16 cases of fatal H1N1 influenza infection.  Based on their clinical features, between 41-88% of these patients could be categorized as having a hyperinflammatory HLH/MAS.  We then used processed tissue samples from the patients for whole exome genetic sequencing, which reads the entire genetic code of every gene in a person. Five patients carried mutations in genes which cause HLH, and several others carried mutations in genes linked to MAS.  This suggests that there may be genetic risk factors for developing fatal hyperinflammatory syndromes in H1N1 infection. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 25.11.2015

Dr. Ffion C Davies Consultant in Emergency Medicine & Paediatric Lead University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust Leicester Royal Infirmary Leicester UKMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ffion C Davies Consultant in Emergency Medicine & Paediatric Lead University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust Leicester Royal Infirmary Leicester UK Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Davies: This study is from the Trauma Audit Research Network data, which is a major trauma database receiving data from nearly all hospitals in England and Wales. A 2012 TARN report on major trauma in children showed a peak of injuries resulting from child abuse in the younger age group. In this study we analysed the database in more detail, in order to profile this peak of injuries from non-accidental injury (NAI). Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Davies: The main findings are that severe injury and death resulting from non-accidental injury occurs nearly always in the under 5 year old age group, and 75% of cases are under 1 year old. This contrasts with reports in the media, whereby high profile deaths in children from non-accidental injury are often older children. This probably reflects reporting bias, because those children experienced a prolonged period of abuse, despite involvement of health and social services. Our study shows that very small infants are the most likely to die, or to sustain severe head injuries. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 24.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: N.J. Scheers, PhD Former manager of CPSC's Infant Suffocation Project BDS Data Analytics, Alexandria, VA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Scheers: There are no federal regulations for crib bumpers. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Canadian Pediatric Society, the National Institutes of Health, and others have long recommended against crib bumper use. Crib bumper manufacturers have a long-standing voluntary safety standard aimed at making crib bumpers safe. Neither of these approaches has worked to prevent deaths from bumpers.  Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Scheers: Using data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the research identified 48 deaths from crib bumpers from 1985-2012. Reports of the deaths increased significantly and were three times higher from 2006 through 2012 than in previous years. In most of the deaths, the crib bumpers were the only source of suffocation, rebutting beliefs that other items in the cribs (comforters, pillows, blankets) caused the deaths. In other deaths, wedging occurred between the bumper and other objects such as pillows and infant recliners. All of these deaths would have been preventable if crib bumpers had not been in the cribs. The study linked more deaths to crib bumpers than the 48 indicated in the CPSC data. A review of data from the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths reveals reports of 32 bumper-related deaths from 37 states from 2008-2011. That puts the number of fatalities tied to crib bumpers at 77 and suggests the actual number is much higher. The study identified 146 injuries from 1990-2012. Eleven were “near-misses” in which the babies were rescued before they died. These were near-suffocations, chokings, strangulations, and falls from infants using bumpers to climb out of the cribs. There were reports of poor bumper design, such as a lack of bottom bumper ties, or construction problems, such as bumper ties and decoration that detached. Parents often buy bumpers to prevent slat entrapments or to prevent infants bumping their heads in the cribs. This is the first study to show that these events occurred even with a bumper present. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Tobacco Research / 24.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: William G. Shadel, PhD Associate Director, Population Health Program Senior Behavioral Scientist RAND Corporation Pittsburgh, PA  15213  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Shadel: The tobacco industry spends almost all of its multi-billion dollar advertising budget at retail point-of-sale locations.  A key feature of their advertising strategy includes the tobacco power wall, a prominent behind the cashier display of hundreds of cigarette and tobacco product brands.  The power wall also displays posters for those tobacco products as well as pricing information.  As such, it conveys a lot of positive messages about tobacco products to consumers. The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate whether hiding or moving the tobacco power wall from its highly conspicuous location reduced teens’ smoking risk when they shop at convenience stores.   The study took place in the RAND StoreLab (RSL), a life-sized replica of a convenience store that was constructed to explore a range of options for regulating tobacco products at point-of-sale retail locations.  A sample of 271 teens (ages 11-17) was randomized to one of three experimental conditions: cashier (the tobacco power wall was located in its usual location, behind the cashier); side wall (the tobacco power wall was moved from behind the cashier to an out of the way location in the RSL); and hidden (the tobacco power wall was located behind the cashier, but was hidden behind an opaque wall).  After teens finished shopping in the RSL, they completed questionnaires that measured their susceptibility to future smoking. Teens assigned to the condition where the power wall was hidden were significantly less likely to report that they would smoke in the future, compared with those that were assigned to the cashier condition.  Locating the power wall to a sidewall had no effect on smoking susceptibility. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kaiser Permanente, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 24.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erica P. Gunderson, PhD, MPH, MS, RD Senior Research Scientist, Division of Research, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Conditions Section Kaiser Permanente Northern California Oakland, CA 94612 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Gunderson: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a disorder of glucose tolerance affecting 5-9 percent of all U.S. pregnancies (approximately 250,000 annually), with a 7-fold higher risk of progression to type 2 diabetes. Strategies during the postpartum period for prevention of diabetes focus on modification of lifestyle behaviors, including dietary intake and physical activity to promote weight loss. Lactation is a modifiable postpartum behavior that improves glucose and lipid metabolism, and increases insulin sensitivity, with favorable metabolic effects that persist post-weaning. Despite these metabolic benefits, evidence that lactation prevents type 2 diabetes remains inconclusive, particularly among women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Among women with GDM, evidence that lactation prevents diabetes is based on only two studies with conflicting findings. The Study of Women, Infant Feeding and Type 2 Diabetes after GDM Pregnancy, also known as the SWIFT Study, is the first to measure breastfeeding on a monthly basis during the first year after delivery and the first to enroll a statistically significant number of women with gestational diabetes, and to evaluate social, behavioral and prenatal risk factors that influence development of type 2 diabetes, as well as breastfeeding initiation and success. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Smoking, Tobacco / 23.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Andrea C. Villanti PhD, MPH Director, Regulatory Science and Policy Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Truth Initiative Washington, DC 20001 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Villanti: Awareness, interest, and use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have increased since the products were introduced in the U.S. in 2006. Between 2012 and 2013, 8.3% of young adults reported current e-cigarette use compared to 4.2% of adults overall. One factor likely driving e-cigarette use as well as the use of other tobacco products is advertising, which has been demonstrated to promote the initiation and continued use of cigarettes. Advertising is critical for raising awareness about newly introduced products, and has been shown to influence initiation, experimentation, and progression to regular combustible cigarette smoking in youth. This study used a randomized control trial to assess the impact of brief exposure to four e-cigarette print advertisements (ads) on perceptions, intention, and subsequent use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes among young adults (age 18-34). It found that exposure to e-cigarette ads may enhance curiosity and limited trial of e-cigarettes in never users. Other findings include:
  • Compared to the control group, ad exposure was associated with greater curiosity to try an e-cigarette among never e-cigarette users (18.3% exposed vs. 11.3% unexposed), and greater likelihood of e-cigarette trial at follow-up among never users of cigarettes and e-cigarettes (3.6% exposed vs. 1.2% unexposed).
  • Exploratory analyses did not find an association between ad exposure and cigarette trial or past 30-day use among never users at follow-up, nor cigarette use among smokers over time.
  • Curiosity to try an e-cigarette mediated the relationship between ad exposure and e-cigarette trial among e-cigarette never users.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Melatonin, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 23.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Bor-Luen Chiang Vice Superintendent, National Taiwan University Hospital Professor of Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics National Taiwan University Attending Physician, Department of Medical research National Taiwan University Hospital and Yung-Sen Chang, MD MPH Attending physician, Department of Pediatrics, Taipei City Hospital Renai Br. Adjunct Attending Physician, Department of Pediatrics National Taiwan University Children’s Hospital Adjunct Instructor, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Prof. Chang: Sleep disturbance is a common disorder in the children with atopic dermatitis (AD) (reported in 47 to 60%), but no effective way of managing this problem had been established. In our preceding study, we found that lower nocturnal melatonin level was significantly associated with sleep disturbance in the patients with AD. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland which plays an important role in sleep regulation. In addition to sleep-inducing effects, melatonin also has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties which might be helpful for the management o fatopic dermatitis. Furthermore, melatonin has an excellent safety profile with minimal adverse effects, making it a good choice for children. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate whether melatonin is effective for improving the sleep problems and the dermatitis severity in children with atopic dermatitis. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Prof. Chang: From our double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, we found that after melatonin treatment, the sleep onset latency shortened by 21.4 minutes compared with placebo (from a mean of 44.9 minutes to 21.6 minutes). The Scoring Atopic Dermatitis Index (higher scores representing more severe dermatitis) also decreased by 9.9 compared with placebo (from a mean of 49.1 to 40.2). No adverse events were reported throughout the study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Pediatrics, PNAS / 21.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lauren Kenworthy, PhD Associate professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry George Washington University School of Medicine Director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders Children’s National Health System Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kenworthy: Connectivity among brain regions may account for variability in autism outcomes not explained by age or behavioral measures, according to a study. We have previously shown that behavioral assessments of intelligence, baseline adaptive behavior and executive functions in people with autism can explain some of the variation in outcomes and function, but we have not been able to explain all of the variance in outcome (e.g. Pugliese et al 2015a, 2015b). In this study, we found that 44% of the study group experienced significant change in scores on adaptive behavior between the initial scan and follow-up. Connectivity between three resting-state networks, including the salience network, the default-mode network, and the frontoparietal task control network, was linked not only to future autistic behaviors but also to changes in autistic and adaptive behaviors over the post-scan period. Further, connectivity involving the salience network and associated brain regions was associated with improvement in adaptive behaviors, with 100% sensitivity and around 71% precision. (more…)