Author Interviews, Education, Pediatrics, PNAS, Social Issues / 26.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Joan L. Luby, MD Samuel and Mae S. Ludwig Professor of Child Psychiatry Director, Early Emotional Development Program Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, Missouri

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Dr. Luby: The study was designed to investigate brain development in early onset mental disorders. The main findings validate depression in preschoolers with brain change evident this young similar to that known in adults. We also found effects of maternal support on brain development in this process which is what the current paper focuses on . (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 25.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Gary Smith, MD PhD Director, Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Smith: Laundry detergent packets are relatively new to the U.S. market (introduced in 2012). As their popularity has increased, so have calls to poison centers for detergent packet exposures. The study analyzed calls to poison centers and compared exposures to young children from dishwasher and laundry detergent packets as well as traditional (liquid and powder) dishwasher and laundry detergents. Incidents related to laundry detergent packets saw the biggest rise - increasing 17% over the two-year study period. Poison control centers received more than 30 calls a day on average about a child who had been exposed to a laundry detergent packet, which is about one call about every 45 minutes. Claims made by others that the rate of exposures is decreasing are misleading – these claims are based on an inappropriate use of numbers. Children exposed to laundry detergent packets were significantly more likely to be admitted to a healthcare facility or have a serious medical outcome than those exposed to other types of detergent. They were also more likely to have serious clinical effects. Coma, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, and death were only observed among children exposed to laundry detergent packets. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Pediatrics, Radiation Therapy / 25.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lindsay M. Morton, PhD Senior investigator in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetic National Cancer Institute Bethesda, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Morton: We know that childhood cancer survivors, particularly those who received radiotherapy to the chest, have strongly increased risk of developing breast cancer. We studied about 3,000 female survivors of childhood cancer to identify whether inherited genetic susceptibility may influence which survivors go on to develop breast cancer. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Morton: In this discovery study, we found that specific variants in two regions of the genome were associated with increased risk of breast cancer after childhood cancer among survivors who received 10 or more gray of chest radiotherapy. A variant at position q41 on chromosome 1 was associated with nearly two-fold increased risk and one at position q23 on chromosome 11 was associated with a more than three-fold increased risk for each copy of the risk alleles. However, the variant alleles didn’t appear to have an effect among survivors who did not receive chest radiotherapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 25.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hans Van Brabandt, M.D. Brussel, Belgium MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Van Brabandt: We have been asked by the Belgian government to assess the benefits and harms of pre-participation screening of young athletes. A number of Belgian cardiologists and screening physicians are intensely promoting such screening through mass media and were asking governmental support. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Van Brabandt:  There is no solid evidence on the benefit of cardiovascular pre-participation screening, and certainty of harms it induces through numerous false-positives, making that such screening in young athletes cannot be defended. -          Italian investigators assert they have provided evidence for the benefit of screening. The single study on which they base their claim however is far from convincing. Unfortunately, more than 10 years after their first paper, they still did not make the majority of their data publicly available. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Pediatrics / 23.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Janet Currie Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Policy Affairs Chair, Department of Economics Director, Center for Health and Wellbeing Princeton University Princeton NJ 08544 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Many recent studies point to increasing inequality in mortality in the United States over the past 20 years. These studies often use mortality rates in middle and old age. This is the first study to examine mortality trends for younger ages.  We find that for infants, children and young adults below age 20, however, there have been strong mortality improvements that were most pronounced in poorer counties, implying a strong decrease in mortality inequality. There is a great deal of evidence from past studies that healthier children grow up to be healthier adults.  These current young people will form the future adult U.S. population, so this research suggests that inequality in middle and old-age mortality may have peaked and is likely to decline as these cohorts become older. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 21.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Juliana F.W. Cohen, ScD, ScM Merrimack College, Department of Health Sciences North Andover MA 01845 Adjunct Assistant Professor of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Cohen: Back in 2012, Massachusetts enacted both the updated USDA standards for school meals and healthier standards for snacks in schools that were similar to the upcoming, fully implemented national "Smart Snacks" standards.  We examined the impact of these standards on school food revenues and school meal participation. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Cohen: After schools had time to acclimate to the changes, schools revenues remained high. While students spent less money on snacks, more children were now participating in the lunch program so school food revenues were not impacted long-term. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, University Texas, Weight Research / 21.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Antonio Saad, MD Fellow in Maternal Fetal Medicine & Critical Care Medicine University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Saad: Recently the WHO announced an alarming news, the prevalence of diabetes has increased four fold in the past quarter-century. The major factors attributed for this increase included excessive weight, and obesity. In the US alone, two thirds of people are either overweight or obese. There are shocking numbers that should alert physicians, patients and government officials for awareness and interventions that we can alter the path away from this drastic epidemic. In light of recent events, our group strongly believes that poor diet during pregnancy predisposes offspring in adult life to develop obesity and diabetes through fetal programming. High fructose introduction into our food chain has coincided with the obesity and diabetes epidemics. Hence, we designed an animal study where we fed pregnant mice with either regular diet or high fructose diet until delivery. Then we looked at the offspring, at 12 months of age. We looked at  their blood pressure, glucose tolerance tests, insulin resistance,  and weights. We also tested for serum marker of metabolic dysfunction and used computed tomography imaging to assess for liver fat infiltration and percent visceral adipose tissue. To our surprise, these offspring (mothers were fed high fructose diet) developed several features of metabolic syndrome.  Female offspring’s cardiovascular and metabolic function at one year of age (adulthood) had increased weight, blood pressure, visceral adiposity, liver fat infiltrates and  insulin resistance with impaired glucose tolerance).  The  male counterparts were limited to high blood pressure  and glucose intolerance. Keeping in mind that the amount of fructose given to these animals were equivalent to daily soda cans consumption in humans. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 18.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas J. Sandora, M.D., M.P.H. Senior Associate Physician in Medicine; Hospital Epidemiologist; Medical Director, Infection Control Boston Children’s Hospital Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Sandora: Giving antibiotics before certain types of operations results in lower rates of surgical site infections. However, there are limited data about which pediatric operations require antibiotic prophylaxis. We examined national variability in antibiotic prophylaxis for the 45 most commonly performed pediatric operations at children's hospitals in the U.S. We found that antibiotic use was considered appropriate for only 64.6% of cases, with a high degree of variability within procedures and between hospitals. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 18.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lara B. McKenzie PhD MA Principal Investigator Center for Injury Research and Policy The Research Institute Nationwide Children’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. McKenzie: Skateboarding is a popular recreational sport and participation has increased the last several decades, faster than any other sport or recreation activity between 1998 and 2007 (National Sporting Goods Association Sports Participation in 2007). With growing participation, has come an increasing rate of injuries from skateboarding. The study examined data for youth and adolescents 5-19 years of age who were treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) for skateboarding-related injuries from 1990-2008. It found that nationally, over the 19-year period, there was an average of 64,572 children and adolescents treated each year for skateboarding-related injuries – about 176 a day. Most patients were male (89 percent), and were injured either at home (38 percent) or in the street and/or highway (30 percent). The most commonly injured body regions were the upper (45 percent) and lower (32 percent) extremities. The most common diagnoses were fractures or dislocations (33 percent), sprains and strains (25 percent) and bruises (20 percent). Children and adolescents 11-14 years of age were hospitalized more often than younger or older children/adolescents. Lower extremity injuries increased with age, while face and head or neck injuries decreased with age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 15.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Kieron Barclay PhD Department of Social Policy London School of Economics MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Barclay: Mean age at childbearing has been increasing in most countries in the OECD since the early 1970s. A wealth of research has shown that childbearing at advanced ages is associated with greater difficulty in terms of getting pregnant, higher rates of miscarriage, stillbirth, and increased risk of poor peri-natal outcomes such as pre-term birth and low birth weight. Studies also indicate that the offspring of older mothers have a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and mortality in adulthood. However, from the perspective of any individual woman, delaying childbearing to an older age necessarily also means that she will give birth in a later birth year. The last 40 to 50 years have seen substantial improvements in educational opportunities, and better public health conditions and medical knowledge. As a result, these positive secular trends may outweigh or counterbalance the negative effects of reproductive aging for the child. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 08.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Moshe Ben-Shoshan, MD, M.Sc. Assistant Professor Division of Pediatric Allergy and Clinical Immunology Department of Pediatrics McGill University Health Center Montreal, Quebec, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ben-Shoshan: Given that up to 10% of children treated with amoxicillin are tagged as allergic usually with no confirmatory tests (given high waiting times to see an allergist and controversy regarding confirmatory tests) we aimed to assess the accuracy of the graded provocation challenge (PC) . Unlike previous studies we challenged ALL 818 children presenting with rashes on amoxicillin treatment . We were able to show that almost 95% tolerated the challenge while 17 had immediate reactions (within 1 hour ) and 31 had non immediate reactions . We found that although it is suggested to do skin tests ( with PrePen and pen G ) to diagnose immediate amoxicillin allergy only 1 of 17 had a positive skin test indicating poor sensitivity of this test. In addition among all those with negative challenge that we followed over 3 years 10% had mild skin reactions when they received subsequent full treatment . (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 07.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anne G. Wheaton, Ph.D. Epidemiologist Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division of Population Health Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch Atlanta, GA  30341-3717  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Wheaton: Unintentional injury, mostly from motor vehicle crashes, is the leading cause of death for adolescents. Adolescents who do not get enough sleep are at an increased risk for motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional injury, such as sports injuries and occupational injuries. We evaluated the association between self-reported sleep duration on an average school night and several injury-related risk behaviors (infrequent bicycle helmet use, infrequent seatbelt use, riding with a driver who had been drinking, drinking and driving, and texting while driving) among more than 50 thousand US high school students. The likelihood of each of five injury-related risk behaviors (infrequent bicycle helmet use, infrequent seatbelt use, riding with a driver who had been drinking, drinking and driving, and texting while driving) was significantly higher for students sleeping ≤7 hours on an average school night compared with 9 hours. Infrequent seatbelt use, riding with a drinking driver, and drinking and driving were also more likely for students sleeping ≥10 hours compared to 9 hours on an average school night. Although short and long sleep may simply be associated with other adolescent risk behaviors, insufficient sleep may cause individuals to take more risks and disregard the possibility of negative consequences. However, the study was cross-sectional, meaning the students were asked questions at one time point, so it is not possible to determine if there is a cause and effect association between sleep and these risk behaviors. Insufficient sleep may contribute to injury risk directly by slowing reaction time, impairing ability to pay attention, or causing a driver to fall asleep, but these results provide evidence that some of the increased risk associated with insufficient sleep might be due to engaging in injury-related risk behaviors. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Cannabis, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 06.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cara Christ, M.D., M.S. Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Christ: This study was a systematic review. The purpose of a systematic review is to critically assess and summarize the best available research evidence on a specific issue. This usually involves a critical synthesis of the results of several high quality studies on the issue under review. Overall, this review found that infants exposed to cannabis during pregnancy had a 77% higher likelihood of being underweight (<2500grams) at birth, compared to infants whose mothers did not use cannabis. Also, if the mother used cannabis during pregnancy, the likelihood of her infant needing to be placed in a neonatal intensive care unit was two times higher compared to those infants whose mothers did not use cannabis during pregnancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Fertility, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 06.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sheree L. Boulet, DrPH, MPH Division of Reproductive Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Boulet: Findings from some studies have suggested that children conceived with assisted reproductive technology (ART) have increased risks of birth defects compared with spontaneously conceived children. Many of these studies were limited by a small sample size and were unable to assess risks associated with specific ART procedures. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Boulet: We found that singleton infants conceived using assisted reproductive technology were 1.4 times more likely to have a non-chromosomal birth defect compared with other infants, and the risks were highest for gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal defects. However, when our study was restricted to only ART-conceived infants, no single procedure substantially increased the risk for birth defects. This suggests that the higher risk of birth defects may be due to underlying issues related to infertility, rather than to ART itself. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 05.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paula Braitstein, PhD Division of Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya Department of Epidemiology, Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis Regenstrief Institute Inc, Indianapolis, Indiana MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Braitstein: There are vast numbers of children and youth in the world who find themselves in street circumstances. Yet, there is an absence of consensus among academics, policymakers, stakeholders, and international organizations regarding the causes of child and youth street-involvement around the world. Without data concerning these reasons, policies are developed or implemented to mitigate street-involvement without taking these causes into account. Often, the prevailing paradigm assumes that children and youth on the street are juvenile delinquents and the government response is often characterized by social exclusion, criminalization, and oppression by police and civic authorities. Therefore we wanted to find out what reasons do children and youth self-report for their street-involvement globally. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Dr. Braitstein: We systematically reviewed the literature and compiled data from 49 studies representing 24 countries globally. Street-connected children and youth most frequently reported poverty, family conflict, and abuse as their reasons for street-involvement. They infrequently identified delinquent behaviours for their circumstances. There were no significant differences between males and females reported reasons, with the exception of females in developed regions who were more likely to report abuse. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 28.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tasnee Chonmaitree, M.D. Professor, Pediatrics and Pathology Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Department of Pediatrics University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX 77555-0371 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Chonmaitree: Respiratory infections are common in infants and young children; they are caused by viruses and/or bacteria. Viral upper respiratory tract infection or the common cold is exceedingly common and leads to bacterial complications such as ear infection, which the leading cause of antibiotic prescription in the US and the most common reason children undergo surgery (ear tube placement). In the past few decades, some bacterial and viral vaccines have become available aiming to reduce respiratory infections in children. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Chonmaitree: Our study looked to update information on how often infants in the first year of life acquired the common cold, and ear infection in the new vaccine era. The study was performed between 2009 and 2014 and included 367 infants followed closely from near birth up to one year of age. We found that on average, an infant had about 3 colds in the first year of life, and almost half of infants had ear infection by age 1 year. This was less than what happened in the past few decades. The reduction of ear infection may have been the result of many factors from bacterial and viral vaccine use, to increased breastfeeding rate and reduction in household smoking. Risk factors for ear infection included carriage of bacteria in the nose, frequencies of common cold and lack of breastfeeding. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Pediatrics / 25.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lee J. Helman, MD Senior Investigator Pediatric Oncology Branch Head, Molecular Oncology Section Acting Director, Center for Cancer Research and CCR Scientific Director for Clinical Research National Cancer Institute Bethesda, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Helman: It was known that most gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTS) that occur in children and young adults do not contain cKIT or PDGFRA mutations that drive more than 90% of adult GIST tumors.  Since GISTs are quite rare in the pediatric and young adult population, we decided to establish a clinic at NIH that would allow us to study the most patients to try to define these tumors both clinically and molecularly. We were able to bring both patients and physicians interested in pediatric GIST from around the country to the NIH to begin to collect and study these patients. Of the 95 patients in this cohort study that lacked cKIT or PDGFRAmutations, 84 were found to have succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) deficient (SDH-deficient) GIST (75% due to SDH A, B, C, or mutations, and 25% due to SDHC promoter hypermethylation. Since these tumors are driven by SDH loss and not due to KIT or PDGFR mutations, they do not generally respond to standard treatments for GIST that target these kinases. The mechanism of SDH-deficiency is important, since SDH mutations are commonly germ line and therefore require genetic counseling and family testing, while the SDHC promoter methylation is not a germ line alteration and therefore does not require genetic counseling.  Finally, any patient with SDH-deficient GIST is also at risk for development of paraganglioma and should be screened on a regular basis for these tumors.  (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, PLoS, Surgical Research / 16.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Mairead Black MBChB, MRCOG, MSc Clinical Lecturer, Obstetrics and Gynaecology School of Medicine and Dentistry, Division of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Cornhill Road Aberdeen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Black: The commonest reason for performing a planned Cesarean Section (CS) in high-income countries is a history of a previous CS. However, there is very little information available on childhood health outcomes of birth after a previous . MedicalResearch.com: Why might vaginal birth be beneficial? Dr. Black: If a baby is born naturally, it is exposed to various processes of labour and birth which may help their immunity and ability to avoid or fight future illness. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, NYU, Pediatrics, PNAS, Weight Research / 15.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michele Leardo Assistant Director Institute for Education & Social Policy New York University New York, NY 10012 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: US school districts increasingly distribute annual fitness and body mass index (BMI) “report cards” to students and parents. Such personalized informational interventions have appeal in economics because they can inform parents about their children's obesity status at relatively low costs. Awareness of the weight status can lead to behavioral responses that can improve health. New York City public schools adopted Fitnessgram in 2007-2008, reporting each student’s BMI alongside categorical BMI designations. We examined how being classified as “overweight” for the previous academic year affected the students’ subsequent BMI and weight. Specifically, we compared female students whose BMI was close to their age-specific cutoff for being considered overweight with those whose BMI narrowly put them in the “healthy” category. We find that being labeled overweight had no beneficial effects on students’ subsequent BMI and weight. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Pediatrics / 14.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashley Bryce, NIHR PhD student Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol (first author) Dr Céire Costelloe NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare associated infections and AMR, Imperial College London (senior author)  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Antimicrobial resistance is an internationally recognised threat to health. Previous antibiotic use has been shown to be a risk factor for antimicrobial resistance in adults. The contribution of primary healthcare is particularly important as this is where almost 80% of all antibiotics used within the health service are prescribed. Children receive a lot of primary healthcare services and, as such, receive a disproportionately high number of antibiotics compared with middle aged populations. Despite this, little research has been published describing the prevalence of bacterial resistance in children or the risk factors of importance in this group. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Prevalence of resistance to commonly prescribed antibiotics in primary care in children with urinary tract infections caused by E coli is high, particularly in countries outside the OECD, where one possible explanation is the availability of antibiotics over the counter. This could render some antibiotics ineffective as first line treatments for urinary tract infection. Routine use of antibiotics in primary care contributes to antimicrobial resistance in children, which can persist for up to six months after treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 14.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elaine Tuomanen, MD Chair and Full Member Dept of Infectious Diseases St Jude Children’s Research Hospital 262 Danny Thomas Place Memphis, TN 38105 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tuomanen: While investigating mechanisms of brain repair during infection in a mouse model system, we found that components from the surfaces of bacteria could traffic from the mother to the fetus. The bacterial components moved across the placenta and into the fetal brain. To our surprise, the fetal brain did not respond with neuronal death like we see in children with meningitis. Rather, fetal neurons proliferated. This response involved the innate immune system (TLR2) inducing the neuronal transcription factor, FoxG1, which is known to drive proliferation. The newly born neurons migrated appropriately to the cortical plate, the area on the surface of the fetal brain that forms the cortex, a major part of the adult brain. Although the neurons moved to the right place in the brain, there were too many and they crowded together in the cortex, changing the architecture of the brain. At birth, affected mice seemed to have no abnormalities. However, when we tested if this change in architecture would affect brain function after birth, mice were shown to progressively develop defects in learning, memory and other cognitive functions. This indicates there is a window during pregnancy where components of bacteria from the mother can change fetal brain architecture and subsequent postnatal behavior (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 11.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yanning Wang, MS Statistical Research Coordinator Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine Department of Health Outcomes and Policy University of Florida College of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A number of new stimulant medications have been approved for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment in the past decade. The expansion of this market, along with the increase in ADHD diagnosis, provides greater availability of these drugs. This has raised public health concerns about potential non-medical use of prescription stimulants. Our study analyzed data from the National Monitoring of Adolescent Prescription Stimulants Study, which recruited and surveyed youth aged 10 to 18 years from entertainment venues in 10 US cities. We found that 6.8% of youth (750 out of 11,048) used prescription stimulants in the past 30 days. Among those 750 youth, more than half reported some type of non-medical use, and using someone else’s medication was the most common form (88.4 %). We investigated the difference between two subgroups of non-medical users: youth who only used stimulants non-medically, and those who had a prescription and reported non-medical use in the past 30 days. We found youth who only used stimulants non-medically at higher rate of using other substances and more likely to have close friends who have tried other drugs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Pediatrics / 10.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roger Zemek, MD, FRCPC Associate Professor, Dept of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Clinical Research Chair in Pediatric Concussion, University of Ottawa Director, Clinical Research Unit, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Ottawa, ON MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Zemek: The number of concussions have dramatically increased over the past decade.  Not only are children and adolescents are at highest risk for getting concussions, they also take longer to recover.  As part of our background work, our team performed a systematic review (published in JAMA Pediatrics) confirming that validated, easy-to-use prognosticators did not exist for clinicians to identify children with concussion who are at the highest risk for persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) and sequelae. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Zemek: In this, the largest concussion study in the world to-date, we derived and validated in a large, diverse cohort of children a clinical risk score that is significantly superior to clinicians’ ability to predict future PPCS at the time of ED presentation. Multivariate analysis revealed that age group, female sex, past history of migraine, prior concussion with symptom duration of >1 week, ED presentation with “answering questions slowly”, 4 or more errors on BESS Tandem stance, and the initial symptoms of headache, noise sensitivity and fatigue were all clinically significant and strongly associated with PCS at 1-month. We assigned points based on the adjusted multivariate odds ratio, and the rule incorporating patient demographic factors, past history, early cognitive deficits, balance (an physical exam finding), and early symptoms.  The rule has a maximum of 12 points.  We selected two cut-off points in order to yield three clinically relevant (low, intermediate and high risk) categories for the development of PPCS at one month. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Lancet, Microbiome, Pediatrics / 09.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Phillip I. Tarr, MD Melvin E. Carnahan MD Professor of Pediatrics Director, Pediatric Division of Gastroenterolgy and Nutrition Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine St Louis, MO 63110, USA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Tarr: There is a longstanding belief that gut bacteria are relevant to the developing necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). We have established dysbiosis in the gut before NEC occurs, suggesting this ecological perturbation might be causal.

(more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 08.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Chance York PhD School of Journalism and Mass Communication Kent State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Dr. York: A number of studies have examined the effects of heavy television viewing during childhood on childhood levels of Body Mass Index (BMI), but my study added a new element to this literature: it explores the long-term effects of TV viewing on adult-era BMI. The major takeaway is that heavy television viewing during childhood results in an individual propensity to watch TV much later in life, and this propensity to watch television results in increased BMI. In other words, kids who watch a lot of television tend to remain heavy TV users as adults, and the fact that they're heavy TV viewers as adults has a separate, unique effect on their adult BMI. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 08.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alison Culyba, MD MPH Adolescent Medicine Advanced Research Fellow Craig-Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia PhD Candidate, Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Culyba: Youth violence is a major public health problem. Homicide is the second leading cause of death among all adolescents in the U.S., and the number one cause of death among African American adolescents. Prom prior research, we know that where you live and where you spend time has a major impact on health, and that making changes to environments, such as greening vacant lots and remediating abandoned buildings, can significantly reduce crime. However, much less is known about the relationship between adolescent’s immediate surroundings and the risk of homicide. The goal of this study was to examine associations between neighborhood environmental features, such as streets, buildings, and natural surroundings and adolescent homicide. We conducted a population-based case control study of 143 adolescents, ages 13 to 20, who were victims of homicides in Philadelphia and 155 matched controls in the same range, who were outdoors in Philadelphia at the same time that the homicides occurred. To assess features in the immediate environments of homicide victims and control individuals, trained field staff stood on the street corner of each homicide and control location and took a series of photographs that we stitched together into 360-degree high resolution panoramas, which we assessed for environmental features. After accounting for many individual and neighborhood contextual factors, we found that the odds of homicide was significantly lower in locations with street lighting, pedestrian infrastructure, public transportation, parks, and maintained vacant lots. (more…)