Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 22.07.2015

Prof. Lu Qi, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition Harvard School of Public Health and Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MAMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lu Qi, MD, PhD, FAHA Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor of Nutrition HarvardSchool of Public Health Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Lu QiMost previous studies focus on the effects of either lifestyle or prenatal malnutrition on diabetes risk; no study has assess these two types of risk factors in combination. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, NYU, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 10.07.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Teresa M. Attina, MD, PhD, MPH and Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP Department of Pediatrics NYU Langone Medical Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Phthalates are environmental chemicals widely used in consumer and personal care products, and often found in plastic to increase flexibility. Di-2-ethylhexylphthalate (DEHP) is of particular interest because industrial processes to produce food frequently use plastic products containing DEHP. Because recognition of potential health risks related to DEHP exposure has increased, DEHP is being replaced by di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) and di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP), two phthalates with similar chemical properties. Specifically, DINP is used in plastic products for food packaging, and DIDP is used in furnishings, cookware, medications, and several other consumer products. These alternatives have not been substantially studied for toxicity in laboratory studies because these studies are not required for regulatory approval: unlike the EU, in the US the current regulatory framework assumes that chemicals are safe until proven toxic. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: We examined DINP and DIDP levels in urine samples from children and adolescents (6 to 19 years old) who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2009 and 2012, to assess if these levels were associated with blood pressure measurements. Diet, physical activity, gender, race/ethnicity, income, and other factors that can contribute to increased blood pressure were also included in the analysis. A significant association was found between high blood pressure and DINP/DIDP levels in study participants. This is not a cause-and-effect relationship but it suggests that phthalates may contribute to increased blood pressure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 10.07.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katie Burkhouse, Graduate Student and Dr. Brandon Gibb Ph.D Professor of Psychology Director of the Mood Disorders Institute and Center for Affective Science Binghamton University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gibb:  One of the strongest risk factors for depression is a family history of the disorder.  However, even among this at-risk group, the majority of children of depressed parents do not develop depression themselves.  For those who do become depressed, the depression can severely and negatively affect their social and academic functioning, become chronic or recurrent over the lifespan, and increase risk for suicide.  What is needed therefore, is a good indicator of which children may be at greatest risk for depression so that interventions can be targeted to these individuals.  We believe that pupil dilation may represent one such marker.  Changes in pupil dilation are associated with activity in the brain’s emotional circuits and have been linked in previous research to the presence of depression.  What my graduate student Katie Burkhouse found is that, even among children who are not currently experiencing symptoms of depression, the degree to which their pupil dilates when they look at pictures of sad faces predicts their risk for developing clinically significant episodes of depression over the next two years.  The findings were specific to pupil responses to sad faces and were not observed when children looked at happy or angry faces suggesting that there is something specific to how the children were processing sad images. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics, Vitamin D / 25.06.2015

Katherine Ahrens Ph.D. MPH National Center for Health Statistics Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hyattsville, MDMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katherine Ahrens Ph.D. MPH National Center for Health Statistics Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hyattsville, MD Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Ahrens: In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) revised their recommended minimum daily intake of vitamin D for infants and children to 400 IU. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Ahrens: Approximately one quarter of US infants aged 0 to 11 months met the 2008 AAP vitamin D recommendations on a given day in 2009 to 2012. Fewer than 1 in 5 breastfed infants met the vitamin D recommendations compared to nearly 1 in 3 non-breastfed infants. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Pediatrics / 24.06.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lois K. Lee, MD, MPH Division of Emergency Medicine Boston Children's Hospital Boston, MA 02115 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Motor vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of death for children and adults in the U.S. Seat belts are the single most effective protective device to decreased death and mitigate injuries in the event of a motor vehicle crash. Our study found that states with primary seat belt laws, where a motorist can be ticketed only for not wearing a seat belt, demonstrated a 17% decreased fatality rate, compared to states with secondary seat belt laws, where a motorist must be cited for another violation first before also getting ticketed for not wearing a seat belt. We found this difference was robust even after controlling for other motor vehicle safety legislation and state demographic factors. We found that although seatbelts prevent deaths, they don't completely stop injury so if you have been in an accident that wasn't your fault then you might want to look for a place like the Parnall Law Firm to see if they can help you get compensation for your injuries. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Columbia, Gastrointestinal Disease, Microbiome, Pediatrics / 19.06.2015

Daniel E. Freedberg, MD, MS Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases Columbia University, New YorkMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel E. Freedberg, MD, MS Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases Columbia University, New York Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Freedberg: Acid suppression medications are increasingly prescribed to relatively healthy children without clear indications, but the side effects of these medications are uncertain. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Freedberg: Acid suppression with (proton pump inhibitors ) PPIs or (histamine-2 receptor antagonists) H2RAs was associated with increased risk for C. diff infection in both infants and older children. Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Dr. Freedberg: Increased risk for C. diff should be factored into the decision to use acid suppression medications in children.  Our findings imply that acid suppression medications alter the bacterial composition of the lower gastrointestinal tract. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics / 15.06.2015

Dr. Gary Smith MD, DrPH Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus, OhioMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Gary Smith MD, DrPH Center for Injury Research and Policy Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus, Ohio Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Smith: As of January 2015, 23 states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for medical use. Four of those same states and Washington D.C. have also voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The debate about legalization often focuses on health effects among adults, economic benefits, and crime rates. Lost in the discussion is the potential harm to young children from unintentional exposure to marijuana. The study found that the rate of marijuana exposure among children 5 years of age and younger rose 147.5 percent from 2006 through 2013 across the United States. The rate increased almost 610 percent during the same period in states that legalized marijuana for medical use before 2000. In states that legalized marijuana from 2000 through 2013, the rate increased almost 16 percent per year after legalization, with a particular jump in the year that marijuana was legalized. Even states that had not legalized marijuana by 2013 saw a rise of 63 percent in the rate of marijuana exposures among young children from 2000 through 2013. Most children were exposed when they swallowed marijuana – that may be related to the popularity of marijuana brownies, cookies and other foods. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Leukemia, NYU, Pediatrics / 15.06.2015

Susan Schwab, PhD Assistant professor at NYU Langone Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Schwab, PhD Assistant professor at NYU Langone Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Schwab:  T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) remains a devastating pediatric disease.  Roughly 20% of children do not respond to current therapies.  Furthermore, metastasis to the central nervous system is common in T-ALL, and intrathecal chemotherapy, even when successful at eradicating the cancer, causes serious long-term cognitive side-effects. Here we report that the chemokine receptor CXCR4 is essential for T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia progression in both mouse and human xenograft models of disease.  Consistent with sustained disease remission in the absence of CXCR4, loss of CXCR4 signaling results in decreased levels of c-Myc, which is required for leukemia initiating cell activity.   T-ALL cells reside near cells generating the CXCR4 ligand CXCL12 in the bone marrow, and our data suggest that vascular endothelial cells may be an important part of the T-ALL niche. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders / 14.06.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kimberly Allen PhD, RN Assistant Professor Center dr-kimberly-allenfor Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research Department Women Children and Family Health Science Chicago, IL 60612 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Allen: Pediatric traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.Each year in the United States over 1Ž2 million children are admitted to the hospital for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Depending on the severity of the injury and how the individual child responds to the primary injury, a range of medical care may be necessary from an overnight hospital admission for observation to admission in the intensive care unit (ICU) and inpatient rehabilitation facility to re-teach and help to recover skills children once knew. The short- and long-term consequences of traumatic brain injuries include: motor and sensory impairments; cognitive, emotional, psychosocial impairments; headaches, and sleep disruptions. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Allen: The main finding from this pilot study with two groups with 15 children in each group: one of children with traumatic brain injuries and one of typically, developing healthy children was that children with traumatic brain injuries have significantly more daytime sleepiness and worse sleep quality compared to the control group. Additionally, children with TBI also had lower overall  functional scores (e.g, school, social) compared to the controlled children. All of the surveys were completed by the child’s parent. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Osteoporosis, Pediatrics / 12.06.2015

Anne Winther Msc Department of Health and Care Sciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway Division of Rehabilitation Services, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, NorwayMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anne Winther Msc Department of Health and Care Sciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway Division of Rehabilitation Services, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Norway has one of the highest reported incidences of osteoporotic fractures in the world. Research on fracture risk has primarily focused on bone mass in the elderly. However, there is a growing awareness of the importance of bone mass during growth as a compensation for the inevitable bone loss and prevention of fractures in the elderly . A recent study on Norwegian adolescents´ lifestyle and bone health concluded  that peak bone mass seem to be modifiable by lifestyle factors as higher physical activity levels were strongly associated with bone mass. The other way around; low levels of physical activity may have considerable negative effects on bone health, and increasing sedentary behavior in place of sports and play during growth is worrying. In this study we explored the associations between self-reported hours spent in front of television/computers during weekends along with self reported hours spent on leisure time physical activities and bone mass density (BMD) levels at the hip. This population based study, Fit Futures 1 consisting of 388 girls and 359 boys 15-17 years old was conducted in 2010/2011, and repeated two years later including 66% of the original cohort (Fit Futures 2; 312 girls and 231 boys). Boys spent more time in front of computers and television than girls; approximately 5 and 4 hours, compared with 4 and 3 hours daily in weekends and weekdays, respectively. Physical activity levels were adversely related to leisure time computer use at weekends. However, 20 % of the girls and 25 % of the boys balanced 2-4 hours in front of the screen daily with more than 4 hours of sports and hard training per week. Screen time at weekends was negatively associated with bone mass density levels in boys and positively in girls, after adjustments of several confounders known to affect bone, including age, puberty, physical activity levels and weekday screen time. Moreover; these contrasting patterns persisted two years later. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Gastrointestinal Disease, JAMA, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 10.06.2015

Eyal Leshem, MD Division of Viral Diseases, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GeorgiaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eyal Leshem, MD Division of Viral Diseases, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Routine vaccination of US children to protect against rotavirus began in 2006. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of implementation of rotavirus vaccine on gastroenteritis and rotavirus hospitalizations of children younger than 5 years old. The main finding from this study is that hospitalizations for diarrhea in U.S. children younger than 5 years old decreased dramatically during 2008 to 2012 following implementation of routine rotavirus vaccination in 2006. Additionally, seasonal peaks of hospitalizations for rotavirus illness were considerably reduced after the vaccine was implemented compared to years prior to rotavirus vaccination. By 2012, rates of rotavirus hospitalization declined by approximately 90% across all settings and age groups. Factors such as increasing vaccine coverage as well as herd immunity resulting in less transmission of rotavirus may be responsible for this large decrease. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Depression, Pediatrics / 03.06.2015

Dr. Lucy Bowes Ph.D Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow Fellow of Magdalen College Department of Experimental Psychology University of Oxford OxfordMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lucy Bowes Ph.D Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow Fellow of Magdalen College Department of Experimental Psychology University of Oxford Oxford Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Major depression is a severe mental illness, and a leading contributor to the global burden of disease. Rates of depression begin to rise in the teenage years, though the reasons for this remain unclear. Peers become particularly important during this time, and victimisation by peers or “bullying” has been proposed as one potentially modifiable risk factor for depression. There are robust findings that peer victimisation in childhood is associated with short-term internalizing symptoms, however it remains unclear whether victimization in the teenage years is associated with major depression. Only a relatively small number of longitudinal studies have prospectively investigated victimisation in relation to depression meeting diagnostic criteria in late adolescence or adulthood. Limitations of these studies include poor measures of bullying, lack of adjustment for key confounders such as baseline emotional and behavioral difficulties and child maltreatment. Our prospective cohort observational study, published in The BMJ, used detailed self-report data on peer victimisation at 13 years from 6,719 participants of the ALSPAC or ‘Children of the 90s’ study. The outcome was depression at 18 years, measured using a self-administered computerised version of the Clinical Interview Schedule Revised, CIS-R (data available for 3,898 participants). We adjusted for a range of confounders including baseline emotional and behavioral problems, family background and other risk factors. Of the 683 children who reported frequent victimisation at 13 years, 101 (14.8%) were depressed at 18 years. Of the 1,446 children reporting some victimisation, 103 (7.1%) were depressed, and of the 1,769 children reporting no victimisation at 13 years, 98 (5.5%) were depressed. Children who were frequently victimized had over a two-fold increase in odds of depression compared with children who were not victimized by peers. This association was slightly reduced when adjusting for key confounders. The population attributable fraction suggested that 29% of depression at 18 could be explained by peer victimisation if this were a causal relationship. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 01.06.2015

Prof. Michael Breakspear MB BS, Ba(Hons), Bsc(Med), PhD QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute Royal Brisbane HospitalMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Michael Breakspear MB BS, Ba(Hons), Bsc(Med), PhD QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute Royal Brisbane Hospital Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Breakspear: The first 72 hours following complicated full-term or premature delivery of a newborn represents a critical window in which survival and long term brain development hangs in the balance. During this window of time, there does not currently exist a reliable, non-invasive, real-time measure of neuropathology that provides neurologists and neonatologists prognostic indicators of clinical outcome. We developed a tool that draws on techniques in physics used to characterize naturally occurring phenomena, such as earthquakes and avalanches, to analyze brain activity recordings of preterm infants. Our tool allows early identification of preterm infants at significant risk of developing poor long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes, such as cerebral palsy and learning difficulties at two years of age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 31.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Katz, MD Divisions of Cardiology, and Neonatology, University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, Colorado Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Katz: Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of infant mortality in the US between 1 month and 1 year of life.  This is the first large study to demonstrate an association between high altitude and SIDS.  In particular there is a doubling of risk above 8,000 feet of elevation relative to below 6,000 feet. Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Dr. Katz: There is an association between high altitude residence and Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  The reason for this association is still unknown, but hypoxia may be the common link.  While the population living above 8000 feet is small in the US, it is large worldwide.  Better understanding this association is of great medical importance. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 23.05.2015

Dr. Simon Cheng PhD. Department of Sociology University of Connecticut, Storrs, CTMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Simon Cheng PhD. Department of Sociology University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Cheng: Our research is an empirical response to the Regnerus study, one of the most visible and controversial articles ever published in the social sciences.  His study concluded that individuals raised by a gay or lesbian parent display less favorable adulthood outcomes than those who grew up in intact biological families.  There have been many debates about the study’s conclusion and analysis, but we (Cheng and Powell) are the first to reassess Regnerus’s findings by analyzing his own data.  Our reanalysis seriously calls into question his conclusions. We find that a large number of the people studied in the Regnerus study likely were misclassified as living with gay/lesbian parents.  The misclassifications took several forms:
  • Of the 236 people Regnerus defined as being raised by a “lesbian mother” or “gay father’ 24 (10%) report that they actually never lived with that parent
  • An additional 34 (14%) report that they lived with that parent for a year of less.
  • The 236 people include some questionable responses that lead us to doubt the seriousness of the person completing the survey. The most notable example is a 25 year-old man who reports that his father had a romantic relationship with another man, but also reports that he (the respondent) was 7-feet 8-inches tall, weighted 88 pounds, was married 8 times, and had 8 children.  Another person claims to have been arrested at age 2.
  • The 236 people also include responses that at best are inconsistent and illogical.  For example, one person repots “having always live alone but also claims to have always lived with the mother, father, and two grandparents.”
After reviewing each case, we demonstrated that at least one-third and up to two-fifths were miscounted by Regnerus as having been raised by gay or lesbian parents. Regnerus’s disputable findings are due to these misclassifications and other questionable methodological choices.  When the analyses are more carefully done, our results show minimal differences between young adults who were raised by gay and lesbian parents and young adults who were raised by heterosexual parents. (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Pediatrics / 23.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ms. Pajau Vangay Graduate Research Fellow Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology Vice President of Grants, Council of Graduate Students University of Minnesota Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies showed links between antibiotic use and unbalanced gut bacteria, and others showed links between unbalanced gut bacteria and adult disease. Over the past year we synthesized hundreds of studies and found evidence of strong correlations between antibiotic use, changes in gut bacteria, and disease in adulthood. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 22.05.2015

Katherine Jones, M.A. Research Associate, Department of Research The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Department of Psychology, American UniversityMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katherine Jones, M.A. Research Associate, Department of Research The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Department of Psychology, American University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  It is well evidenced that breastfeeding is highly advantageous for the mother, child, and society. Benefits to breastfeeding may be significantly larger for minority women as they are disproportionately affected by numerous adverse health outcomes. The benefits of breastfeeding may help mitigate some of these negative health consequences, and thus, also bridge larger gaps in racial and ethnic health disparities. This article aimed to review the literature on racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding rates and practices, conduct a systematic review of breastfeeding interventions, address barriers to breastfeeding among minority women, and provide obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) with recommendations on how they can help improve rates among minority women. Overall, racial and ethnic minority women continue to have lower breastfeeding rates than white women in the United States, with African American women having the lowest rates of breastfeeding initiation and continuation among to all women. Minority women report several unique barriers to breastfeeding, including lack of access to information that promotes and supports breastfeeding, lack of work and cultural acceptance and support, language and literacy barriers, acculturation, and historical, sociopolitical, and economic challenges. Results from the systematic review of breastfeeding interventions among minority women indicated that breastfeeding-specific clinic appointments, enhanced breastfeeding programs, group prenatal education, peer counseling, and hospital policy changes significantly improve breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 20.05.2015

Jeff Bridge, Ph.D Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice Principal Investigator The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's HospitalMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeff Bridge, Ph.D Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice Principal Investigator The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Bridge: Suicide is a leading cause of death among children younger than 12 years. Suicide rates in this age group have remained steady overall for the past 20 years, but this is the first national study to observe higher suicide rates among black children compared to white children. Little is known about the epidemiology of suicide in this age group, as prior research has typically excluded children younger than 10 years old and investigated trends only within specific older age groups. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Bridge: We found that suicide ranked 14th as a cause of death among 5- to 11-year old black children in 1993-97 but rose to 9th in 2008-12. For white children, suicide ranked 12th in 1993-97 and 11th in 2008-12. Rates have remained stable in Hispanic and non-Hispanic children. The findings in this study highlight an emerging racial disparity in the epidemiology of childhood suicide. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Pediatrics, Primary Care / 12.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth Cecil, MSc Department of Primary Care and Public, Health, Imperial College London London, United Kingdom Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Unplanned hospital admissions in children have been rising for more than a decade placing strain on health care resources in the UK. Unnecessary hospital admission exposes children to hospital acquired infections and an over invasive approach, and is inconvenient for their families as well as adding to pressures on staff dealing with sicker children. Our team from Imperial College London were interested in assessing the impact of primary care policy reforms on short stay admissions, in England. The reforms were nationally implemented in April 2004 and reduced the availability of primary care physicians for children. Our study, found that reforms coincided with an increase in short-stay admission rates for children with primary care-sensitive chronic conditions and with fewer children’s admissions being referred by a primary care physician. Over the study period from April 2000 to March 2012, we found that more than half of the 7.8 million unplanned hospital admissions for children younger than 15 years were short-stay admissions for potentially avoidable infections and chronic conditions. The primary care policy reforms implemented in April 2004 were associated with an 8 percent increase in short-stay admission rates for chronic conditions, equivalent to 8,500 additional admissions, above the 3 percent annual increasing trend. Notably, the policy reforms were not associated with an increase in short-stay admission rates for infectious illness. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 12.05.2015

Matthew PearceMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Pearce NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group UK Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Despite evidence to suggest that the prevalence of childhood obesity in the UK has stabilized in recent years, we know that approximately one in five children start their school life either overweight or obese, increasing to one in three children by the last year in primary school. Our research was the first to undertake an in-depth analysis on the UK’s National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) and retrospectively track the weights of individual children over a 7-year period. Our study included a sample of 1863 children in South Gloucestershire, Bristol in the UK. Our results were found to be similar to cross sectional data with obesity prevalence approximately doubling between the first (4/5yrs old) and last year (10/11yrs old) of primary school. Our findings provide little reassurance that those children who are obese in early childhood ‘grow out of ’ excess adiposity. Including overweight, we found that 84% of obese children at Reception year went on to be either overweight or obese by Year 6. Although previous studies have failed to identify any significant differences in BMI change between boys and girls during mid-childhood, our research found that more boys than girls dropped a weight category (from overweight or obese) by the time they reached Year 6. We found that the odds ratios of being overweight (BMI ?85th percentile) or obese (?95th percentile) based on BMI at Reception were similar to published literature. Our data found children who are within the upper range of the healthy weight category (75th–85th percentile) at Reception had an increased risk of being overweight or obese by the time they reach year 6. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, Pediatrics / 08.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mr. Matthew A. Rysavy, B.S and Edward Bell, MD Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa Iowa City, IA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We were interested in understanding reasons for differences in outcomes among extremely preterm infants among hospitals.  This has been shown in many studies.  We found that differences among hospitals in whether treatment was initiated for infants born at very early gestations (22, 23, 24 weeks' gestation) accounted for a lot of the variation in hospital-level outcomes at these gestational ages. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 07.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tejpratap S.P. Tiwari, MD Meningitis and Bacterial Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch Division of Bacterial Diseases National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Center for Global Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tiwari: Infants younger than one year old in the United States are at highest risk for severe outcomes from pertussis and death. The first childhood pertussis vaccine dose is recommended at 2 months old, with additional doses in the first year of life at 4 and 6 months. Studies have established that pertussis vaccines can protect against pertussis disease, complications, and hospitalization in infants when 1 to 3 doses are administered by six months old. This study’s findings suggest that the first pertussis vaccine dose and appropriate antibiotic treatment protect infants against death, hospitalization, and pneumonia. Improved on-time infant vaccination (at 2, 4, and 6 months) could potentially prevent up to 1 out of every 4 infant pertussis deaths. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA, Pediatrics / 04.05.2015

Thomas P. Dompier, PhD, ATC President and Injury Epidemiologist Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, Inc Indianapolis, IN 46202 Adjunct Faculty Appointments Ohio University Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions University of South CarolinaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas P. Dompier, PhD, ATC President and Injury Epidemiologist Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, Inc Indianapolis, IN 46202 Adjunct Faculty Appointments Ohio University Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions University of South Carolina Medical Research: What is the background for this study? D: Dompler: Per the Institute of Medicine’s recent recommendations to better describe the incidence of concussion in sport across the entire spectrum of youth sports (5-23 years), this study is the first to provide an apples-to-apples comparison using epidemiologic data provided by healthcare providers (athletic trainers) who attended all practices and games and used the same methodology to report concussions and student-athlete exposure information. Medical Research: What are the main findings? D: Dompler: a.  The main findings are that the risk (how many players out of 100 can expect to suffer at least one concussion during the season) is lowest in the youth, and increases with age. b. Game concussion rates (how many players out of 1000 exposed during a practice or game, includes multiple concussions to the same player) are highest in college but practice concussion rates are lowest in college during practice.  This suggests more can be done during high school and youth practices to reduce concussion frequency (e.g. limiting how much time can be devoted to full contact, reducing player-to-player contact by teaching proper tackling without using full contact drills such as the Oklahoma drill and others). c. While the rate is higher, there is still a substantial number of concussions that occur during practice (because there are more practices), therefore sports medicine staff should be available at both if possible (this is difficult at the youth level because of cost, however). (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Pediatrics / 04.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer A. Emond, M.Sc., PhD Research Instructor Department of Epidemiology Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College Cancer Control Research Program Lebanon, NH  03756 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Emond: Several studies have documented a link between consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks and an increased risk of negative outcomes while drinking, including binge drinking. It is known that mixing energy drinks with alcohol increases the risk for binge drinking--the high caffeine intake consumed when mixing energy drinks with alcohol may cause individuals to feel what is been called "wide-awake drunk," and they may underestimate their level of intoxication. However, most studies to date have been conducted among undergraduate college students, and we wanted to know if those same associations were also observed among adolescents. In our study of 3,342 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15-23, we also found a positive link between a history of consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks and abusive alcohol use. Specifically, 22.3% of participants had ever consumed an energy drink mixed with alcohol (including 9.7% of 15-17 year olds), and such a history of mixed use was associated with a more than 4-fold increased likelihood of engaging in binge drinking. Importantly, that association was just as strong among 15-17 year olds as it was among the older participants. One critical component of our study was that we also looked at a validated outcome for alcohol use disorder (i.e., the participants completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test [AUDIT]), and participants with a history of consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks were also 4.2 times more likely to meet that clinically defined criteria for alcohol use disorder as defined for adolescents. Again, those associations were observed for all participants, regardless of age. Our study has limitations. It was cross-sectional, so we cannot prove that mixed use of alcohol and energy drinks causes abusive alcohol use behaviors. However, our study does support that mixed use of alcohol with energy drinks can identify adolescents at risk for alcohol abuse. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Lancet, Pediatrics / 29.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen F. Kingsmore MB ChB BAO DSc FRCPath Dee Lyons/Missouri Endowed Chair in Genomic Medicine, Children’s Mercy - Kansas CityMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen F. Kingsmore MB ChB BAO DSc FRCPath Dee Lyons/Missouri Endowed Chair in Genomic Medicine, Children’s Mercy - Kansas City Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: The background to this study is that genetic diseases are the leading cause of death in infants and, especially, in infants in neonatal intensive care units. Making a molecular (etiologic) diagnosis of the specific genetic disease is critical for optimal care and decision making for acutely ill infants who are likely to have such diseases. However there are over 5000 known genetic diseases and their presentations overlap considerably in infants. Until now it has not been possible to make timely diagnoses in these infants. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: Rapid whole genome sequencing is a new way of making a genetic disease diagnosis in acutely ill newborns in neonatal intensive care units. It appears to be effective for diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, UCSD, Weight Research / 28.04.2015

Mark D. DeBoer, MD, MSc, MCR Associate Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of VirMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark D. DeBoer, MD, MSc, MCR Associate Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of Virginia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. DeBoer: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children watch no more than 2 hours of TV daily. We wanted to see if children watching shorter amounts of TV were more likely to have higher weight status. We found that children in kindergarten who watched 1-2 hours a day were more than 40% more likely to be overweight and obese and gained more unhealthy weight over the next year. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Education, Emory, JAMA, Pediatrics / 22.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD and Karen Bearss, PhD Department of Pediatrics, Marcus Autism Center Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects an estimated 0.6 to 1% of children worldwide. In young children with ASD (e.g. 3 to 7 years of age) up to 50% also have disruptive behaviors such as tantrums, aggression, self-injury and noncompliance. When present, these disruptive behaviors interfere with the child’s readiness to make use of educational and other supportive services. The presence of disruptive behaviors also hinders the acquisition of routine daily living skills. Parent Training has been shown to be effective for young children with disruptive behaviors who do not have Autism spectrum disorder – but it has not be well-studied in children with ASD. The current multisite study shows that parent training is effective in reducing serious behavioral problems in young children with ASD. This is the largest randomized trial of a behavioral intervention in children with ASD.  180 children were randomly assigned to parent training or parent education. Both treatments were delivered individually to parents over 24 weeks. Serious behavioral problems were reduced by almost 50% in the parent-training group compared to about 30% for parent education. A clinician who was blind to treatment assignment rated positive response in 69% of children in the parent training group compared to 40% for parent education. In addition, 79% of children who showed a positive response to parent training at the end of the 24-week trial maintained benefit at 6 months post treatment. Parent training provided parents with specific strategies on how to manage tantrums, aggression, self-injury and noncompliance in children with autism spectrum disorder. Parent education provided up-to-date and useful information about ASD, but no instruction on how to address behavioral problems. Parents were engaged in the study treatments as evidenced by the low drop-out rate of 10% . (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 10.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa J. Martin PhD Professor Division of Human Genetics Jessica G. Woo PhD Associate Professor Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, OH MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is a major public health concern. In the past 30 years, more and more children are being considered obese. Because treatment is challenging, researchers are looking toward prevention. The health benefits of breastfeeding over infant formula feeding are well recognized, including evidence that breastfeeding may protect against obesity. But, how much protection it provides and the reasons for protection are unclear. Thus, the purpose of this paper was to examine the relationship between breastfeeding and reduced risk of obesity later in life, with special emphasis on potential mechanisms. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Response: After reviewing more than 80 studies conducted over a period of 20 years, the authors showed that breastfeeding is associated with a 10 to 20 percent reduction in obesity prevalence in childhood. Mechanisms that connect human milk and infant physiology include maternal obesity, development of a healthy gut environment (microbiome) in the infant, and the development of taste preference and diet quality. Importantly, each of these mechanisms can be influenced by biologic and social factors which may directly and indirectly affect the child’s obesity risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 10.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Nygren Division of Pediatrics Linköping University, Sweden MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: What factors that cause type 1 diabetes is still unknown, but we know that environmental factors are involved besides the genetics. Since the incidence of type 1 diabetes among children have increased worldwide in recent decades, it is important to find out the reasons behind the disease to hopefully be able to prevent new cases. We have in a prospective study of over 10000 children and their parents in Sweden investigated if psychological stress can be a risk-factor, and found that childhood experience of serious life events (such as death/illness in family, divorce, new adult/child in the family) was associated with increased risk for diagnosis of type 1 diabetes up to 14 years of age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cannabis, JAMA, Lipids, Pediatrics / 06.04.2015

Holly Gooding, MD, MS Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MAMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Holly Gooding, MD, MS Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gooding: As an adolescent medicine physician, I primarily care for patients between the ages of 12 and 30, although I first trained in internal medicine.  One of the things I noticed when I started working with this age group is that pediatric and adult guidelines differ for many conditions.  Cholesterol treatment is one condition that comes up frequently, because the NHLBI and the AAP recommend screening youth ages 17 to 21 for cholesterol problems. The study team and I set out to discover the proportion of American youth ages 17 to 21 who would meet criteria for pharmacologic treatment of abnormal cholesterol levels if clinicians applied the pediatric versus the adult guidelines.  We found that 2.6% of young people ages 17 to 21 would qualify for pharmacologic treatment of abnormal LDL cholesterol levels under the pediatric guidelines, but less than 1% would qualify under the adult guidelines.  This translates to almost 500,000 youth qualifying for treatment under the pediatric guidelines, but only about 78,000 under the adult guidelines.  Those who met pediatric criteria had lower LDL levels but higher proportions of high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity. (more…)