Author Interviews, Dermatology, Melanoma, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 24.05.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew F. Alexis, MD, MPH Vice-Chair for Diversity and Inclusion Department of Dermatology Dermatologist Center for Diverse Skin Complexions Weill Cornell Medicine – NY MedicalResearch.com: What are the main types of skin cancer?  Is the incidence changing? Response: The 3 main types of skin cancer are melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States1 and 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. (2) The overall incidence has changed as follows:Melanoma: Rates doubled over past 30 years from 1982 to 2011.3 It differs by age group. o Adolescents and adults age 30 and younger: incidence rate is declining o Older age groups (e.g. 80 and older): incidence rate is increasing • Squamous Cell Cancer: o Incidence increased 263% between 1976-1984 and 2000-20104 • Basal Cell Cancer: o Incidence increased 145% between 1976-1984 and 2000-20104 (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Lung Cancer, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Stanford / 01.11.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Summer S Han, PhD Associate Professor Quantitative Sciences Unit Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research (BMIR) Department of Neurosurgery and Department of Medicine Department of Epidemiology & Population Health (by Courtesy) Stanford University School of Medicine Dr. Eunji Choi PhD Instructor, Neurosurgery Department: Adult Neurosurgery Stanford University School of Medicine   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing about 127,000 people annually, but it can be treatable if detected early.
  • Low-dose computed tomography, or CT scan, has been shown to significantly reduce the number of lung cancer deaths. But because the radiation delivered by the scans can be harmful (they use on average about 10 times the radiation of standard X-rays), only those people at relatively high risk for lung cancer should be screened. The two biggest risk factors for lung cancer are exposure to tobacco smoke and age. Current national guidelines that rely on age and smoking exposure to recommend people for lung cancer screening are disproportionally failing minority populations including African Americans, according to a new study led by researchers at Stanford Medicine.
  • In 2021, the national guidelines by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued revised recommendation guidelines on lung cancer screening, lowering the start age from 55-year to 50-year and the smoking pack-year criterion from 30 to 20, compared to the 2013 USPSTF criteria. In comparison to the 2013 criteria, the new modifications have been shown to lessen racial disparities in screening eligibility between African Americans and Whites. However, potential disparities across other major racial groups in the U.S., such as Latinos, remains poorly examined.
  • Meanwhile, risk prediction model assesses a person’s risk score of developing an illness, such as lung cancer.
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Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 29.09.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH, MPH, MEngr
Associate Professor
Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health
School of Public Health
University of Maryland, College Park

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: My co-authors and I conducted this study to fill a knowledge gap and to inform the work of Project TENDR. No systematic or scoping review had examined both exposure disparities and the joint effects of combined exposures of environmental neurotoxicants and social disadvantage as they relate to disparities in neurodevelopmental outcomes specifically among children living in the U.S.

Our study is the first to summarize the evidence on 7 neurotoxicants that children in the U.S. are routinely exposed to and we examined both disparities in these exposures and disparities in the effects of those exposures on children’s brain development, cognition, and behavior by race, ethnicity, and economic status.

We reviewed over 200 independent studies spanning five decades from 1974 to 2022 on social disparities in exposure to 7 exemplar neurotoxic chemicals and pollutants, including chemical mixtures, and their relationship with disparities with neurodevelopmental outcomes among children in the U.S.

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Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Yale / 01.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mytien Nguyen, MS Department of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine New Haven, Connecticut MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Physician-scientists are critical for innovative translational research. Combined MD-PhD training programs are essential for developing physician-scientists. Although racial and ethnic diversity of MD-PhD matriculants has increased over the past decade, little is known about how attrition rates differ by race and ethnicity. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Stanford / 06.06.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison W. Kurian, M.D., M.Sc. Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Population Health Associate Chief, Division of Oncology Co-Leader, Population Sciences Program, Stanford Cancer Institute Director, Women’s Clinical Cancer Genetics Program Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA 94305-5405 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What types of cancers were in the study? Response: Genetic testing for cancer risk is increasingly important after a cancer diagnosis, to inform use of targeted therapies, secondary cancer prevention approaches and cascade genetic testing of family members. However, very little is known about how genetic testing is used after a cancer diagnosis at the population level. We leveraged a very large population-based data resource, the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registries of the states of California and Georgia, and linked data from these registries to clinical genetic testing results provided by the four major laboratories that provide such testing. We used this linked registry-genetic testing dataset to study adults (age >=20 years) diagnosed with all types of cancer in the states of Georgia and California from 2013-2019. (more…)
Lung Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 02.05.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andres Kohan MD MHSc. in Translational Research Joint Department of Medical Imaging University Health Network Mount Sinai Hospital and Women's College Hospital University of Toronto Toronto, Canada   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Inequalities in access to healthcare for oncologic patients and its impact on quality of life and survival have been previously described. However, there also exists reports pointing out that when factors contributing to socioeconomic inequality are accounted for differences in outcome between races remain identifiable. In this context, we sought to evaluate the presence of disparities in imaging in a selected population of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) within AACRs Project GENIE Biopharma Consortium (BPC) dataset v 1.1. This database is the largest in existence that has not only the patients’ imaging and clinical staging/follow-up, but also the genetic profile of the patients’ tumors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 25.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mahdi Fallah, MD, PhD Study and Group Leader Risk Adapted Prevention (RAD) Group Division of Preventive Oncology National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) Heidelberg, Germany   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Breast cancer is a significant public health problem, being the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in women in the US. Breast cancer screening from age 50 has been associated with a reduction in mortality and is recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force. However, there is a significant disparity in mortality rates between Black and White individuals, with Black women having a higher death rate, especially before age 50. The current one-size-fits-all policy for breast cancer screening may not be equitable or optimal, and risk-adapted starting ages of screening based on known risk factors, such as race and ethnicity, may be recommended to optimize the benefit of screening. Our study aimed to provide evidence for a risk-adapted starting age of screening by race and ethnicity. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, CDC, PLoS, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCLA / 23.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria-Rita D'Orsogna Ph.D. Professor, Mathematics California State University, Northridge Adjunct Associate Professor Department of Computational Medicine at UCLA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Drug overdose deaths have been increasing in the USA for the past two decades. A ‘third wave’ of overdose fatalities started in 2013, with a shift from prescription opioids towards synthetic ones, in particular illicit fentanyl. To examine trends in drug overdose deaths by gender, race and geography in the United States during the period 2013-2020, we used an epidemiological database provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, extracting rates by race and gender in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. We considered the impact of four main drug categories psychostimulants with addiction potential such as methamphetamines; heroin; prescription opioids and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and its derivatives. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 09.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Hyuna Sung, PHDHyuna Sung, PHD Senior Principal Scientist, Cancer Surveillance Research American Cancer Society Kennesaw, GA 30144
  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 10% to 20% of all breast cancer diagnoses in the US. This subtype of breast cancer tends to spread faster and has fewer treatment options. In the US, Black women are about two-fold more likely than White women to develop TNBC. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Electronic Records, Health Care Systems, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 07.03.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dhruv Khullar, M.D., M.P.P. Director of Policy Dissemination Physicians Foundation Center for Physician Practice and Leadership Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Economics Weill Cornell Medicine, NYC   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: From prior research, we know that there are racial/ethnic differences in the acute impact of COVID-19, including higher rates of hospitalization and death among Black and Hispanic individuals compared to white individuals. Less is known about whether there are differences in the rates or types of long COVID by race and ethnicity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 28.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Muchi Ditah Chobufo MD MPH Cardiology Fellow West Virginia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Ischemic heart diseases are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the USA. Also, there exists alarming ethnic disparities in mortality rates following acute myocardial infarction. To this effect, significant efforts have been deployed over the years to curb its burden and reduce extant disparities. It is in this light that we set out to analyze general and ethnic specific trends in acute myocardial infarction related age adjusted mortality rates (AAMR) in the entire USA from 1999-2020.  (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Stanford / 21.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yann Le Guen, Ph.D. Assistant Director, Computational Biology Quantitative Sciences Unit Stanford Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Apart from aging, the strongest contributing factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease is a specific allele of the APOE gene, which has three common alleles E2, E3, and E4. While E3 is the most common and considered as the reference, E2 is associated with decreased Alzheimer’s disease risk and E4 is associated with increased Alzheimer’s disease risk. Notably the prevalence of E4 among Alzheimer’s patient is high with about 60% of these carrying at least one E4 allele, while solely about 30% Americans carry one E4 allele. It’s worth emphasizing that individuals with an E4/E4 genotype have an exponential increased in their risk to develop AD (10 times as likely than the reference E3/E3 genotype), and individuals with an E3/E4 genotype have an intermediate risk. Though, most studies of Alzheimer’s disease genetic have been focused on European ancestry, this is beginning to change thanks to NIH’s efforts to fund more studies in non-European ancestry individuals. Our study built on these recent efforts to assess the Alzheimer disease risk associated with an APOE variant (R145C) present in about ~4% African Americans, but extremely rare in Europeans. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Vaccine Studies / 10.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kenya Colvin, MBS Department of Medical Education Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Vaccine hesitancy is a major driver of COVID-19 vaccination disparities between minority and non-Hispanic White communities. Our goal was to understand what factors influenced vaccine hesitancy among individuals in Eastern Pennsylvania to identify more effective ways to promote vaccine uptake within minority communities. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Gender Differences, Kidney Disease, NEJM, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 26.01.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. dr. Hans Pottel KU Leuven Kulak Department of Public Health and Primary Care Belgium MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is used to diagnose patients with chronic kidney disease and is also used to adjust the dose of drugs that are eliminated by the kidneys. An accurate estimation of GFR is considered of importance in the management of kidney health in patients. In 2021 we published a new serum creatinine based equation, called the European Kidney Function Consortium (EKFC) equation (Pottel H. et al, Development and Validation of a Modified Full Age Spectrum Creatinine-Based Equation to Estimate Glomerular Filtration Rate : A Cross-sectional Analysis of Pooled Data. Ann Intern Med (2021) 174: 183-191): EKFC-eGFR = 107.3 / [Biomarker/Q]a x [0.990(Age – 40) if age > 40 years] With a = 0.322 if Biomarker/Q is less than 1, and a = 1.132 if Biomarker/Q is 1 or more. The equation can easily be interpreted: the leading coefficient equals the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 107.3 mL/min/1.73m², which is the average GFR in healthy children (aged > 2 years), adolescents and young adults. The average healthy GFR remains constant until the age of 40 years, and starts decreasing beyond that age. The GFR is inversely related to the ‘rescaled’ biomarker. The rescaling factor (Q) is the average biomarker value for healthy people of a specific population (e.g. children, adult men, adult women, white people, black people, …). Biomarker/Q equals ‘1’ for the average healthy person, corresponding with eGFR = 107.3 mL/min/1.73m² (up to 40 years of age). It should be noted that for serum creatinine, the Q-value depends on sex and race. Our hypothesis was that the above equation is valid for any renal biomarker, on the condition that the biomarker is appropriately scaled. We showed that the same equation was able to estimate GFR from 2 years to oldest ages. In the current study we tested and validated our hypothesis by applying the above formula for appropriately ‘rescaled’ cystatin C. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Race/Ethnic Diversity, University of Pennsylvania / 15.12.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca Arden Harris, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The impact of the nationwide overdose epidemic on Black women has received little attention from policy-makers, researchers, or the press. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response:  Over the 7-year study period, preventable overdose deaths among Black women resulted in nearly 0.75 million years of life lost (YLL). Women aged 25-34 have suffered a rising proportion of this burden. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Emory, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 29.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chris A. Rees, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine Research Director, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship Emory University School of Medicine Attending Physician, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Research Scientist, CHAMPS, U.S. Program Office  and Eric W. Fleegler, MD, MPH, FAAP Associate in Pediatrics, Division of Emergency Medicine Director Sedation Service Boston Children’s Hospital Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Rates of firearm fatalities in the United States have reached a 28-year high. Yet, an understanding of the specific demographic groups who have been most affected, and where in the United States these fatalities have occurred, has not been clearly described in the past. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 18.10.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexandra J. White, PhD, MSPH Stadtman Investigator Epidemiology Branch National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Institutes of Health Research Triangle Park, NC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What is the chemical primarily used in hair straighteners? Response: Hair products such as dye and chemical straighteners contain several different chemicals that may act as carcinogens or endocrine disruptors and thus may be important for cancer risk. Straighteners in particular have been found to include chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, cyclosiloxanes and metals and may release formaldehyde when heated. Previous research has suggested that hair dye and chemical straighteners are related to other hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer, but no previous study has considered how they are related to uterine cancer risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues, Yale / 15.07.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mytien Nguyen, MS MD-PhD Program, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: It is well-recognized that diversity in the medical workforce is critical to improve health care access and achieve equity for neglected communities. Despite increased efforts to recruit diverse medical trainees, there remains a large chasm between the racial/ethnic and socioeconomic composition of the patient population and that of the physician workforce. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 10.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marquita W. Lewis-Thames, PhD (she/her/Dr.) Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Social Science Center for Community Health, Member Researcher Assistant Directors of Community Outreach and Engagement, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: Incidence, mortality, and survivorship provide a comprehensive description of cancer for a group of people. Differences in cancer incidence and mortality trends by rural-urban status and race and ethnicity are well documented, but urban-rural cancer survivorship trends by race and ethnicity are unknown. To this end, we examined almost 40 years of racial and ethnic differences by rural-urban status for 5-year survival of patients with lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers. Using a nationwide epidemiological assessment of 1975-2011 data from the SEER database, we found that 5-year cancer-specific survival trends increased for all cancer types and race and ethnic groups, regardless of rural or urban status. Generally, rural, and non-Hispanic Black cancer patients had worse survival outcomes than others. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 09.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sachi Singhal, MD Department of Medicine Crozer Chester Medical Center Upland, PA MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: This study focuses on analysing the National Inpatient Sample for patients with breast cancer, their breakdown by race, gender and US regions, and their mortality per sub-group. The main findings are that African Americans, especially AA women are at significantly increased odds of dying from metastatic breast cancer in the United States. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 16.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susannah G. Rowe, MD, MPH Office of Equity, Vitality and Inclusion Boston University Medical Group Boston Medical Center Boston University School of Medicine Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: We wanted to learn how frequently mistreatment occurs for clinicians at work and how it impacts their occupational well-being. We began to see more anecdotal reports of workplace mistreatment of clinicians even before the pandemic. In the extraordinarily stressful environment we are currently experiencing, with people feeling exhausted and emotionally threadbare on some level, the problem appears to be growing. We also predicted that the burden of mistreatment would not borne be equally. It has often been said that we are all in the same storm but in different boats – some of us are riding out the storm in comfortable ocean liners, while others are paddling in canoes without life jackets. What we are learning, though, is that we are not in fact experiencing the same storm. For example, the increasing intolerance and erosion of public civility we have seen in recent years might show up as minor annoyances for some of us, and actual threats of violence for others depending in large part on our gender and racialized identities. Our relationship to privilege and oppression affects our experiences, creating protections or additional burdens, so when studying clinician occupational well-being, it seemed important to consider how these disparities play out in the workplace.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, NIH, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 05.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Megan Clarke, Ph.D., M.H.S., Earl Stadtman Investigator Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics National Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? 
  • Through our prior work, we have demonstrated that uterine cancer incidence rates have been significantly increasing in the U.S. from 2003 to 2015 and that these increases were primarily driven by rising rates of aggressive (non-endometrioid) subtypes of this cancer. We observed that rates of these aggressive cancers increased among all women and were more than twice as high among Non-Hispanic Black women compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Factors explaining these trends, as well as the disproportionately higher rates of these aggressive subtypes among non-Hispanic Black women, remain unclear, in part because risk factors are poorly understood.
  • In addition to differences in incidence rates by race and ethnicity, we have also observed strong disparities in our prior studies, with Non-Hispanic Black women having substantially lower 5-year survival, regardless of subtype or stage at diagnosis, compared to other racial and ethnic populations.
  • The next logical step, and the focus of the current study, was to evaluate how increases in the incidence of aggressive, non-endometrioid uterine cancer affects racial disparities and rates of death from uterine cancer.
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Author Interviews, Dermatology, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 28.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Neelam Vashi MD Director of the Boston University Center for Ethnic Skin Dermatologist at Boston Medical Center, and Dr. Henriette De La Garza MD Research fellow Boston University School of Medicine   MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly shifted many of our daily activities to an online world, dramatically increasing the use of electronic devices. Although visible light exposure from screens is small compared with the amount of exposure from the sun, there is concern about the long-term effects of excessive screen time. Recent studies have demonstrated that exposure to light emitted from electronic devices, even for as little as 1 hour, may cause reactive oxygen species generation, apoptosis, collagen degradation, and necrosis of skin cells. Visible light increases tyrosinase activity and induces immediate erythema in light-skinned individuals and long-lasting pigmentation in dark-skinned individuals. In recent years, tinted sunscreens have been rising in popularity because they are an effective and convenient way to protect against high-energy visible light while providing cosmetic benefits. The purpose of this analysis was to study current available options and product factors that may influence consumer preference when choosing a tinted sunscreen so dermatologists can improve their familiarity with available products and tailor their recommendations to patients with all skin tones. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Radiology / 27.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leticia NogueiraPhDMPH Senior Principal Scientist, Health Services Research American Cancer Society, Inc. Kennesaw, GA 30144 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) can deliver higher dose of radiation to the tumor with less damage to surrounding healthy cells. Therefore, PBT is potentially superior to photon-based radiation therapy to treat tumors with complex anatomy, surrounded by sensitive tissues, or for treating childhood cancer (where long-term side effects of radiation therapy are a main concern). However, PBT can cost twice as much as photon-based radiation therapy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Vitamin D / 26.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katie M. O’Brien PhD Chronic Disease Epidemiology Group National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Vitamin D may protect against breast cancer. Although women of color have lower average vitamin D levels than non-Hispanic White women, few studies have considered the role of race/ethnicity. In a sample of self-identified Black/African American and Hispanic/Latina women, we observed that vitamin D concentrations measured in blood were inversely associated with breast cancer, particularly among Latinas. These findings indicate that vitamin D may protect against breast cancer, including among racial/ethnic groups with low average circulating levels. (more…)
Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCSF / 20.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erica Kornblith, PhD Assistant Professor, Psychiatry UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: As the population of the United States grows more diverse and dementia is a serious public health concern, we hoped to understand whether differences in dementia risk exist based on race or ethnicity.  Older studies have shown that Black and Hispanic folks have higher risk of dementia, perhaps due to medical risk factors, diagnostic bias, lack of equal access to health care and education, or the health effects of racism, among other factors.  However, these older studies have been small or limited geographically or by only studying a few race and ethnicity groups. Our study used a nationwide sample of almost two million older Veterans who all had access to care through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and we examined 5 race or ethnicity groups: American Indians or Alaska Natives, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites. Our results show that dementia risk is higher for Black and Hispanic Veterans compared to white Veterans, even when education and medical factors are considered. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 15.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arman A. Shahriar Medical Student, University of Minnesota Medical School Research Consultant, HealthPartners Institute Minneapolis, MinnesotaArman A. Shahriar Medical Student, University of Minnesota Medical School Research Consultant, HealthPartners Institute Minneapolis, Minnesota

  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: In recent years there has been a significant focus on the diversity of medical students, but to date, most work has focused on ‘visible’ forms of diversity; such as race, ethnicity and gender. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Vaccine Studies / 04.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bianca V. Sanchez Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the study? Response: Hispanic populations have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as evident by their increased rate of infection with the virus, hospitalizations, and mortality. Previous literature has indicated that many of these individuals demonstrate increased rates of vaccine hesitancy, subsequently increasing their risk for infection. This study aimed to characterize the reasoning behind vaccine hesitancy in Hispanic populations in the hopes of addressing their concerns through targeted educational interventions. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Xing Gao, MPH, lead author and doctoral candidate in Dr. Mujahid's research group Mahasin Mujahid, MS, PhD, FAHA Lillian E. I. and Dudley J. Aldous Chair in the School of Public Health Associate Professor of Epidemiology Director, Epidemiology & Biostatistics Master of Public Health Program UC Berkeley, School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?
  • ​​Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, and persistent racial and ethnic inequities in hypertension remain an urgent public health challenge.
  • Public health researchers need a more nuanced understanding of how structural factors contribute to these inequities, which has a direct application to improving the cardiovascular health of marginalized populations.
  • This study examined associations between racial residential segregation, a product of historical and contemporary racially discriminatory policies, and hypertension in a multi-racial cohort of middle-aged and older adults. 
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