Author Interviews, Gender Differences, PLoS, Social Issues / 04.11.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carlota Batres, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Department of PsychologyDirector, Preferences Lab PreferencesLab.comFranklin and Marshall College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Makeup is commonly attributed with increasing attractiveness in female faces, but this effect has not been investigated in male faces. We therefore sought to examine whether the positive effect of makeup on attractiveness can be extended to male faces. (more…)
Addiction, Alcohol, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Education, JAMA, Pediatrics, Social Issues, UCLA / 06.10.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mitchell Wong, MD PhD Professor of Medicine Executive Vice Chair for Research Training Department of Medicine Executive Co-Director, Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) Program Director, UCLA CTSI KL2 Program UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research Los Angeles, CA 90024 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is estimated that social factors like poverty, education, and housing have a large impact on health. Yet, there are few interventions that exist to directly address those issues.  Schools are a promising solution since society already invests heavily in education and schools are an everyday part of most children’s lives. (more…)
Aging, Geriatrics, Social Issues / 04.10.2022

If you have aging parents, the one thing you will want to be aware of is the most common health concerns that plague the elderly. While there is no way to definitively say who will suffer from any one of these diseases or conditions, they are most common among the elderly. For this reason, and because the elderly may be prone to memory lapses, it is important that you find a way to communicate with their primary health provider to ensure that everything is as it should be. With HIPAA in effect, you may need to get their approval to speak with their doctor or if they’ve been declared incompetent, the proper authorization from the courts would be necessary. At any rate, these are the health concerns you should be on the lookout for, as they truly are most prevalent in the elderly. (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, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 13.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Regina Triplett, M.D., M.S. Developmental Neuroscience Post-Doctoral Research Scholar Department of Neurology Washington University in St. Louis, MO  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?  Response: This is an ongoing, longitudinal, prospective study of 399 pairs of mothers studied throughout pregnancy and their infants, designed to investigate exposure to early life adversity (prenatal poverty and stress) on infant brain development and behavior in early childhood. We examined measures of maternal socioeconomic status including neighborhood factors and stress/mental health during pregnancy in relation to data from infant brain MRI scans conducted in the first weeks after birth. We found that poverty during pregnancy is associated with reduced size and folding of infant brains. We found these associations across the whole brain and not specific to one region. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, PLoS, Social Issues / 17.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Holly Bennett PhD Research Associate Population Health Sciences Institute Campus for Ageing and Vitality Newcastle upon Tyne MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Life expectancy has been increasing over time and we want to ensure these are years in good health rather than increasing years in poor health. There has mainly been good news for those living with long term health conditions. With better treatment, prevention and care, the proportion of remaining years lived disability-free has increased for more recent generations. (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…)
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. 
(more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Social Issues, UCSD / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Natalie Golaszewski, PhD Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Social isolation and loneliness are growing public health concerns as they are associated with health conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease including obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Social Issues, Transplantation / 14.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca Thorsness, PhD Research Associate Department of Health Services, Policy, and Practice Brown University School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2019, the President signed the Advancing American Kidney Health executive order, which included provisions to increase the use of home dialysis and kidney transplant for Americans living with kidney failure. To carry out this vision, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed the ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) payment model, which uses financial incentives and penalties to incentivize dialysis facilities to pursue home dialysis or kidney transplant for their patients. Transplant and home dialysis are optimal care for people with kidney failure, but there are social and clinical reasons that patients with high social risk (such as those exposed to racism, poverty, or housing instability) may not be candidates for these treatments. This means that facilities which serve a large number of patients with high social risk might be disproportionately penalized by this new payment model. Using data immediately prior to the implementation of the ETC model, we found that dialysis facilities that serve high proportions of patients with high social risk have lower rates of home dialysis and kidney transplantation than facilities that care for lower proportions of such patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Primary Care, Social Issues / 13.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karina W. Davidson, Ph.D., M.A.Sc. Professor of Behavioral Medicine Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University/Northwell Health Chairperson, USPSTF MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The social and economic conditions in someone’s life, such as whether or not they have secure food, housing, or transportation, can affect their health in multiple ways. As part of our commitment to improving health equity, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force took two key steps. We both thoroughly reviewed the existing research around screening and interventions for social risk factors, and audited our own portfolio of recommendation statements to determine how and how often social risks have been considered in the past. This information serves as a benchmark and foundation for our ongoing work to further advance health equity through our methods and recommendations. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Diabetes, Social Issues / 30.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yu Chen, Ph.D. Prevention Effectiveness Fellow Division of Diabetes Translation CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Overall prevalence of diabetes has increased over the past two decades in the US, disproportionately affecting populations with low-income. The age-adjusted prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among adults aged 18 years or older increased from 6.4% in 1999−2002 to 9.4% in 2013−2016. Between 2011 and 2014, compared with persons with high income, the relative percentage increase in diabetes prevalence was 40.0%, 74.1%, and 100.4% for those classified as middle income, near poor and poor, respectively. However, recent changes in income-related inequalities in diabetes prevalence are unknown. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Journal Clinical Oncology, Metabolic Syndrome, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 08.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giampaolo Greco PhD MPH Assistant Professor Department of Population Health Science and Policy Icahn School of Medicine  at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The motivation for our study was to understand why mortality rate from breast cancer is much higher in African American women than in White women, despite the fact that these groups have similar incidence rate of breast cancer. Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of metabolic abnormalities that includes abdominal obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, is more prevalent among African American women and may be a risk factor for breast cancer. Subjective social status (SSS) is the perception of individuals of their own ranking in the social hierarchy and complements other parameters of socioeconomic status, such as income and education, that are considered more objective. Socioeconomic status is associated with cardiovascular and mental health. Although objective measures of social status are associated with worse breast cancer outcomes, the relationship of SSS to breast cancer is uncertain. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JACC, Social Issues / 12.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kobina Hagan MBBS, MPH Postdoctoral Fellow Center for Outcomes Research, Houston Methodist Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Before the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, risk mitigation guidelines including respiratory hygiene, social distancing, and job flexibility, were the most effective preventive measures against coronavirus transmission. Social determinants of health scholarships had identified social circumstances to limit adherence to these mitigation guidelines. Individuals with underlying cardiovascular disease are identified as high-risk phenotypes for severe COVID-19 outcomes. In addition, research efforts during the early and middle waves of the pandemic had identified coronavirus exposure risk as a greater mediator of the observed COVID-19 disparities, compared to clinical susceptibility from comorbidities. Yet, population-based evidence on the practice of these mitigation guidelines in this high-risk group were lacking. Consequently, we believed there was a need to robustly characterize COVID-19 risk mitigation practices among adults with cardiovascular disease in the nation. The COVID-19 Household Impact Survey was a survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, to provide statistics about health, economic security, and social dynamics of the US adult household population nationwide and for 18 geographic areas (10 states, 8 metropolitan statistical areas) between April and June 2020. This survey complemented the Household Pulse Survey by the Census Bureau. In this study we described the COVID-19 risk mitigation practices among patients with CVD and evaluated the association between cumulative social determinants of health burden (a measure of social adversity) and adherence these measures.  (more…)
AACR, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Prostate Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 10.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicholas Mitsiades MD Associate Professor of Medicine - Hematology and Oncology Baylor College of Medicine Oncologist at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: African American men have higher risk of developing prostate cancer and up to 2.2-times higher mortality rate from prostate cancer relative to men of other ancestries. This is the largest health disparity across all cancers in the US. Socioeconomic factors, especially access to healthcare, definitely contribute to this disparity. African American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer at a more advanced stage than other races, and this is unfortunately very common at Ben Taub Hospital, our safety-net hospital in the Houston area, where we serve large racial and ethnic minority populations and patients who lack commercial insurance. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 04.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ankur Dalsania Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) M.D. Candidate 2021 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Similar to past pandemics, prior studies and news articles have highlighted the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 mortality in marginalized populations, especially Black Americans. Rather than biological differences, other factors like neighborhood conditions, educational attainment, economic stability, healthcare access, and social contexts have been hypothesized to influence the racial disparities. Using county-level data, we sought to quantitatively determine how these factors, collectively referred to as social determinants of health, impact COVID-19 mortality in Black Americans.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JAMA, Social Issues, University of Pennsylvania / 02.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sameed Khatana MD, MPH Instructor, Cardiovascular Medicine Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Physician, Philadelphia VA Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: After declining for decades, the fall in cardiovascular mortality rates in the US has started to slow down and rates may be rising in certain groups. This stagnation in mortality has been most start among middle-aged adults. These trends have occurred at the same time as growing economic inequality. Our analysis aimed to study the relationship between change in cardiovascular mortality rates between 2010 and 2017 for middle-aged adults across the US and change in economic prosperity levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 29.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Renuka Tipirneni, MD, MSc, FACP Assistant Professor Holder of the Grace H. Elta MD Department of Internal Medicine Early Career Endowment Award 2019-2024 University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine, Divisions of General Medicine and Hospital Medicine, and Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation Ann Arbor, MI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As there have been significant racial/ethnic disparities in US COVID-19 infections and health outcomes including death, we investigated county-level social factors that may explain these inequities. Specifically, we examined the association between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index (a composite measure of social disadvantage) and COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates. We found that with just a one-point increase in the ten-point scale, there was a 14% increase in incidence rate and 14% increase in mortality rate. This equated to approximately 87 excess COVID-19 infections and 3 deaths per 100,000 population.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Mental Health Research, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues, UCSF / 15.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Nagata, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Food insecurity is the inability to afford or access nutritionally adequate and safe foods for an active, healthy lifestyle. Rates of food insecurity were projected to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, prior studies had not examined the association between food insufficiency, the most extreme form of food insecurity, and mental health. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Using a large national sample of nearly 64,000 adults, we found that food insufficiency rose from 8.1% to 10.0% during the pandemic. People of color and younger adults had higher risk of food insufficiency. People living in poverty or experiencing recent job loss were at higher risk of food insufficiency. Food insufficiency was associated with symptoms of anxiety, worrying, and depression. Hunger, exhaustion, and worrying about not getting enough food to eat may worsen depression and anxiety symptoms. Receiving food assistance alleviated the relationship between food insufficiency and poor mental health.   (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues, Technology, University of Pennsylvania / 30.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Srinath Adusumalli, MD, MSc, FACC Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Medicine| Penn Medicine Lauren A. Eberly, MD, MPH Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has uprooted conventional health care delivery for routine ambulatory care, requiring health systems to rapidly adopt telemedicine capabilities. At Penn Medicine, we wanted to ensure that as we developed a new system of telemedical care, we were reaching all of the patients we serve and access to care was maintained. As such, we undertook this study to examine utilization of care as we continued to iterate on and develop our telemedical system of care. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Social Issues / 23.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kenneth Freedberg, MD Director, Medical Practice Evaluation Center Massachusetts General Hospital Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School Study senior author Jessie Gaeta, MD Chief Medical Officer Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program Assistant Professor of Medicine Boston University School of Medicine Travis P. Baggett, MD, MPH Faculty clinician-investigator MGH Division of General Internal Medicine Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?  Dr. Baggett: We found that two strategies are crucial for addressing COVID-19 among people staying in homeless shelters: 1) Proactively identifying and testing people with symptoms, and 2) Providing a dedicated, medically supervised, non-hospital space for isolation and management of people with mild to moderate COVID. Together these two strategies would reduce infections, hospitalizations, and health care costs compared to not doing them. During a pandemic surge, like we are seeing now, it makes sense to add periodic universal testing of all shelter residents, even those without symptoms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Hearing Loss, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 10.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicholas S. Reed, AuD Assistant Professor | Department of Epidemiology Core Faculty  | Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is known that hearing aid ownership is relatively low in the United States at less than 20% of adults with hearing loss owning and using hearing aids. However, many national estimates of hearing aid ownership are based on data that is over 10 years old. Our team was interested in trying to understand whether ownership in hearing aids had changed over time. We used data from 2011 to 2018 in a nationally representative (United States) observational cohort (The National Health and Aging Trends Study) of Medicare Beneficiaries aged 70 years and older to estimate the change in hearing aid ownership. In our analysis, the proportion of Medicare beneficiaries 70 years and older who reported owning and using their hearing aids increased 23.3% from 2011 to 2018. However, this growth in ownership was not equal across all older adults. For example, while White males saw a 28.7% increase in hearing aid ownership, Black females saw only a 5.8% increase over the same 8-year period. Moreover, adults living at less than 100% federal poverty level actually saw an overall 13.0% decrease in hearing aid ownership while those living at more than 200% federal poverty line saw an overall 30.6% increase.   (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Social Issues / 04.12.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amal Trivedi, MD, MPH Professor of Health Services, Policy & Practice Director of Graduate Studies, Health Services Research Brown University School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Nearly all hospitals in the United States, including all Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs), report mortality rates for patients hospitalized for common medical and surgical conditions. But these mortality rates do not adjust for socioeconomic factors that are associated with worse outcomes following hospitalization. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Social Issues / 18.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David-Dan Nguyen, MPH Research Fellow | Center for Surgery and Public Health Brigham and Women's Hospital Medical Student | McGill University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2017, the US Preventive Services Task Force updated its recommendation for PSA screening for prostate cancer from a grade D to a grade C for men aged 55 to 69 years. This updated recommendation endorsed shared decision making and harmonizes with the guidelines of the American Urological Association and the American Cancer Society which also recommend shared decision making for PSA screening. Shared decision making is a meaningful dialogue between the physician and the patient that namely includes a review of risks and expected outcomes of screening as well as the patient’s preferences and values. Understandably, the patient’s ability to critically assess the medical information provided (i.e. their health literacy) likely influences this process. We sought to characterize the effect of health literacy on shared decision making for PSA screening. We used data from 2016 when PSA screening for prostate cancer was not recommended by the US Preventive Services Task Force — in other words, we also sought to understand how health literacy impacted screening rates in the context of countervailing guidelines on PSA screening. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Ophthalmology, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 09.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua Uhr MD Ophthalmologist Philadelphia, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Disparities in American society have been at the forefront of the public consciousness in recent months. As part of the larger discussion about inequality, disparities in health outcomes have received much attention. In light of the renewed recognition that these disparities are stark and widespread, we felt it important to evaluate disparities in our own field, ophthalmology. Previous studies have shown disparate outcomes for individual eye conditions, such as glaucoma, cataract, and retinal detachment. Although the common and relevant endpoint of these is visual impairment, few prior studies have examined disparities in visual impairment more broadly. Our aim was to provide an updated analysis of disparity in visual impairment among adults in the United States based on race and socioeconomic status.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Social Issues, Technology / 23.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Lu PhD Gerald Lyles Rising Star Associate Professor of Management Krannert School of Management Purdue University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We started this project in 2016. Overcrowding in emergency rooms (ERs) is a common yet nagging problem. It not only is costly for hospitals but also compromises care quality and patient experience. Hence, finding effective ways to improve ER care delivery is of great importance. Meanwhile, the advancement of healthcare technologies including electronic medical records, online doctor ratings and 4G mobile network motivates us to think about the impact of telemedicine on ER operations in the near future.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Social Issues / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aaron Baum, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health System Design & Global Health Economist, Arnhold Institute for Global Health Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: To what degree are geographic health disparities in the leading risk factors for morbidity and mortality in the United States – including elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, obesity, and poor mental health – driven by the place where people live versus by characteristics of the people who live in different places? For example, male adults in Mississippi are 33% more likely to have uncontrolled blood pressure and 54% more likely to be obese than male adults in Colorado. One explanation is that male adults who live in Mississippi are different is many other ways from male adults in Colorado, some of which can't be directly measured and adjusted for, and that those unobserved differences cause the health disparity. Another possibility is that the place where a person lives actually contributes to the health disparity. Using national electronic health records from the Veterans Health Administration, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of 5 million adults, including 1 million who moved zip codes exactly once between 2008-2018. Our goal was to isolate how a movers' likelihood of uncontrolled blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity and depression changed in response to changes in the prevalence of each outcome in his or her environment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Heart Disease, Social Issues, Tobacco Research / 19.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mahmoud Al Rifai MD MPH Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine Houston Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD Section of Cardiology Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine Houston    MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: E-cigarettes typically cost more than combustible cigarettes and there is more variability in cost due to a wide variety of flavors, e-cigarette liquid, and vaping device that are available in the market. Therefore, use of e-cigarettes may vary depending on income with potentially higher use among higher income individuals. (more…)