2015 Marked First Decline In Life Expectancy in Over 20 Years

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Francesco Acciai PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate Food Policy and Environmental Research Group School of Nutrition and Health Promotion University of Arizona

Dr. Acciai

Francesco Acciai PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Food Policy and Environmental Research Group
School of Nutrition and Health Promotion
Arizona State University

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

Response: In 2015 life expectancy at birth (e0) in the United States was lower than it was in 2014. In the previous 30 years, a reduction in life expectancy at the national level had occurred only one time, in 1993, during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The decrease in life expectancy observed in 2015 is particularly worrisome because it was not generated by an anomalous spike in a specific cause of death (like HIV/AIDS in 1993). Instead, age-adjusted death rates increased for 8 of the 10 leading causes of death—heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, kidney disease, and suicide, according to the CDC.

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Married Head/Neck Cancer Patients Less Likely To Smoke, More Likely To Live Longer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, BDS, MPH, CHES Instructor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Saint Louis University School of Medicine Member, Saint Louis University Cancer Center St Louis, Missouri

Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters

Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, BDS, MPH, CHES
Instructor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Member, Saint Louis University Cancer Center
St Louis, Missouri 

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

Response: Several studies have shown that there is an adverse effect of smoking on head and neck cancer survival; however, there are studies that show no effect between smoking and head and neck cancer. We wanted to investigate this problem using a single institution’s cancer dataset. Additionally, we wanted to understand the role of marital status in the smoking behavior of head and neck cancer patients, and to understand if smoking played any role in head and neck cancer survival.

Our study confirmed that head and neck cancer patients who were smokers at the time of diagnosis had lower survival rates than nonsmokers. We also found that married head and neck cancer patients were less likely to be smokers and more likely to survive longer than those unmarried.

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Up To Certain Number of Hours, Maternal Employment Is Beneficial For Children’s Body Weight

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jianghong Li, Senior Research Fellow WZB Berlin Social Science Center Berlin, Germany Telethon KIDS Institute, The University of Western Australia West Perth, Western Australia

Dr. Li

Dr. Jianghong Li, Senior Research Fellow
WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Berlin, Germany
Telethon KIDS Institute, The University of Western Australia
West Perth, Western Australia

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

Response: Over the last three to four decades, the prevalence of child overweight/obesity and maternal employment has both increased worldwide. This co-occurrence has drawn much attention to the connection between these two trends. Previous studies, predominantly based on US samples and cross-sectional data, has linked longer working hours to children’s higher body mass index (BMI), suggesting that any maternal employment was a risk for child health.

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African Americans Do Worse After Joint Replacements, But Only In Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Susan M. Goodman, MD Director of the Integrative Rheumatology and Orthopedics Center of Excellence Hospital for Special Surgery

Dr. Goodman

Susan M. Goodman, MD
Director of the Integrative Rheumatology and Orthopedics Center of Excellence
Hospital for Special Surgery 

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

Response: We have previously reported that African Americans who have poorer health outcomes, may be disproportionately impacted by community factors. For African Americans undergoing knee replacement, no difference in pain and function was seen compared to whites in communities with little poverty, while in poor communities, African Americans had poorer outcomes. We wondered if this was generally true or if this only applied to knee replacements.

We found similar results; African Americans in richer neighborhoods have comparable outcomes to whites, but as poverty increases- in this study measured as percent with Medicaid coverage- outcomes worsen in a step wise fashion.

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Men and Women Have Different Perspectives on Infidelity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mons Bendixen and Leif Edward Ottesen Kennai
r 

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

Response: Using infidelity scenarios, we aimed to study coupled women and men’s willingness to forgive their partner’s infidelity and their beliefs about being forgiven when cheating on their partner.

The study therefore reproduces the core findings from an earlier study by Friesen, Fletcher & Overall (2005) that looked at cognitive biases in forgiveness following actual transgressions in couples (some severe, others minor).

The theoretical framework for our study is Error Management Theory (EMT), developed by the evolutionary psychologists Martie Haselton & David Buss. EMT makes specific predictions regarding beliefs about being forgiven for own transgressions. Transgressors will underperceive signals of forgiveness, they tend not to believe they are forgiven despite signals of forgiveness from their partner (e.g., “don’t worry about it” and “I forgive you”).

MedicalResearch.com: This sound a little odd, how can misperception be evolutionary adaptive?

Response: The evolved function of this biased belief is, according to EMT, to guide the organism toward reparative behavior securing that the transgressions are fully mended. Lack of biased beliefs may be a potential threat to the relationship, because reparative behaviors signal remorse, empathy, and willingness to commit. Lack of reparative behaviors increase the risk of the relationship ending up on the rocks.

MedicalResearch.com: Why did you consider forgiveness of infidelity?

Response: We studied reactions to anticipated infidelity. Infidelity represents one of strongest threat to any intimate relationship. Infidelity may be primarily sexual: having a sexual affair, or primarily emotional, being deeply and emotionally involved with somebody else.

We know that women and men differ in their responses to sexual and emotional infidelity. Across studies using a variety of methods and samples, compared to women, men seem to be less upset by imagining their partner falling in love with someone than imagining their partner having sex with someone. Typically, men become more jealousy of sexual infidelity, women of emotional infidelity. This sex difference origins from the “mother’s baby – father’s maybe” dilemma, and the sex difference in minimum parental investment. We have previously published several papers on jealousy.

MedicalResearch.com: Who were the participants?

Response: We invited students and their partners to take part in a study on infidelity and forgiveness. 92 couples participated. At arrival, they were guided to separate rooms to fill in the questionnaires. After completion, each participant returned the questionnaires in a sealed envelope, and the couple received debriefing and two cinema tickets.

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

Response: We found a robust negative forgiveness bias following one’s own imagined infidelity for both male and female transgressors. Relative to the likelihood of being forgiven, transgressors reported that they believed less that their partner would forgive their cheating.

We found diminished negative forgiveness bias for emotionally unfaithful men, but not for sexually unfaithful women. Emotionally unfaithful men evinced less bias in the analyses of their partner’s expressed forgiveness. Relative to women, men not only seem to be more willing to forgive emotional infidelity by their partner, they also tend to believe more that their emotional infidelity will be forgiven – put more simply: Men underestimate the distress women experience in emotional infidelity, and are maybe a little naïve about the threat their partners emotional infidelity poses.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: What is most striking with our results is how men do not quite understand how serious women perceive and deem emotional infidelity to be; while men cannot be described as naïve about this aspect of their relationship, they certainly are not as concerned with emotional infidelity as women are.

Even though both men and women perceive both emotional and sexual infidelity as relationship threats, they have very different appreciations of the severity of especially emotional infidelity. This is true for both own and partner’s transgressions. This may potentially be a source of misunderstanding, conflict and miscommunication in couples, and maybe a topic that couple counselors need to address.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Rather than studying imagined infidelity, future research may study couples seeking counseling or therapy following actual infidelity, including questions on beliefs of being forgiven, reparative behaviors, signals of forgiveness, and internal (non-communicated) forgiveness.

 

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Forgiving the Unforgivable: Couples’ Forgiveness and Expected Forgiveness of Emotional and Sexual Infidelity From an Error Management Theory Perspective.

Bendixen, Mons,Kennair, Leif Edward Ottesen,Grøntvedt, Trond Viggo

Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, Sep 28 , 2017, No Pagination Specified

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

 

Montessori Education Has Potential To Equalize Performance For Low Income School Children

“Tempura Finger Paint Grand Rapids Montessori School” by Steven Depolo is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Tempura Finger Paint Grand Rapids Montessori School” by Steven Depolo

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Angeline Lillard PhD

Professor of Psychology
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

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

Response: Montessori education was developed in the first half of the last century, but has been subject to little formal research. Prior research on its outcomes was problematic in using poor control groups, very small samples, demographically limited samples, a single school or classroom, or poor quality Montessori, or data from just a single time point and limited measurements.

This study addressed all these issues: it collected data 4 times over 3 years from 141 children, experimental children were in 11 classrooms at 2 high quality Montessori schools at which the control children were waitlisted and admission was done by a randomized lottery, family income ranged from $0-200K, groups were demographically equivalent at the start of the study, and many measures were taken.

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Focusing on Physical Activity Can Help Avoid Unnecessary Later Life Social Care Expenses

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Scarlett McNally

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeo
Eastbourne D.G.H.

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

Response: There are vast differences between older people in their abilities and their number of medical conditions. Many people confuse ageing with loss of fitness. Ageing has specific effects (reduction in hearing and skin elasticity for example) but the loss of fitness is not inevitable. Genetics contributes only 20% to diseases. There is abundant evidence that adults who take up physical activity improve their fitness up to the level of someone a decade younger, with improvements in ‘up and go’ times. Physical activity can reduce the severity of most conditions, such as heart disease or the risk of onset or recurrence of many cancers. Inactivity is one of the top four risk factors for most long-term conditions. There is a dose-effect curve. Dementia, disability and frailty can be prevented, reduced or delayed.

The need for social care is based on an individual’s abilities; for example, being unable to get to the toilet in time may increase the need for care from twice daily care givers to needing residential care or live-in care, which increases costs five-fold.

Hospitals contribute to people reducing their mobility, with the ‘deconditioning syndrome’ of bed rest, with 60% of in-patients reducing their mobility.

The total cost of social care in the UK is up to £100 billion, so even modest changes would reduce the cost of social care by several billion pounds a year.

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Having Highly Educated, Wealthy Neighbors Reduces Expectant Mother’s Chance of Having Preterm or Low Weight Baby

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jennifer Buher Kane PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology University of California, Irvine 92697-510 

Dr. Buher-Kane

Jennifer Buher Kane PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
University of California, Irvine 92697-510 

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

Response: It’s not uncommon for new parents to relocate in search of neighborhoods with better schools, safer streets and healthier, more kid-friendly activities. But our new study found that living in such neighborhoods before a baby is born protects against the risks of poor birth outcomes.

Published online this month in SSM – Population Health, the research shows that having highly educated, wealthy neighbors reduces an expectant mother’s risk of delivering a low-weight or preterm baby – health markers that can be associated with neurodevelopmental problems, language disorders, learning disabilities and poor health later in life.

Our study is the first to look at how both the level of affluence and disadvantage — two sociologically distinct attributes of neighborhoods — affect newborn health; past studies have only explored the impact of neighborhood disadvantage. Neighborhood disadvantage signals factors such as poverty, unemployment, or underemployment. On the other hand, neighborhood affluence is thought to signal the presence of locally-based community organizations that can meet the needs of all residents – health-related and otherwise – regardless of one’s own socioeconomic resources.

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Men and Women May Take Different Kinds Of Risks

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Thekla Morgenroth

Preferred pronouns: They/them/their
Research Fellow in Social and Organisational Psychology
Psychology
University of Exeter
Washington Singer Laboratories,
Exeter UK 

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

Response: Risk-taking is often seen as an important trait that leads to economic success – for example when it comes to investing money – and career success. For example, we often hear that leaders need to be willing to take risks. Risk-taking is also strongly associated with masculinity, which leads to the idea that maybe gender differences in economic and career success can be explained by the fact that women are just too risk averse. When you look at the risk-taking literature, it appears that there is support for this idea with many studies showing that men do indeed take more risks than men.

Our research questions these ideas. We show that current measures of risk-taking are biased. They focus only on stereotypical “masculine” risk taking behaviors such as betting your money on the outcome of a sporting event or going whitewater rafting, and ignore the many risks that women take, such as going horseback riding or donating a kidney to a family member. When this bias is addressed, gender differences in risk-taking disappear or even reverse.

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Time, Money, and Gender Explain Division of Household Labor

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rebecca Horne, MSc, PHEc
MSc graduate in Family Sciences from the University of Alberta
Professional human ecologist
PhD student in Psychology at the University of Toronto
Research area in intimate relationships

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

Response: Although several studies have argued that time, money, and gender are important factors that shape the division of household labour, we know little about how these factors impact housework at different stages of the life course. Specifically, are time, money, and gender-related variables equally important for explaining housework involvement at different life stages? In our study, we compared men’s and women’s housework contributions at different life stages and explored how work hours, income (relative to one’s partner), marital status, raising children, and gender impacted housework at these distinct stages.

We drew on data from the Edmonton Transitions Study, which has tracked the school-to-work and adolescence-to-adulthood transitions of nearly 1,000 Canadians for over three decades. We analyzed survey data from participants who had romantic partners during three developmental periods: the transition to adulthood (age 25; assessed in 1992), young adulthood (age 32; assessed in 1999), and midlife (age 43; assessed in 2010).

We found that regardless of age or life stage, women performed more housework than men. In addition, lower housework involvement was most reliably predicted by earning a greater share of income and being male at age 25; working longer hours and raising children (for men only) at age 32; and earning a greater share of income, working longer hours, and being male at age 43. Importantly, gender was the strongest predictor of housework responsibility earlier and later in life.

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Gay and Bisexual Men With Less Education and Income At Greater Risk of Suicide

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Oliver Ferlatte PhD

Men’s Health Research Program
University of British Columbia
Vancouver , British Columbia , Canada

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

Response: Suicide, like many other health inequities, is unevenly distributed among the population, with marginalized groups being most affected. In Canada, suicide has been found to particularly affect gay and bisexual men, aboriginal people and people living in rural and remote communities.

While the populations affected by suicide are not mutually exclusive – for example someone can be a bisexual Aboriginal man living in a remote community – much of the suicide prevention literature tends to treat these groups as such. Moreso, very little attention is given in suicide prevention research to diversity within groups: for example, we know very little about which gay and bisexual men are most at risk of attempting suicide. This situation creates a vacuum of knowledge about suicide among gay and bisexual and deprives us of critical information for the development of effective suicide prevention activities.

We therefore investigated in a survey of Canadian gay and bisexual men (Sex Now Survey), which gay and bisexual men are at increased risk of reporting a recent suicide attempt. The large sample of gay and bisexual men with 8493 participants allows for this unique analysis focused on the multiple, intersecting identities of the survey participants.

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Apologies May Not Help Hurt Feelings

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gili Freedman, PhD Postdoctoral Researcher Dartmouth College

Dr. Freedman

Gili Freedman, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher
Dartmouth College

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

Response: Social rejection is a common, everyday interpersonal interaction, and most people have been on both ends: being rejected and doing the rejection. There has been a lot of research on how rejection impacts targets (the people being rejected), but we know less about the point of view of the rejector. In this set of studies, we wanted to understand how frequently rejectors include apologies in rejections and what effect apologies have on targets of rejection.

Using both college and community samples, we found that approximately 40% of people spontaneously included an apology when trying to reject in a good way. However, rejections with apologies were associated with more hurt feelings and higher levels of aggression than rejections without apologies. In response to viewing rejections with apologies, participants felt obligated to express forgiveness but did not actually feel forgiveness. Taken together, our results indicate that apologies may not be helpful in softening the blow of a social rejection.

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Cardiovascular Prediction Tool Underestimated Risk In Poor Socioeconomic Groups

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jarrod Dalton PhD Department of Quantitative Health Sciences Cleveland Clinic , Cleveland 

Dr. Dalton

Jarrod Dalton PhD
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Cleveland Clinic , Cleveland

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

Response: Accurate risk assessment is critical for identifying patients who are at high risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

We evaluated the performance of a widely-used risk assessment tool against the socioeconomic position of patients’ neighborhoods of residence. This tool, called the Pooled Cohort Equations Risk Model, or PCERM, was developed in 2013 jointly by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA).

We found that the PCERM model accurately characterized risk among patients from affluent communities, but performed more poorly among patients from disadvantaged communities. In particular, for these patients, major cardiovascular events occurred at rates that were as much as 2-3 times than predicted from the PCERM model.

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Almost 40% US Adults Used Prescription Opioids In Course of One Year

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Beth Han, MD, PhD, MPH

From Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, Maryland
National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, Maryland and
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC. 

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

Response: Using the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), this is the first study examining the prevalence of overall prescription opioid use in addition to misuse, use disorders, and motivations for misuse in the U.S. adult population. The 2015 NSDUH collected nationally representative data on prescription opioid use, misuse, use disorder, and motivations for misuse among the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population aged 12 or older. In 2015, NSDUH started to collect data on overall prescription opioid use as well as data on motivations for prescription opioid misuse.

This study found that in 2015, 91.8 million (37.8%) U.S. civilian, non-institutionalized adults used prescription opioids, 11.5 million (4.7%) misused them, and 1.9 million (0.8%) had a prescription opioid use disorder. Among adults who used prescription opioids, 12.5% reported misuse and, of those reporting misuse, 16.7% reported a prescription opioid use disorder.

The most common reported misuse motivation was to relieve physical pain (63.4%). Misuse and use disorders were most commonly reported in adults who were uninsured, were unemployed, had low income, or had behavioral health problems. Among adults with misuse, 59.9% reported using opioids without a prescription, and 40.8% obtained prescription opioids free from friends or relatives for their most recent misuse.

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People Accept Lies From Politicians They Like

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Allison Mueller, A.B.D.

Ph.D. Program
Department of Psychology
University of Illinois at Chicago 

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

Response: In our study, we explored how people react to public figures who bend the truth. We predicted that people’s own moral conviction for a political issue—their strong and absolute belief that this position is right or wrong, moral or immoral—would cloud their judgments of public figures who lie for that cause. We reasoned that when a strong moral conviction is at stake, the transgressiveness of specific kinds of advocacy for the cause may be trivialized.

To test this idea, we first assessed people’s views on a political issue—in this case, whether they supported or opposed federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and the extent to which they viewed the issue as a moral imperative. They were then presented with a political monologue supporting Planned Parenthood that they believed was previously aired over public radio. After reading the monologue, they were randomly assigned to learn that the monologue was deemed true (or false) by several fact-checking organizations. We measured their reactions to hearing this news, including the extent to which they believed the speaker was justified in delivering the monologue and their judgments of the speaker’s moral character.

We found that people’s perceptions of the speaker’s transgressive advocacy were uniquely shaped by their own moral conviction for the cause. Although honesty was positively valued by all respondents, transgressive advocacy that served a shared moral (vs. nonmoral) end was more accepted, and advocacy in the service of a nonpreferred end was more condemned, regardless of its truth value.  Continue reading

Any Job is Not Necessarily Better Than NO Job

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Tarani Chandola Cathie Marsh Institute and Social Statistics www.cmist.manchester.ac.uk University of Manchester Co-director of the National Centre for Research Methods International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society & Health 

Prof. Chandola

Professor Tarani Chandola
Cathie Marsh Institute and Social Statistics
www.cmist.manchester.ac.uk
University of Manchester
Co-director of the National Centre for Research Methods International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society & Health

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

Response: The study examined the common perception that “any job is better than no job” to see whether this was true in terms of chronic stress levels. It followed up a group of unemployed adults representative of adults living in the UK, and compared their health and stress levels in terms of those who remained unemployed and those who became re-employed in poor and good quality work.

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Children from Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Families Have Increased Cardiovascular Risks

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lead author, Dr Richard Liu, MCRI Ph.D. student and
Senior author – Professor David Burgner PhD
The Child Health CheckPoint Investigator Group
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
The Royal Children’s Hospital
Parkville, Victoria, Australia

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

Response: The socioeconomic gradient in cardiovascular disease is well recognised in adults. The more disadvantaged someone is, the higher their risk of heart attack and stroke. The mechanisms by which this occurs are not well understood, but we know the pathological process underlying this, thickening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, begins very early in life. Our current understanding of the early development of atherosclerosis has previously been limited mainly to autopsy studies. Non-invasive imaging is increasingly being used to examine the early development of atherosclerosis.

We wanted to determine if there was an association between socioeconomic disadvantage and the thickness of the carotid artery wall in mid-childhood, which in adults is a proxy for atherosclerosis and indicates higher risk for heart attack and stroke in later life. We analysed both family and neighbourhood socioeconomic position data from 1477 Australian families, which included data on income, education and occupation of parents, as well as the relative socioeconomic status of the immediate neighbourhood.

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Couples With Children More Likely To Have Conflicts With In-Laws

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mirkka Danielsbacka PhD, D.Soc.Sci

Senior researcher
University of Turku

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

Response: Relations between family generations are widely studied in disciplines such as family sociology and demography. However, relations between in-laws are often neglected in family studies of contemporary societies. Especially conflicts have been surprisingly little investigated. We were especially interested in how parenthood is associated with relations to in-laws in a contemporary Western society.

Using nationally representative survey data from Finland with over 1,200 respondents, we studied conflicts that spouses reported having with their own parents and their in-laws. Overall, Finns more often reported having had any conflict with their own parents than with their in-laws. Compared to childless couples, couples with children were as likely to report conflicts with their own parents. However, couples with children were more likely to report conflicts with their parents-in-law. Our results took into account how frequently family members were in contact with each other and how emotionally close they felt, as well as other sociodemographic factors.

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Patients With Social Risks Are More Expensive and Require Greater Medicaid Resources

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-arlene-S-Ash.jpg

Dr. Ash

Arlene S. Ash, PhD
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Worcester 

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

Response: State Medicaid programs (and other health care purchasers) often contract with several managed care organizations, each of which agrees to address all health care needs for some of their beneficiaries. Suppose a Medicaid program has $5000 to spend, on average, for each of its 1 million beneficiaries. How much should they pay health plan “A” for the particular 100,000 beneficiaries it enrolls? If some group, such as those who are homeless, is much more expensive to care for than the payment, plans that try to provide good care for many such people will go broke. We describe the model now used by MassHealth to ensure that plans get more money for enrolling patients with greater medical and social needs. In this medical-social model, about 10% of total dollars is allocated by factors other than the medical-morbidity risk score.

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Chronic Cannabis Users Have Blunted Response To Stress

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D. Clinical Assistant Professor Washington State University Department of Psychology Pullman, WA, 99164-4820

Dr. Cuttler

Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Washington State University
Department of Psychology
Pullman, WA, 99164-4820

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

Response: One of the most common reasons cannabis users report using cannabis is to cope with stress. In support of this, previous research has shown that acute administration of THC or cannabis dampens affective responses and subjective stress ratings. However, our study is the first to compare the stress response of sober cannabis users to non-users. More specifically, we randomly assigned 42 non-cannabis users and 40 cannabis users (who abstained from using cannabis for at least 12 hours prior to the study) to either a stress or no stress condition. Participants in the stress condition were required to perform multiple trials of placing their hand in ice water and counting backwards from 2043 by 17s. Each time they made an error they were given negative feedback and told to start again. Further, they were being video recorded and their image was displayed in front of them. Participants who were assigned to the no stress condition were simply required to perform multiple trials of placing their hand in lukewarm water and counting from 1 to 25. They were not given feedback or recorded. Participants were asked to rate their level of stress and to provide a saliva sample, from which the stress hormone cortisol was measured.

The results showed that, as expected, non-users in the stress condition had higher cortisol levels and higher self-reported stress than non-users in the no stress condition. In contrast, cannabis users in the stress condition demonstrated the same levels of cortisol as cannabis users in the no stress condition and their increase in self-reported stress was smaller than that of the non-users.

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Self Driving Cars Can Be Programmed To Make Moral Decisions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Leon Sütfeld
The Institute of Cognitive Science
University of Osnabrück 

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

Response: Self-driving cars, and especially future fully autonomous cars, pose a number of ethical challenges. One of these challenges is making the “right” decision when it comes to a so-called dilemma situation, in which a collision is unavoidable (or highly probable), but a decision can be made as to which of multiple different collisions to choose. Our study assesses the behavior of human participants in such dilemma situations and evaluates algorithmic models that are trained on this data to make predictions.

Our main findings are that in a controlled virtual reality environment, the decisions of humans are fairly consistent and can be well described by simple value-of-life models.

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More Education Means Lowers Cardiovascular Risk, Regardless of Income

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Yasuhiko Kubota, MD, MPH Visiting Scholar Division of Epidemiology and Community Health School of Public Health University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Dr. Kubota

Yasuhiko Kubota, MD, MPH
Visiting Scholar
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

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

Response: Educational inequality is one of the most important socioeconomic factors contributing to cardiovascular disease. Since education is usually completed by young adulthood, educational inequality may affect risk of cardiovascular disease early in the life course. We thought it would be useful to calculate the lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease according to educational levels in order to increase public awareness of the importance of education.

Thus, our aim was to evaluate the association of educational attainment with cardiovascular disease risk by estimating the lifetime risks of cardiovascular disease using a US. biracial cohort. Furthermore, we also assessed how other important socioeconomic factors were related to the association of educational attainment with lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Income Disparities Persist In Cardiovascular Risk Factors in the US

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Ayodele Odutayo MD MSc DPhil(pending) Centre For Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford Resident Physician (PGY1), Post-Doctoral Fellow, Applied Health Research Centre St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto

Dr. Odutayo

Dr. Ayodele Odutayo
MD MSc DPhil(pending)
Centre For Statistics in Medicine,
University of Oxford
Resident Physician (PGY1), Post-Doctoral Fellow,
Applied Health Research Centre
St. Michael’s Hospital,
University of Toronto

 

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

Response: Previously published studies have reported increasing gaps in life expectancy among adults belonging to different socioeconomic strata and suggested that much of this gap was mediated through behavioural and metabolic risk factors.

In this study, we found that from 1999-2014, there was an increasing gap in the control of cardiovascular risk factors between high income adults compared to adults with incomes at or below the poverty line. The proportion of adults at high cardiovascular risk (predicted risk of a cardiovascular event ≥20%), the mean systolic blood pressure and the percentage of current smokers decreased for high income adults but did not change for adults with incomes at or below the poverty line. Notably, the income disparity in these cardiovascular risk factors was not wholly explained by access to health insurance or educational attainment. Trends in the percentage of adults with diabetes and the average total cholesterol level did not vary by income.

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Asthma Outcomes Worse in Low Income Groups

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wanda Phipatanakul, MD, MS Associate Professor of Pediatrics Harvard Medical School Director, Asthma Clinical Research Center Boston Children's Hospital Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Boston, MA 02115

Dr. Phipatanakul

Wanda Phipatanakul, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
Director, Asthma Clinical Research Center
Boston Children’s Hospital
Asthma, Allergy and Immunology
Boston, MA 02115

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

Response: Observational studies have limitations in their ability to examine disparities in asthma, as these studies have relied on self-reported measures of medication use, asthma diagnosis, severity, outcomes, and access to care.

Using data collected from a randomized controlled trial, we found that subjects with lower income had a significantly higher number of asthma treatment failures and asthma exacerbations, independent of race, BMI, education, perceived stress, baseline lung function, hospitalizations, inhaled corticosteroid adherence, inhaled corticosteroid dose, environmental allergen sensitization, and second-hand smoke exposure.

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People Prefer Familiar Faces

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Carlota Batres PhD Postdoctoral fellow at Gettysburg College

Dr. Batres

Carlota Batres PhD
Postdoctoral fellow at Gettysburg College

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

Response: The background for this study is that previous research has found that individuals from rural areas prefer heavier women than individuals from urban areas. Several explanations have been proposed to explain these preference differences: media exposure, differing optimal weights for different environments, and urbanization. In this study, we investigated familiarity as a possible explanation by examining participants’ face preferences while also examining the facial characteristics of the actual participants.

The main finding of this study is that familiarity appears to be contributing to our facial preferences.

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Everybody Does It! Rich and Poor Eat Fast Food

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jay L. Zagorsky

Center for Human Resource Research
The Ohio State University and
Patricia K. Smith PhD
Department of Social Sciences
University of Michigan-Dearborn

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

Response: The prevalence of adult obesity in the U.S. has risen substantially, from about 13% in the early 1960s to nearly 38% now.  Obesity is associated with a variety of illnesses and imposes significant costs on individuals and society.

Socioeconomic (SES) gradients in health and the prevalence of disease, including obesity, have been documented: health improves and disease prevalence falls as we move up each step of the SES ladder.  Differences in nutrition could help explain these health gradients and Americans commonly think the poor eat fast food more often than those in the middle and upper classes. Policy based on this notion has been proposed.  For example, in 2008 Los Angeles placed a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in poor neighborhoods.

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Retirement Lowers Stress But Only For Those Retiring From Executive Jobs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tarani Chandola</strong> Professor of Medical Sociology Social Statistics Disciplinary Area of the School of Social Sciences University of Manchester

Prof. Chandola

Tarani Chandola
Professor of Medical Sociology
Social Statistics Disciplinary Area of the School of Social Sciences
University of Manchester

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

Response: We (the authors) were particularly interested in examining evidence for the common perception that people at the top of the occupational hierarchy are the most stressed. And also what happens to people’s stress levels when they retire. We had assumed that people with poorer quality work to have decreased levels of stress when they retired. There have been other studies on this topic before, but none that have used salivary cortisol to measure physiological stress responses. We analysed changes in people’s stress levels before and after retirement, in a follow up study of over 1,000 older workers in the British civil service. Stress levels were measured by taking salivary cortisol samples across the day, from awakening until bedtime.

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Support Required To Encourage Patients With End Stage Kidney Disease To Return to Work

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wendy Tan Senior Medical Social Worker Medical Social Work The National Kidney Foundation

Wendy Tan

Wendy Tan
Senior Medical Social Worker
Medical Social Work
The National Kidney Foundation

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

Response: End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients experience significant changes to their daily routine and lifestyle. Their time and attention were often centred solely on their sickness whilst receiving treatment accentuating the employment isolation.

This study determined the need for extra support to assist patients adjust (e.g. learning about their psychological wellbeing, change of role and mindset, suitable work conditions and employment support) in returning to work. It also sheds light on how individuals perceive the particular situations they are facing, how they are making sense of their health conditions and the society at large in relations to seeking continued employment.

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Food Costs Can Lead To Less Protein and Phosphorous in Indigent Kidney Transplant Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ms. Shifra Mincer Medical Student in the class of 2019 SUNY Downstate Medical School

Shifra Mincer

Ms. Shifra Mincer
Medical Student in the class of 2019
SUNY Downstate Medical School

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

Response: Hypophosphatemia is commonly encountered in the post-transplant setting. Early post-transplant hypophosphatemia has been ascribed to excess FGF23 and hyperphosphaturia.

Many patients remain hypohosphatemic months or even years after their transplant and the mechanism was assumed to be the same, however, our group recently reported that patients with late post-transplant hypophosphatemia had very little phosphorous in their urine (Wu S, Brar A, Markell, MS. Am J Kidney Dis. 2016,67(5): A18). We hypothesized that they were not eating enough phosphorous to compensate for the acute phosphorous losses they experienced immediately post-transplant.

In this study, using both 3-day diet journals and 24-hour diet recall questionnaires, we found that mean intake of phosphorous and protein was barely at the Recommended Daily Allowance, and that despite 70% of the patients using EBT, 30% of those patients still reported concerns regarding food security. Patients who reported that the cost of food influenced their dietary choices ate 43% less protein (average 48,5 gms vs. 85.8 gms) and 29% less phosphorous (average 887 mg vs 1257 mg). When ability to rise from a chair over a 30 second period was evaluated, only patients who expressed food cost concerns were unable to complete the test.

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When Choosing A Mate, Women Choose Looks Over Personality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Madeleine A. Fugère, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology Eastern CT State University Willimantic, Connecticut

Dr. Fugère

Madeleine A. Fugère, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Eastern CT State University
Willimantic, Connecticut

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

Response: Previous research has shown that both daughters and their parents rate many traits as more important than physical attractiveness in a potential mate (for daughters), including traits such as respectfulness, honesty, and trustworthiness. Previous research also shows that women rate physical attractiveness as more important in a mate for themselves than parents do in a mate for their daughters.

In our research project, we experimentally manipulated the physical attractiveness of male targets (using photographs) and we experimentally manipulated the traits associated with each male target. The trait profiles included the “respectful” trait profile which consisted of the traits respectful, honest, and trustworthy, the “friendly” trait profile which included the traits friendly, dependable, and mature, and the “pleasing” trait profile which contained the traits pleasing disposition, ambitious, and intelligent.

We found that both women and their mothers were strongly influenced by the physical attractiveness of the men and preferred the attractive and moderately attractive targets. Both women and their mothers rated the attractive and moderately attractive men most favorably, especially when they were paired with the most positive trait profile (the “respectful” trait profile).

However, the unattractive man was never rated more positively than his more attractive counterparts even when he possessed the most favorable trait profile.

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Genotypes Can Increase or Decrease Young Adult Financial Outcomes, Depending on Parental Income

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emily Rauscher PhD Assistant Professor Department of Sociology University of Kansas

Dr. Rausher

Emily Rauscher PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
University of Kansas  

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

Response: A lot of previous research has identified genotypes that increase sensitivity to context.  Much of this research, however, looks at particular aspects of health and is not able to address the methodological challenges of investigating gene-environment interactions.  To gain a better sense of the potential outcomes that may be susceptible to gene-environment interactions, I examine financial standing in young adulthood.  Testing this type of interaction is challenging because genotype and social environment are not randomly distributed throughout the population. Given this non-random distribution, unobserved confounders (such as parental behaviors, education, ethnicity, or social capital) could influence both parent and child financial standing.

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Parents Live Longer Than Those Without Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Karin Modig, PhD Institute of Environmental Medicine,Epidemiology Karolinska Institute

Dr. Modig

Dr. Karin Modig, PhD
Institute of Environmental Medicine,Epidemiology
Karolinska Institute

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

Response: The background to the study was that even though it is established that parents live longer than non-parents the underlying mechanisms are not clear. And it was not known how the association changed with the age of the parents. We hypothesize that if social support is one mechanism – the association between having children and the death risk of parents-non-parents would increase with age of the parents, when health starts to deteriorate and the need of support increases.

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Too Busy? Too Tired? Not in a Relationship? Why are Americans Having Less Sex?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brooke E. Wells, Ph.D. Associate Professor & PhD Program Director Center for Human Sexuality Studies Widener University One University Place Chester, PA 19013

Dr. Brooke Wells

Brooke E. Wells, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & PhD Program Director
Center for Human Sexuality Studies
Widener University
One University Place
Chester, PA 19013

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

Response: It is widely believed that Americans today are more sexually liberated and open than ever before. While research indicates that Americans do indeed have more liberal attitudes about a range of sexual behaviors, Americans are actually reporting fewer sexual partners and higher rates of adult sexual abstinence. But are Americans reporting similar levels of sexual frequency with fewer partners? Our research set out to examine changes over time in sexual frequency to better understand our changing sexual landscape.

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Children Don’t Learn Violent or Disruptive Behavior From Siblings

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Ella Daniel, PhD

Department of School Counseling and Special Education
Constantiner School of Education
Tel Aviv University

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

Response: The development of disruptive behavior in early childhood is extremely important, as disruptive behavior starts early in life and behavioral patterns may become stable and resistant to influence later on. Siblings have a high potential to influence each other’s behavior, as they spend a considerable amount of time together, are close in age and likely to become role models. However, the role of siblings in disruptive behavior development was mostly studied among adolescents, and hardly among young children.

In the current study, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Jenkins and colleagues at the University of Toronto and funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research, we asked parents in some 400 families in and around Toronto, about the behavior of their young children. Both mothers and fathers reported the frequency of disruptive behaviors among their children, including violence, disobedience, destruction of property etc.. At the time of the study, the youngest children in the family were only 18 months of age. They all had an older sibling who was less that 5.5 years of age, and some had additional older siblings, up to four children in a  amily. Using advanced statistical models, we aimed to identify the role of siblings in the development of each child’s disruptive behavior over time, taking into account heredity, parenting, social environment and shared history.

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Democrats More Likely To Attribute Obesity to Genetics

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Don Haider-Markel Chair, Department of Political Science University of Kansas Lawrence, KS 66045

Prof.  Haider-Markel

Professor Don Haider-Markel
Chair, Department of Political Science
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045

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

Response: We have studied causal attributions for conditions and problems in society for some time. We noticed that public debate over obesity had increased and new policy proposals were being proposed to address what was deemed as a growing public health problem. As the salience of the issue increased so too did partisan views on the topic.

Based on these observations, we wanted to explore individual beliefs about the causes, or attributions for, obesity. Existing research and theory suggested that Republicans following a conservative philosophy would be more likely to attribute obesity to personal choices, such as eating habits and lack of exercise—in short, putting the locus of control on individuals. Meanwhile liberal leaning Democrats, with a known predisposition to suggest conditions or problems are outside of the control of the individual, would be more likely to attribute obesity to either genetic or other biological factors, or the broader context of widely available low-cost high-fat food sources.

Additionally, we know that individuals tend to make attributions that are self-serving. In other words, people tend to make attributions that put themselves in a positive light. Thus, personal weight should factor into obesity attributions. Here we expected that overweight people would be more likely to make attributions that removed personal blame, such as pointing to a genetic cause. People closer to an ideal weight would, on the other hand, be more likely to attribute weight-level to personal choices.

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Following Stroke, Children Face Behavioral and Emotional Difficulties

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emily C. Maxwell, Ph.D. Pediatric Neuropsychology Bugher Fellow Division of Neurology Instructor | Department of Pediatrics University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, CO 80045

Dr. Maxwell

Emily C. Maxwell, Ph.D.
Pediatric Neuropsychology Bugher Fellow
Division of Neurology
Instructor | Department of Pediatrics
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Aurora, CO 80045 

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

Response: Previous research has found increased psychological problems and significantly higher rates of psychiatric disorders after pediatric stroke. However, past studies have mainly used global indices, without comparison to age-based norms. Thus, little is known about the discrete symptomatology exhibited by these children and how discrepant these symptoms may be from normative expectations.

At the University of Colorado Denver and Children’s Hospital Colorado, we studied 50 patients who suffered an arterial ischemic stroke during childhood. The parents of these patients completed the Child Behavior Checklist, a questionnaire assessing emotional and behavioral problems. We found that children with stroke had higher symptoms of depression, anxiety, physical complaints, and behavioral difficulties compared to a normative sample of same-aged peers. Additionally, levels of anxiety were higher in children who had a stroke at an early age (before 6 years of age) compared to children who had a stroke at a later age (after 10 years of age).

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Rank, Not Race, Associated with Stroke Outcomes in Military

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Matthew D. Holtkamp, D.O. CPT, MC, USA Medical Director, Intrepid Spirit, Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic Staff Neurologist, Department of Medicine Teaching Fellow, Uniformed Services University Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Fort Hood, Texas 76544

Dr. Mathew Holtkamp,

Matthew D. Holtkamp, D.O. CPT, MC, USA
Medical Director, Intrepid Spirit, Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic
Staff Neurologist, Department of Medicine
Teaching Fellow, Uniformed Services University
Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center
Fort Hood, Texas 76544

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

Response: Racial and Socioeconomic disparities in the outcomes of stroke patients is well documented in the US Civilian Healthcare system.

That Healthcare system has wide variations in access to care and in the levels of available care. In contrast, the Military Healthcare system is a single payer system meaning that every member has the same healthcare benefits.

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Food Insecurity Common Among Inner City Stroke Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Lakshmi Warrior MD Assistance Professor, Neurology Cook County Health & Hospitals System Chicago

Dr. Lakshmi Warrior

Dr. Lakshmi Warrior MD
Assistance Professor, Neurology
Cook County Health & Hospitals System
Chicago

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

Response: In 2015, 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households. Food insecurity is defined as “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways”. Previous work has demonstrated associations between food insecurity and chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia.

Cook County Health and Hospitals System serves a population of largely uninsured and underinsured patients. This pilot study sought determine the prevalence of food insecurity in our population of patients who were recently discharged home from the hospital with the diagnosis of stroke.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We found that food insecurity is a prevalent problem in our patient population with more than 1 in 5 identifying as food insecure. It also appears that food insecure stroke patients had a higher prevalence of diabetes (54% vs 28%)and hypertension (86% vs. 67%) as compared to food secure patients.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Food insecurity is a prevalent issue in our patient population. There should be consideration for food insecurity screening in high-risk populations as food insecurity can complicate the management of diet-related diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. For patients with food insecurity, a multi-disciplinary approach using case and social workers in addition to medical management should be considered.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further study of this topic is needed. A larger, retrospective review of our stroke patients is currently underway. We are also planning for a prospective study of our inpatient stroke patients to evaluate if these patients are at higher risk for not only vascular risk factors but also re-hospitalization and poor outcomes.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation: Abstract presented at the  AHA/ASA International Stroke Conference February 2017

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com

Married Men Live Longer, Wealthier Lives and Have More Sex

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nicholas H. Wolfinger PhD Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Studies Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0080

Dr. Nicholas Wolfinger

Nicholas H. Wolfinger PhD
Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Studies
Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0080

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

Response: W. Bradford Wilcox and I have been studying marriage and divorce for fifteen years. Last year we published Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos (Oxford University Press). We’re always looking for opportunities to present our findings to the public, so Valentines Day is a great excuse!

It’s probably too strong a statement to call our new research brief a study, as we’re not offering any novel findings. Instead, we’re just compiling data from different sources—some published by other scholars, some based on our own analysis of national data—to reaffirm a basic point: marriage is good for men in myriad ways (Marriage is also good for women, but they await their own research brief.) In particular, marriage offers these benefits to men:

  • Higher earnings, greater assets and more job stability. Married men make about $16,000 a year more than their single peers with otherwise similar backgrounds.
  • Better sex lives compared to both single and cohabiting men. According to data from the National Health and Social Life Survey, 51 percent of married men report they are extremely emotionally satisfied with sex, compared to 39 percent of cohabiting men and 36 percent of single men.
  • Longer and happier lives. Men who get and stay married live almost 10 years longer than their unmarried peers. Also, young married men are about twice as happy: 43 percent of married men report they are “very happy” with life, compared to 20 percent of single men and 24 percent of cohabiting men.

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Poor Kids More Likely To Have More Than One Chronic Health Condition

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Christian D. Pulcini, MD, MEd, MPH Pediatric Resident, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Chair, Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT) American Academy of Pediatrics

Dr. Christian Pulcini

Christian D. Pulcini, MD, MEd, MPH
Pediatric Resident
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Chair, Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT)
American Academy of Pediatrics

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

Response: Poverty influences the well-being of children and adolescents in a negative way. Poor children are often exposed to toxic health stressors, including violence, environmental toxins, and inadequate nutrition. Children in poverty with chronic health conditions also are more likely to have higher rates of secondary disorders and worse outcomes. We studied children with asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to describe the how much disease and if the children had multiple (comorbid) conditons and how these vary by poverty status.

Parents reported through the National Survey of Children’s Health that asthma and ADHD rose 18% and 44% from 2003-2011/2012, respectively, whereas the lifetime prevalence of ASD rose 32% from 2007-2011/2012 in all income levels. For asthma, the rise was most among the poor at 25.8%. For ADHD, the percent change among the poor was similar, however the rise in autism spectrum disorder was associated with being non-poor. Publicly insured children with asthma, ADHD, and ASD also had a significant higher chance (1.9×, 1.6×, 3.0×, respectively) of having higher more than one chronic condition. In addition, kids who were poor with asthma and ADHD.
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Oxytocin Enhances Paternal Bonding With Their Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

James K. Rilling, PhD Professor, Anthropology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Emory University School of Medicine

Dr. James Rilling

James K. Rilling, PhD
Professor, Anthropology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
Emory University School of Medicine

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

Response: It has been known for a long time that female mammals experience hormonal changes during pregnancy that prepare them to care for their offspring. More recently, it has been shown that some mammalian males, including humans, can also experience hormonal changes that prepare them to care for their offspring. For example, oxytocin levels can increase in human fathers and studies have shown that oxytocin facilitates paternal physical stimulation, play and emotional synchrony with their children. We examined the effects of intranasal oxytocin on brain function in human fathers. We found that intranasal oxytocin increased activation in brain areas involved with reward and empathy when human fathers viewed pictures of their children, but not unknown children.

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HUD Housing Assistance, But Not Vouchers, Linked To Improvement in Health Measurements

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrew Fenelon PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health Services Administration University of Maryland School of Public Health. College Park, MD 20742

Dr. Andrew Fenelon

Andrew Fenelon PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Services Administration
University of Maryland School of Public Health.
College Park, MD 20742

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

Response: Despite the relatively large public investment in housing assistance at the federal level, there have been few nationwide analyses of the impacts of these programs on health and well-being. And as policymakers seek solutions to health disparities that incorporate some of the non-medical determinants of health (such as housing quality), our study can make an important contribution to both health and housing policy.

We use an innovative data linkage program which links individuals in a federal household health survey and administrative housing records from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). We examine the health impacts of three HUD housing programs: public housing, housing choice vouchers, and multifamily housing. We find that public housing and multifamily housing lead to an improvement in self-reported health status, and public housing leads to a reduction in serious psychological distress. We do not find health impacts associated with housing choice vouchers.

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Married People Have Lower Stress Cortisol Levels

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brian Chin, B.S. PhD Student Doctoral Student Department of Psychology Carnegie Mellon University

Brian Chin

Brian Chin, B.S. PhD Student
Doctoral Student
Department of Psychology
Carnegie Mellon University

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

Response: Numerous studies demonstrate that married people tend to be healthier than those who are single, divorced, or widowed. However, less clear are the psychological and biological mechanisms through which this occurs. To this end, recent research has focused on how the unmarried may experience either greater amounts of stress or different types of stressful situations that put them at increased risk for morbidity and mortality.

Models linking stress and disease often implicate the HPA axis as one pathway through which these stressful experiences can affect health. One way to index HPA axis activity is by measuring cortisol, a hormone that plays a regulatory role for many immunological and metabolic processes in the body. The primary aim of our study was to examine whether cortisol could be one biological mechanism through which marital status impacts health.

Over three non-consecutive days, 572 healthy adult participants between 21-55 years old provided multiple saliva samples that were used to measure cortisol. Relative to their never married or previously married counterparts, married people had both lower cortisol outputs and steeper daily declines – both of which have been shown to be associated with better health outcomes.

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Women From Disadvantaged Backgrounds More Likely To Have Heart Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sanne Peters, PhD

Research Fellow in Epidemiology
The George Institute for Global Health
University of Oxford
Oxford United Kingdom

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

Response: People from disadvantaged backgrounds are, on average, at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases than people with more affluent backgrounds. Some studies have suggested that these socioeconomic inequalities in cardiovascular disease are more consistent and stronger in women than in men. However, the literature is inconsistent.

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Variability in Adult Playfulness Understudied

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

PD Dr. René Proyer Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg Institut für Psychologie Abteilung Differentielle Psychologie und Psychologische Diagnostik

PD Dr. René Proyer

PD Dr. René Proyer
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Institut für Psychologie
Abteilung Differentielle Psychologie und Psychologische Diagnostik

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

Response: I got interested in the study of playfulness and adult playfulness in particular while I was working in the Psychology Department at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. There we worked with the so-called Values-in-Action (VIA) classification of strength and virtues (developed by Chris Peterson and Martin Seligman). In this classification humor and playfulness are being used synonymously.

One of my first aims was testing whether this reflects their relation or whether they should be used separately. Overall, findings suggest that there is a relationship, but that the two are not redundant and should be studied separately. From there my interest in the field grew and I started reading more and more.

It soon was clear that playfulness is an understudied individual differences variable and that current conceptualizations focus primarily on the facets of playfulness that are associated with fun and entertainment, while disregarding others.

My research is aimed at narrowing some gaps in the literature and developing a structural model of how adult playfulness could be understood.

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PET Scanning Highlights Link Between Stress and Heart Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Ahmed Tawakol MD Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical Schoo

Dr Ahmed Tawakol

Dr Ahmed Tawakol MD
Co-Director, Cardiac MR PET CT Program
Massachusetts General Hospital and
Harvard Medical School 

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

Response: While the link between stress and heart disease has long been established, the mechanism mediating that risk hasn’t been clearly understood. Animal studies showed that stress activates bone marrow to produce white blood cells, leading to arterial inflammation.  This study suggests an analogous path exists in humans. Moreover, this study identifies, for the first time in animal models or humans, the region of the brain (the amygdala) that links stress to the risk of heart attack and stroke.

The paper reports on two complementary studies.

The first analyzed imaging and medical records data from almost 300 individuals who had PET/CT brain imaging, primarily for cancer screening, using a radiopharmaceutical called FDG that both measures the activity of areas within the brain and reflects inflammation within arteries.  All participants in that study had no active cancer or cardiovascular disease at the time of imaging and each had information in their medical records on at least three additional clinical visits after imaging.

The second study enrolled 13 individuals with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder, who were evaluated for their current levels of perceived stress and received FDG-PET scanning to measure both amygdala activity and arterial inflammation.

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Caring for Others Linked to Increased Longevity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sonja Hilbrand MSc
Department of Psychology
University of Basel
Basel, Switzerland.

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

Response: Grandparenting is a topic of both great practical and theoretical interest. For instance, grandparents in industrialized societies invest substantial amounts of time and money in their grandchildren and there are many studies examining the potential benefits for these grandchildren. Other studies have focused on potentially negative effects on grandparental mortality associated with providing custudial care for grandchildren.
In addition to previous research we wanted to ask whether there are tangible benefits to the donors (grandparents) of the resources. In other words, is caring a one-way street or not.

In our study we examined whether moderate amounts of caregiving were associated with the longevity of older adults. For our analysis we used longitudinal data of over 500 German individuals aged between 70 and 103 years.

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Genetics Magnifies Health Effects of Discrimination

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Connie J. Mulligan, PhD Professor, Department of Anthropology University of Florida Gainesville, FL

Dr. Connie J. Mulligan

Connie J. Mulligan, PhD
Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

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

Response: Lance Gravlee (UF Dept of Anthropology, UF Genetics Institute) started this research over 10 years ago. As a cultural anthropologist, Lance uses ethnographic (open-ended questions) interviews and discovered that over half of the participants in our study talked about experiences of discrimination that happened to people close to them.

As a geneticist (UF Dept of Anthropology, UF Genetics Institute), I came into the project because I was interested in seeing how genetics and sociocultural stressors, like discrimination, interact. In our project, we look at blood pressure because hypertension is a disease that shows racial disparities and also because it is a complex disease that is caused by both genetic and environmental factors (like discrimination).

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Marital History Linked to Survival After Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Matthew E. Dupre, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Community and Family Medicine & Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) Duke University

Dr. Mathew Dupre

Matthew E. Dupre, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Community and Family Medicine &
Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI)
Duke University

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

Response: There have been a handful of recent studies showing how divorce and widowhood increase one’s risk of suffering a serious health event such as a heart attack or stroke. Our research is the first to show that an individual’s marital history can have significant consequences for their prognosis after having a stroke.

We found that people who never married and those with a history of marital loss were significantly more likely to die after suffering a stroke than those who were stably married. We also found that adults who experienced more than one divorce or widowhood in their lifetime were about 50% more likely to die after having a stroke than those in a long-term stable marriage. We were also somewhat surprised to find that remarriage did not seem to reduce the risks from past marital losses.

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Which Religious Group Breastfeeds More? Protestants or Catholics?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jonathan Y. Bernard, PhD

Inserm UMRS 1153 – Centre for research in Epidemiology and Biostatistics Sorbonne Paris Cité (CRESS)
Team ORCHAD: early Origin of the Child Health And Development
Hôpital Paul Brousse

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

Response: Despite the World Health Organization’s recommendations promoting breast feeding, wide variations in breast feeding initiation rates are observed among Western countries: some reach >95%, while others remain <80%. Many individual-level determinants of breast feeding are known, including maternal age, education, ethnicity, smoking and employment status. Less is known regarding cultural determinants, such as religion, which could be underlying and explain rate differences between and within countries.

We aimed at comparing countries’ breast feeding rates with the proportions of Catholics and Protestants. We thus carried out an ecological study by collating publicly available online data for 135 countries. We additionally gathered within-country data for 5 Western nations: France, Ireland, the UK, Canada and the USA.

We found that, in Western countries, the proportion of Catholics was negatively correlated with the rate of breast feeding. This was also observed within countries in France, Ireland, the UK and Canada. In the USA, where breast feeding rates vary hugely between states, race was an important confounder. Interestingly, we also found the correlation in non-Hispanic whites. All our findings hold even when we account for wealth indicators, such as gross domestic product per capita.

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