Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 22.09.2015

Avik Chatterjee, MD, MPH Physician, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program Instructor, Harvard Medical School Associate Epidemiologist, Division of Global Health Equity, Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MAMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Avik Chatterjee, MD, MPH Physician, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program Instructor, Harvard Medical School Associate Epidemiologist, Division of Global Health Equity, Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Chatterjee: Substance use, sexual activity and violent behaviors are common during adolescence. Understanding risk factors for these behaviors will improve our ability to prevent them and their sequelae. The Chaos, Hubbub and Order Scale (CHAOS) is a measure of household physical and social disorder, and higher CHAOS score, as reported by parents, has been shown to be correlated with less self-regulatory behavior in children. Thus, CHAOS could be a risk factor for the above behaviors in adolescents. We used data from the RISE study, in which 929 adolescents completed face-to-face and computer-assisted (for sensitive questions) interviews about their health behaviors to analyze the relationship between CHAOS score and risky health behaviors. We found that students with highest CHAOS score, compared to those with zero CHAOS score, had elevated odds for tobacco use (3x), alcohol use (2.5x), any substance use at school (6x) and fighting in the past 12 months (2x). (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 27.08.2015

Juliana Schroeder PhD, Assistant Professor Berkeley Haas Management of Organizations Group University of California at BerkeleyMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Juliana Schroeder PhD, Assistant Professor Berkeley Haas Management of Organizations Group University of California at Berkeley Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Schroeder: Whereas much research examines how physicians perceive their patients,in this paper we instead study how patients perceive physicians. We propose that patients consider their physicians like personally emotionless “empty vessels:” The higher is individuals’ need for care, the less they value physicians’ traits related to physicians' personal lives (e.g., self-focused emotions) but the more they value physicians’ traits relevant to patient care (e.g., patient-focused emotions). ​In a series of experiments,we show that participants in higher need for care believe their physicians have less personal emotions. That is, they perceive physicians as emotionally "empty" the more they need them. This was true both when we manipulated need for care - for example, by having participants focus on potential medical problems or reminding them they needed to get a medical check-up - and also when we measured it, for example by comparing patients at a medical clinic (high need) to people not at a clinic (low need). (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 27.08.2015

Asmir Gračanin, PhD Tilburg University Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology & Department of Communication and Information Sciences Tilburg The NetherlandsMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Asmir Gračanin, PhD Tilburg University Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology & Department of Communication and Information Sciences Tilburg The Netherlands Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gračanin: Background for this study are primarily the results from previous paper and pencil studies in which people (retrospectively) claimed that crying made them feel better, which also corresponds to popular cultural beliefs. The remaining background were the results from lab studies that showed mood decreases immediately following crying episodes that were typically induced by emotional films. So, as you can see in both cases background is quite devoid of any theory, but it represented enough motivation to try to see what is really happening here. In addition, human tears are surprisingly understudied and we do not know exactly what is their function, so any research that looks for their intra-individual as well as inter-individual functions is badly needed. In this laboratory study we found that those individuals that cried felt much worse immediately after crying (which corresponds to previous lab studies), but their mood recovered surprisingly quickly (new finding), and finally it went even above the initial levels, that is, they felt even a bit better than before the emotional film that made them cry (corresponds to previous retrospective but not lab studies). No mood changes were observed in those that did not cry. Therefore, it seems that there is something to the popular belief that crying makes one feel better. However, we suspect that people could misinterpret that large mood improvement, which appears just necessarily after the initial mood deterioration, as a general mood improvement. So it is a strong return to initial mood levels that people could experience as a relief. In addition, we did observe a general mood improvement as well, although this effect was quite small. Thus, if there is general positive effect of crying on one's mood, it seems to take more time. This is the first such laboratory finding. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Social Issues / 26.08.2015

Adi V. Gundlapalli, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Internal Medicine University of Utah School of Medicine and University of Utah Hospitals and ClinicsInformatics, Decision Enhancement, and Analytic Sciences Center VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adi V. Gundlapalli, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Internal Medicine University of Utah School of Medicine and University of Utah Hospitals and ClinicsInformatics, Decision Enhancement, and Analytic Sciences Center VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, Utah   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gundlapalli: We wanted to explore the hypothesis that those separated for misconduct-related reasons would have more difficulty reintegrating into their communities post-deployment, with homelessness as an extreme example of such difficulties. Misconduct-related separations from the military are associated with subsequent adverse civilian outcomes that are of substantial public health concern. This study analyzed the association between misconduct-related separations and homelessness among recently returned active-duty military service members. Using US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) data, investigators identified 448,290 Veterans who were separated from the military (end date of last deployment) between October 1, 2001 and December 31, 2011; had been deployed to Iraq and/or Afghanistan; and had subsequently used VA healthcare. Homelessness was determined by an assignment of “lack of housing” during a VA healthcare visit, by participation in a VA homelessness program, or both. Veterans’ housing status was followed through April 30, 2012. We assessed risk for homelessness as a function of separation category (e.g., normal, misconduct, early release), controlling for patient demographics and military service covariates, including service-related disability, branch, rank, and combat exposure. In our opinion, the most significant finding was that 26% of Veterans who were separated for misconduct related reasons were homeless at their first VA encounter; and this number climbed to 28% within one year after their first VA encounter. Additionally, the likelihood of being homeless at the first VA encounter was nearly 5 times greater for those separated for misconduct-related reasons as compared to normal separations; this climbed to nearly 7 times greater at one year after the first VA encounter. Collectively, these results represent the strongest risk factor for homelessness among US Veterans observed to date, and helps to explain the higher risk of homelessness observed among Veterans, despite access to VA benefits and services. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Genetic Research, Social Issues / 21.08.2015

Ben Domingue Assistant Professor (starting 9/2015) Stanford Graduate School of Education   MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ben Domingue Assistant Professor (starting 9/2015) Stanford Graduate School of Education     Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Earlier research has started to illuminate which genetic variants are associated with educational attainment. Subsequent work has taken these variants, combined them into a "polygenic score", and studied how that polygenic score predicts educational attainment. Our research continues this line of inquiry by examining the predictive performance of that polygenic score in a representative sample of US adults who are now in their 30s. A few notable findings include that: (A) the polygenic score predicts educational attainment in the African Americans in our sample and (B) that the polygenic score is associated with neighborhood characteristics. As with earlier research, we are able to show that the higher score sibling from within a family will complete more years of schooling (on average) than their lower score co-sib. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 19.08.2015

Carlota Batres PhD Candidate at the Perception Lab School of Psychology and Neuroscience University of St Andrews MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carlota Batres PhD Candidate at the Perception Lab School of Psychology and Neuroscience University of St Andrews   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Dominance in men is associated with a variety of social outcomes, ranging from high rank attainment of cadets in the military to high levels of sexual activity in teenage boys. Dominant men are also favored as leaders during times of intergroup conflict and are more successful leaders in the business world. Therefore, we wanted to investigate what exactly it is that makes a face look dominant. Our main finding was that maximum dominance was achieved by increasing perceived height and masculinity while maintaining a man's age at around 35 years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Social Issues / 27.07.2015

Laura Rosella, PhD MHSc Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto Scientist, Public Health Ontario Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Toronto, OntarioMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Rosella, PhD MHSc Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto Scientist, Public Health Ontario Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Toronto, Ontario Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: High-cost users of health care generally refer to the top five per cent of health care users. They are a small portion of the population who consume a disproportionately high share of health care resources. We undertook a study to explore the social and economic determinants that were associated with future, high cost users. That is, the characteristics of these individuals before they proceed on a trajectory of high health care utilization. By understanding these associations we can better understand the role that socio-economic factors play in future health care utilizations and costs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues, Weight Research / 24.06.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ruopeng An, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 61820 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Health disparity is a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic and environmental disadvantage. One fundamental goal in the Healthy People 2020 is to “achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups”. Obesity is a leading risk factor for many adverse health outcomes such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Sweeping across the nation during the past 3 decades, the prevalence of obesity increased from 15% in 1980 to 35% in 2012 among U.S. adults. The obesity epidemic is marked by salient demographic and socioeconomic disparities pertaining to gender, race/ethnicity, education, income and geographic location. In this study, we examined the annual trends in educational disparity in obesity among U.S. adults 18 years and older from 1984 to 2013 using data from a nationally-representative health survey. We found that the obesity prevalence among people with primary school or lower education increased from 17.46% or 3.41 times the prevalence among college graduates (5.12%) in 1984 to 36.16% or 1.73 times the prevalence among college graduates (20.94%) in 2013. In any given year, the obesity prevalence increased monotonically with lower education level. The obesity prevalence across education subgroups without a college degree gradually converged since early 2000s, whereas that between those subgroups and college graduates diverged since late 1980s. Absolute educational disparity in obesity widened by 60.84% to 61.14% during 1984-2013 based on the Absolute Concentration Index and the Slope Index of Inequality, respectively; meanwhile, relative educational disparity narrowed by 52.06% to 52.15% based on the Relative Index of Inequality and the Relative Concentration Index, respectively. The trends in educational disparity in obesity differed substantially by gender, race/ethnicity, age group, and obesity severity. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Social Issues / 21.06.2015

Jaana Halonen Ph.D Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Kuopio, FinlandMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jaana Halonen Ph.D Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Kuopio, Finland MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Halonen: Research on predictors of cardiovascular disease has increasingly focused on exposures to risk factors other than the conventional behavioral and biological ones, such as smoking, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, or diabetes. One of the potential predictors beyond the conventional risks is exposure to childhood psychosocial adversities. Previous studies have found that people who had experienced financial difficulties, serious conflicts and long-term disease in the family in childhood have a higher level of cardiovascular risk factors and increased cardiovascular morbidity in adulthood, but the underlying mechanisms linking childhood exposure to adult disease remain unclear. It is possible that childhood adversity sets an individual on a risk pathway leading to adverse future exposures. An important source of adversity experienced in adulthood is residence in a socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood. However, no previous study had examined the combined effect of childhood psychosocial adversity and adult neighborhood disadvantage on cardiovascular disease risk. We found that exposure to childhood psychosocial adversity and adult neighborhood disadvantage in combination was associated with a doubling of the risk of incident cardiovascular disease in adulthood when compared to the absence of such exposures. This association was not explained by conventional cardiovascular risk factors. Neither childhood psychosocial adversity nor adult neighborhood disadvantage alone were significantly associated with incident CVD, although they were associated with CVD risk factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Social Issues / 18.06.2015

Holly Kramer, MD, MPH Department of Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Campus Maywood, ILMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Holly Kramer, MD, MPH Department of Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Campus Maywood, IL MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kramer: The U.S. dialysis dependent population continues to grow with  636,905 prevalent cases of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the U.S. as of December 31, 2012, , an increase of 3.7% since 2011.  Poverty is a well described risk factor for ESRD because poverty impacts access to care and nutritious foods.  The definitions for poverty in the U.S. have not changed over the past several decades despite marked changes in social structure.  For example, social integration in the U.S. society currently requires a cell phone, computer and internet access and access to transportation.  Healthy foods also cost more now relative to unhealthy foods compared to past decades.  Thus, the link between poverty and any chronic disease or health outcome is likely dynamic due to the evolving financial burden for living in a rapidly changing industrialized society.  Our study defined poverty as living in a zip code defined area with > 20% of the residents living below the federal poverty line.  We show that the prevalence of adults receiving dialysis who are living in poverty has increased over time.  We also show that the association between poverty and ESRD may be getting stronger over time.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Nature, NYU, Social Issues / 16.04.2015

Bianca Jones Marlin, PhD Froemke Laboratory New York University Langone School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bianca Jones Marlin, PhD Froemke Laboratory New York University Langone School of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Marlin: Oxytocin is a hormone that plays an important role in the expression of social and parental behaviors, but little is know about how it works in the brain to produce these behaviors. Virgin mice will usually ignore, and sometimes cannibalize newborn mouse pups. Our study has shown that oxytocin works in the auditory cortex of virgin mice to change both their neural responses, and eventually their behaviors, to mirror the maternal response. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 10.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Nygren Division of Pediatrics Linköping University, Sweden MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: What factors that cause type 1 diabetes is still unknown, but we know that environmental factors are involved besides the genetics. Since the incidence of type 1 diabetes among children have increased worldwide in recent decades, it is important to find out the reasons behind the disease to hopefully be able to prevent new cases. We have in a prospective study of over 10000 children and their parents in Sweden investigated if psychological stress can be a risk-factor, and found that childhood experience of serious life events (such as death/illness in family, divorce, new adult/child in the family) was associated with increased risk for diagnosis of type 1 diabetes up to 14 years of age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Social Issues, University of Michigan / 08.04.2015

Kira S. Birditt, Ph.D. Research Associate Professor Life Course Development Program The Institute for Social Research University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kira S. Birditt, Ph.D. Research Associate Professor Life Course Development Program The Institute for Social Research University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Birditt: We know that negative marital quality (e.g., conflict, irritation) has important implications for physical health but the mechanisms that account for these links are still unclear. This study explored links between negative marital quality (e.g., criticism, demands), stress (long term chronic stresses) and blood pressure among older married couples in  a large longitudinal nationally representative sample of couples in the U.S..  We found that husbands had higher blood pressure when wives reported greater stress and that this link was even greater when husbands felt more negative about the relationship.  In addition, negative marital quality experienced by only one member of the couple was not associated with blood pressure but when both members of the couple reported higher negative marital quality they had higher blood pressure.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Social Issues / 16.03.2015

Colleen K. McIlvennan, DNP, ANP Assistant Professor of Medicine University of Colorado, Division of Cardiology Section of Advanced Heart Failure and TransplantationMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Colleen K. McIlvennan, DNP, ANP Assistant Professor of Medicine University of Colorado, Division of Cardiology Section of Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Destination therapy left ventricular assist device (DT LVAD) patients are often older with significant comorbidities that preclude heart transplantation. As such, the decision to get a DT LVAD is arguably more complicated than the decision to receive a temporary LVAD in anticipation of a transplant. Centers offering LVADs often require the identification of a caregiver prior to proceeding with the implant. Caregivers are commonly female spouses of DT LVAD patients, who are also older with co-morbidities. Understanding their perspective in DT LVAD decision making is extremely important as they are at particular risk for experiencing stress and caregiver burden due to the increased demands on caregiving with DT LVAD. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: We performed semi-structured qualitative interviews with 17 caregivers: 10 caregivers of patients living with DT LVAD, 6 caregivers of patients who had died with DT LVAD, and 1 caregiver of a patient who had declined DT LVAD. Throughout the interviews, the overarching theme was that considering a DT LVAD is a complex decision-making process. Additionally, three dialectical tensions emerged: 1) the stark decision context, with tension between hope and reality; 2) the challenging decision process, with tension between wanting loved ones to live and wanting to respect loved ones’ wishes; and 3) the downstream decision outcome, with tension between gratitude and burden. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Emory, OBGYNE, Social Issues / 13.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth Burns, MPH Rollins School of Public Health Emory University MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Epidemiologic studies suggest that prenatal stress is associated with preterm birth, low birth weight and peripartum anxiety and depressive symptoms. The most recent population-based study on the prevalence of stress among pregnant women, which used data from 1990-1995, reported that 64% of women experience stressful life events (SLEs) in the year before their infant’s birth. More recent estimates of prevalence and trends of prenatal stressful life events are useful for clinicians in order to understand the risk profile of their patients. The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) collects self-reported information on maternal experiences and behaviors before, during, and after pregnancy among women who delivered a live infant. PRAMS includes 13 questions about maternal SLEs experienced in the year preceding the birth of the child. Based on previous research, SLEs were grouped into four dichotomous constructs: 1) emotional stressors (family member was ill and hospitalized or someone very close died); 2) financial stressors (moved to a new address, lost job, partner lost job, or unable to pay bills); 3) partner-associated stressors (separated/divorced, argued more than usual with partner/husband, or husband/partner said he did not want pregnancy); and 4) traumatic stressors (homeless, involved in a physical fight, partner or self-went to jail, or someone very close had a problem with drinking or drugs). The prevalence of self-reported stressful life events decreased modestly but significantly during 2000–2010. Despite this, 70.2% of women reported ≥1 SLEs in 2010. Prevalence of stressful life events vary by state and maternal demographic characteristics and are especially prevalent among younger women, women with ≤12 years of education (75.6%), unmarried women (79.6%), and women that were covered by Medicaid for prenatal care or delivery of their child (78.7%). (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Social Issues / 06.03.2015

Randy Cohen, MD, MS, FACC Division of Cardiology Mt. Sinai St. Luke's Hospital New York, NYMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Randy Cohen, MD, MS, FACC Division of Cardiology Mt. Sinai St. Luke's Hospital New York, NY MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Cohen: Psychosocial conditions such as depression, anxiety, chronic stress and social isolation have strong associations with heart disease and mortality. Recently, however, attention has focused on positive emotions, psychological health and their collective impact on overall health and well-being.   Purpose in life is considered a basic psychological need, and has been defined as a sense of meaning and direction in one’s life which gives the feeling that life is worth living. We performed a meta-analysis of prospective studies evaluating the relationship between having a sense of purpose in life, mortality and cardiovascular disease. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Dr. Cohen: We identified 10 prospective studies involving over 137,000 subjects and found that possessing a sense of purpose in life was associated with a 23% reduced risk for all-cause mortality and a 19% reduced risk for cardiovascular disease events. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Social Issues / 01.03.2015

Angela L. Curl PhD MSW School of Social Work University of Missouri Columbia, MOMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Angela L. Curl PhD MSW School of Social Work University of Missouri Columbia, MO MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Curl: Often people think of stopping driving as just effecting one person: the person who stops driving. In reality, for married couples driving cessation affects both spouses. Using longitudinal data (1998-2010) from 1,457 married couples participating in the Health and Retirement Study, we found that husbands and wives who are no longer able to drive are less likely to work, and less likely to engage in formal volunteering (for charitable organizations) and informal volunteering (helping friends and neighbors not-for-pay). Having a spouse in the household who is still able to drive does reduce these negative consequences a little, but not entirely. Furthermore, the spouse who continues to drive is also less likely to continue working or volunteering following the driving cessation of their partner, presumably because he/she is providing transportation or social support to the non-driver. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Social Issues / 13.02.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Khalid Khan Women's Health Research Unit Multi-disciplinary Evidence Synthesis Hub The Blizard Institute Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Khan: My co-author talked me into helping him with his online dating and so we embarked on this project. We were fascinated to see if there was any scientific evidence which could help people in their online pursuit of love - and to our surprise there was lots of attraction and persuasion research. There were 86 published studies on attraction and persuasion which met our criteria, and these covered literature in psychology, sociology, and computer behavioural and neurocognitive sciences. Their design features included randomisation in 28 studies, cohort follow-up in 13 studies, cross-sectional evaluation in 37 studies, qualitative analysis in 5 studies and systematic review in 3 studies​. We found that Success in converting initial online contact to a first date is not a complex formula. It relates to simple factors such as a fluent headline, truthfulness of profile, and reciprocity in communication.  Just like when you meet someone in real life, simple actions such as showing interest in the other person (commenting on something in their profile rather than just talking about yourself) goes a long way. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 07.02.2015

Hailey Winetrobe, MPH, CHES Project Manager NIDA Transitions to Housing Study School of Social Work University of Southern CaliforniaMedicalResearch.com Hailey Winetrobe, MPH, CHES Project Manager NIDA Transitions to Housing Study School of Social Work University of Southern California MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Homeless young adults are a very vulnerable population with high healthcare needs. However, because of their housing instability and very low income, many homeless young adults may not have health insurance and/or access to healthcare services. Prior research regarding this population’s health insurance coverage was mostly outdated. Additionally, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), homeless young adults may now qualify for health insurance coverage (i.e., if there is a relationship, by being a dependent on their parent’s health insurance until 26 years old; and via Medicaid expansion in states choosing to expand). As such, this study aimed to update homeless young adults’ rates of health insurance coverage prior to the full implementation of the ACA (i.e., before Medicaid expansion) and to determine if there was an association between insurance and use of healthcare services. We found that 70% of homeless young adults did not have health insurance in the prior year. Of those with health insurance, 46% reported coverage through their parents, and 34% through Medicaid (not mutually exclusive). Over half (52%) of the sample received healthcare in the prior year. Furthermore, in a multivariable logistic regression model controlling for demographic characteristics, homeless young adults with health insurance, compared to their peers who did not have health insurance, had 11 times the odds of receiving healthcare in the prior year. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, Kidney Disease, Social Issues / 21.01.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Suma Prakash MD, MSc, FRCPC Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology Case Western Reserve University MetroHealth Medical Center Cleveland, Ohio Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Prakash: Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease are often faced with difficult decisions of having to choose between options to replace their kidney function. Many patients may not be ready to make treatment decisions since most people don’t want to need a chronic medical treatment. The behavioural stage of change model originally used to help people with smoking cessation has been used to help patients make decisions about self-care with diabetes and undergo cancer screening. It has not been studied in patients with chronic kidney disease. As patients progress through the stages, they are more ready to make decisions. Focusing on better understanding the decision making process from patients’ perspectives allows us as medical professionals to help patients make timely decision about their options. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 20.01.2015

Ji Su Hong, MD  Department of Psychiatry Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MOMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ji Su Hong, MD  Department of Psychiatry Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Ji Su Hong: The estimated prevalence of preschool conduct disorder is 3.9%-6.6%. Approximately 1 out of 20 preschoolers has conduct disorder. Disruptive behaviors are common in the preschool period of development. However, to date we have not had scientific data to help guide clinicians to distinguish  between normal disruptive behaviors in preschoolers and behaviors that are markers of later Conduct disorder at school age. There were common misbehaviors which were found in preschoolers with mental health problems as well as healthy preschoolers. Those were losing temper, low intensity destruction of property and deceitfulness/stealing. Preschoolers who exhibited high-intensity defiant behavior, aggression toward people or animals, high-intensity destruction of property, peer problems and deceitfulness, including stealing, were more likely to have preschool conduct disorder and they were more likely to be diagnosed with a conduct disorder at school-age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Leukemia, Social Issues / 12.01.2015

Professor Eleni Petridou Preventive Medicine & Epidemiology, Department of Hygiene Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Athens University Medical School Athens GreeceMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Eleni Petridou Preventive Medicine & Epidemiology, Department of Hygiene Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Athens University Medical School Athens Greece Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Petridou: Impressive gains in survival from childhood leukemia have been achieved during the last decades mainly on account of advancements in treatment of the disease. Yet, these big improvements do not seem to be equally shared by all sick children. Disparities in the survival of children suffering leukemia who live in high versus low-income countries, as well as among different racial groups pointed to socio-economic status (SES) of the family as a factor that might adversely affect the outcome. SES, however, is a multifaceted variable comprising economic, social and professional components, which cannot be easily assessed. Therefore, an array of area of residence- and individual family- based proxy indices have been used in order to investigate the association between SES and overall or event-free survival from childhood leukemia. We have intensively searched for published articles around the globe and also analyzed primary data kindly provided by the US National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program (SEER) for the period 1973-2010 as well as the Nationwide Registry for Childhood Hematological Malignancies (NARECHEM) in Greece for the period 1996-2011. This study is the first meta-analysis summing up the findings of 29 individual studies and quantifying the adverse effect in the survival due to SES differentials among 60 000 afflicted children. According to the findings, lower socio-economic status children suffering, at least, the more common Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) type have nearly two fold higher death rates compared to those of high socio-economic status. Of note, the SEER data show that the survival gap was wider in the USA with increased risk of death from ALL in the lower SES children (by 20-82%) and widening during the last 40 years time period. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Social Issues / 31.07.2014

Magdalena Cerdá, DrPH MPH Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University New York, NY 10032-3727MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Magdalena Cerdá, DrPH MPH Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University New York, NY 10032-3727 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Cerdá: We evaluated 1,095 Ohio National Guard soldiers, who had primarily served in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2008 and 2009 to determine the effect of civilian stressors and deployment-related traumatic events and stressors on post-deployment alcohol use disorder. Participants were interviewed three times over 3 years about alcohol use disorder, exposure to deployment-related traumatic events like land mines, vehicle crashes, taking enemy fire, and witnessing casualties, and about experiences of civilian life setbacks since returning from duty, including job loss, legal problems, divorce, and serious financial and legal problems. We found that having at least one civilian stressor or a reported incident of sexual harassment during deployment raised the odds of alcohol use disorders. In contrast, combat-related traumatic events were only marginally associated with alcohol problems. (more…)
Author Interviews, JCEM, Social Issues, Weight Research / 26.07.2014

Qi Zhang, Ph.D. Associate Professor School of Community and Environmental Health Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Qi Zhang, Ph.D. Associate Professor School of Community and Environmental Health Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Zhang: This study found the child-parent resemblance in body weight status varied by socio-demographics in the U.S. In short, the resemblance in BMI is weaker in minorities, older children and lower socioeconomic groups. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Nature, Social Issues / 14.04.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Dr Isabelle Mansuy Lab of Neuroepigenetics University/ETH Zürich Brain Research Institute Zürich SwitzerlandProf Dr Isabelle Mansuy Lab of Neuroepigenetics University/ETH Zürich Brain Research Institute Zürich Switzerland MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Prof. Mansuy: The mains findings are that the transmission of the effects of traumatic stress in early life involves small non-coding RNAs in sperm. The study shows that some microRNAs are in excess in the sperm of adult males subjected to trauma during early postnatal life, but are also altered in the brain and in blood, and that these alterations are associated with behavioral and metabolic symptoms including depressive behaviors, reduced risk assessment and altered glucose/insulin metabolism. Injecting sperm RNA in fertilized oocytes reproduces these symptoms and confirm that RNA are the responsible factors. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, Infections, Social Issues / 11.04.2014

Amy Nunn, ScD, MS Assistant professor (research) of Behavioral and Social Sciences Brown University School of Public HealthMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amy Nunn, ScD, MS Assistant professor (research) of Behavioral and Social Sciences Brown University School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The main findings are that people living in poor, mostly-minority urban neighborhoods, where health resources such as HIV testing and linkages to care are often lacking, are at a greater risk of contracting HIV and dying of AIDS. This is not because of differences in behavior. It's because they live in medically underserved areas where HIV incidence is very high and fewer people know their status. Fewer people knowing their status means fewer people on treatment. Fewer people on treatment means it's easier for people to come into contact with the virus, even if they don't engage in any higher risk behavior. In the paper, my colleagues and I call for increasing the focus of public health efforts on these neighborhoods where the epidemic is concentrated and contributing heavily to racial and economic disparities in AIDS mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Eating Disorders, General Medicine, Social Issues / 09.04.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with Stephen M. Amrock, SM Department of Pediatrics New York University School of Medicine New York, NY 10016 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We analyzed data from a nationally representative survey on youth risk behaviors. After adjusting for other risk taking behaviors, we found that high school adolescents who indoor tan were much more likely to also engage in behaviors typically associated with eating disorders. We also noted that the link between indoor tanning and such harmful weight control behaviors was even stronger among males than females. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Social Issues, Stroke / 25.03.2014

Jill Cameron, PhD M.Ed., B.Sc. O.T CIHR New Investigator, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto Adjunct Scientist, UHN-Toronto Rehabilitation InstituteMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jill Cameron, PhD CIHR New Investigator, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto Adjunct Scientist, UHN-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Cameron: In our study with 399 stroke survivor, caregiver dyads, caregivers reported more psychological wellbeing when they provided more assistance to stroke survivors who had fewer symptoms of depression, better cognitive functioning, and who had more severe strokes.  In addition, caregivers who maintained participation in valued activities, had more mastery, gained personally providing care, were in better physical health, and were older reported more psychological wellbeing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, Social Issues, Vanderbilt / 10.10.2013

Kaitlin Toner, Ph.D. Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Network 2301 Vanderbilt Place Nashville, TN 37240MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kaitlin Toner, Ph.D. Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Network Nashville, TN 37240 Dr. Kaitlin Toner, is a postdoctoral researcher at Vanderbilt University. The study was conducted colleagues Mark Leary, Michael Asher, and Katrina Jongman-Sereno while Dr. Toner was a graduate student at Duke University. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Toner: The take home message is that people who hold more extreme attitudes also tend to feel superior about those attitudes, whereas people with moderate attitudes aren't as convinced of the superiority of their own beliefs.  Although it might seem that this connection between attitude extremity and superiority seems reasonable, there’s no logical reason why people who hold moderate, middle-of-the-road attitudes should not think that their moderate attitudes are superior to other people’s.  But they don’t tend to do that; it’s the people with extreme attitudes who are inordinately convinced that they are right. These findings are important because it sheds some light on how people become so polarized in their opinions: they don't just take a side, but they believe everyone who disagrees with that view must be wrong. Importantly, it's not just one political party who thinks this way, as previous research had suggested, but rather that it happens for both liberal and conservative attitudes.  And, given the stalemate in Washington, understanding why people become so entrenched in their views – even when there is often not an objectively correct answer – is more important than ever. (more…)