Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nature, Weight Research / 03.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Eran Elinav. Principal investigator Immunology Department Weizmann Institute of Science Rehovot, Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Recurrent obesity is a very common yet poorly studied and under researched phenomenon. It is well known that many people diet, but then regain the weight they lost and even add more weight. We found that the gut microbiome is a major driver of this enhanced weight regain phenomenon. We found that in the obese state, the microbiome is altered, and these alterations are not reversed upon weight loss. And these alterations are sufficient to drive weight regain, since transferring them to germ-free mice also transferred the enhanced weight regain phenotype. Moreover, we provide three different treatments for this condition: (1) Antibiotics; (2) transfer of bacteria from lean mice; and (3) addition of specific molecules that we found to be lacking in the altered microbiome. All of these treatments cured the mice we tested from enhanced weight regain. (more…)
Artificial Sweeteners, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Metabolic Syndrome, Weight Research / 28.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard Hodin, MD Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Surgery Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School Chief of Academic Affairs, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Mass 02114 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sugar substitutes like Aspartame are widely used and supposed to make people lose weight and have less diabetes, heart disease, etc. However, a number of studies indicate that theses substitutes don’t work very well. The reasons for them not working have not been clear. Our study found that the most common sugar substitute (aspartame) blocks an enzyme in our gut called Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase (IAP). By blocking IAP, Aspartame prevents the beneficial effects of IAP which normally works to prevent obesity, diabetes, and other aspects of the metabolic syndrome. So, we now have an explanation for why Aspartame may make obesity and the metabolic syndrome worse, rather than better. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 21.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Liping Pan, MD MPH Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This CDC report is the first to use the WIC Participant Characteristic (WIC PC) data from the USDA to monitor trends in obesity among young children aged 2 to 4 years in the WIC program. The main findings of the study are: • 34 of 56 (61%) WIC state agencies reported modest decreases in obesity among young children from 2010 to 2014. • From 2000 to 2010, the prevalence of obesity among 2-4 year olds increased from 14.0% to 15.9%, then dropped to 14.5% from 2010 to 2014. • Obesity prevalence varied by state, ranging from 8.2 percent in Utah to 20.0 percent in Virginia. • From 2010 to 2014, obesity prevalence decreased among all major racial/ethnic groups, including non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Asians/Pacific Islanders. • From 2000 to 2014, obesity prevalence decreased significantly among Asian/Pacific Islanders, from 13.9 percent to 11.1 percent. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Menopause, Weight Research, Women's Heart Health / 20.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Somwail Rasla, MD Internal Medicine Resident Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island Brown University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Weight cycling has been studied as a possible risk factors for all-cause mortality and was found to be insignificant in some studies and significant in other studies when adjusted to age and timing of when the weight cycling occurred. It was proposed that weight cycling may increase risk of chronic inflammation by which weight cycling was considered to be a risk factor for increased morbidity and all cause mortalities. Other studies have reported that frequent weight cycling was associated with shorter telomere length, which is a risk factor for several comorbidities including CHD. Earlier studies showed that weight cycling has an association with increase in size of adipocytes as well as fluctuation of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin, and glucagon which may contribute to the increased incidence of diabetes. Alternatively, in the nurses’ health study , weight cycling was not predictive of cardiovascular or total mortality. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Nature, UT Southwestern, Weight Research / 19.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dan Rosenbaum, Ph.D. Principal Investigator Department of Biophysics The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study focuses on the structure of the human CB1 cannabinoid receptor. The CB1 protein is a membrane-embedded G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) in the brain and peripheral tissues that responds to a variety of different compounds, including endogenous lipid messengers (‘endocannabinoids’), plant natural products (such as THC from the Cannabis sativa plant i.e. marijuana), and synthetic antagonists (such as the taranabant ligand used for this study). The CB1 receptor is involved in regulating neurotransmission in vertebrates, and is a potential therapeutic target for numerous conditions including obesity, pain, and epilepsy. The main findings of this study entailed the solution of the high-resolution crystal structure of human CB1 receptor bound to the inhibitor taranabant. This structure revealed the precise shape of the inhibitor binding pocket, which is also responsible for binding THC and endocannabinoids. In addition to helping explain the mechanism of inhibitor and THC binding, our structure provides a framework for computational studies of binding to a large diversity of cannabinoid modulators of therapeutic importance. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pharmacology, Scripps, Weight Research / 15.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ken Fujioka M.D. Director of the Center for Weight Management Scripps Clinical Department of Endocrinology La Jolla CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is an odd disease that has many causes (overeating, underactivity, the patient being placed on a medication that drives up weight and a whole lot of other causes that result in a higher weight) so trying to find the right treatment, in this case a weight loss medication, for a particular patient is not an easy task. If there is a way to find out if you’ve picked the right medication (a weight loss of at least 5%) then this can help you decide whether you should keep the patient on the medication or stop the medication. There are two huge benefits to this: 1. Is that you find your responders (patients) that will go on to lose weight and do well and 2. When you stop the medication in the non-responders you eliminate any potential adverse events from the weight loss medication. Thus this study was designed to find out if early weight loss can predict who will go on to lose a significant amount of weight on Liraglutide. And yes those who lose weight go on to lose weight. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 15.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brodie Parent, MD MS General Surgery R4 University of Washington MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We already knew that women with a history of bariatric surgery are a high risk group when it comes to childbirth. Our study has confirmed prior data which show that infants from these women are at a higher risk for being premature, low birth-weight, or requiring ICU admission. However, this is some of the first data which looks at their risk over time after recovery from the operation. Data from this study show that risks to the infant are highest in the first 3 years after an operation, and diminish over time. This suggests that women should wait a minimum of three years after an operation before attempting conception. (more…)
Author Interviews, Geriatrics, Medical Imaging, MRI, Weight Research / 08.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Fatemeh Mokhtari Medical Imaging PhD Student VT-WFU SBES MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The objective of this study was to use baseline anatomical brain MRI scans to prospectively predict weight loss success following an intensive lifestyle intervention. In the study, 52 participants, age 60 to 79, were recruited from the Cooperative Lifestyle Interventions Programs II (CLIP-II) project. The participants were overweight or obese (BMI greater than 28 and less than 42) and had a history of either cardiovascular disease or metabolic syndrome. All participants had a baseline MRI scan, and then were randomized to one of three groups – diet only, diet plus aerobic exercise training or diet plus resistance exercise training. The goal of the 18-month diet and exercise program was a weight loss of 7 to 10 percent of body mass. Basic brain structure information garnered from the MRIs was classified using a support vector machine, a type of computerized predictive algorithm. Specifically, we trained a computational predictive model which mapped each subject’s brain scan to weight loss performance. Predictions were based on baseline brain gray and white matter volume from the participants’ MRIs and compared to the study participants’ actual weight loss after the 18 months. The accuracy of the model was then tested, and our prediction algorithms were 78% accurate in predicting successful weight loss. Brain gray matter volume provided higher prediction accuracy compared with white matter and the combination of the two outperformed either one alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 07.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com with: Lee Kaplan, MD, PhD, Director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center and ACTION study steering committee member MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Today, nearly 100 million people in the U.S. have obesity. Despite the fact that many healthcare providers and others recognize obesity as a disease that can have a significant impact on health, many people with obesity do not have access to effective care for this disorder. As a result, obesity remains substantially under-diagnosed, under-addressed and under-treated. Since multiple parties could have a role in overcoming this barrier to effective obesity care, we sought to determine and compare the perspectives and experience of three important groups – health care providers, employers, and people with obesity themselves – about obesity and its care. As the first national study looking simultaneously at these complementary perspectives, ACTION sought to help answer several important questions:
  • Given that obesity is occurring at epidemic rates, why is it not being treated? What are the barriers to effective care?
  • How could public and professional attitudes contribute?
  • To what degree do limitations of resources or knowledge about the disease contribute?
(more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Weight Research / 04.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Patrick M. O'Neil, Ph.D. Director, Weight Management Center Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC 29425 MedicalResearch.com: What is already known about the subject? • Even modest weight loss (2-5%) from clinical interventions improves glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. • Commercial weight loss programs, comparatively more affordable and accessible than clinic-based modalities, can produce weight losses in this range, although they typically do not offer diabetes-specific counseling. • Data are sparse on such programs’ effects on glycemic control for adults with T2DM. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pharmacology, Weight Research / 03.11.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Todd Hobbs MD Chief medical officer (CMO) Novo Nordisk in North America MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is little data that describes weight loss and other outcomes separately in early weight loss responders and early weight loss non-responders. Early weight loss, whether through lifestyle or pharmacotherapy, can be a good predictor of long-term weight loss. Consequently, all recently-approved weight loss medication labels include ‘stopping rules’ for discontinuing medication if a threshold weight loss is not achieved by a specified milestone. Bottom line, it’s important patients don’t continue on a therapy that isn’t working for them. This makes this form of research important from a clinical standpoint but also in the larger obesity treatment paradigm - including payers and how pharmaceutical treatments are labeled. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lancet, Primary Care, Weight Research / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul Aveyard PhD MRCP FRCGP FFPH Professor of Behavioural Medicine Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences University of Oxford Radcliffe Primary Care Building Radcliffe Observatory Quarter Oxford MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that opportunistic brief interventions by physicians can be effective, but there is no evidence that they are so for obesity. Physicians worry that broaching this topic will be offensive, time-consuming, and ineffective. We needed a randomised trial to assess whether physicians’ fears were justified, or in fact brief interventions could be as effective for patients who are overweight as they are for smoking or problem drinking and that’s what we did. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Susan L. McElroy, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience Chief Research Officer Lindner Center of HOPE University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: SPD489-346, designed as a multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-optimized, randomized-withdrawal study, is the first-ever longer-term pharmacologic study (38 weeks) to evaluate the maintenance of efficacy between Vyvanse and placebo in adults with moderate to severe binge eating disorder (B.E.D.). Study SPD489-346 evaluated the longer-term maintenance of efficacy (38 weeks) between Vyvanse and placebo based on the primary endpoint of time to relapse during the randomized-withdrawal phase in adults aged 18 to 55 (N=267) with moderate to severe B.E.D. based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition – Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR®) criteria. In the study, relapse was defined as having two or more binge days per week for two consecutive weeks prior to any visit and an increase in Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) score of two or more points relative to the randomized-withdrawal baseline visit Results from SPD489-346 indicated that Vyvanse (n=136) demonstrated significant maintenance of efficacy compared to placebo (n=131) based upon the primary endpoint of time to relapse. At the conclusion of the study, maintenance of efficacy for patients who had an initial response during the open-label phase, and then continued on Vyvanse during the randomized-withdrawal phase, was demonstrated with Vyvanse being superior over placebo as measured by time to relapse. Safety and tolerability evaluations of Vyvanse included treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) and vital signs. The safety profile for Vyvanse in this study was generally consistent with the known profile reported in previous studies in adult patients with moderate to severe B.E.D. Vyvanse is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe B.E.D. in adults. Vyvanse is not for weight loss. It is not known if Vyvanse is safe and effective for the treatment of obesity. Vyvanse is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or sharing Vyvanse may harm others and is illegal. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Lipids, Nutrition, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Weight Research / 26.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D. FACN President, The Center for Genetics Nutrition and Health Washington, DC 20016 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I have written extensively on the evolutionary aspects of diet, the diet of Crete prior to 1960 in which I pointed to the misinterpretation of the data of the Seven Countries Study by Keys et al. A major characteristic of these diets is a balanced omega-6/omega-3 ratio. The recommendation to substitute saturated fats with omega-6 rich oils (sunflower, corn, soybean) increases inflammation and coronary heart disease. It has been shown in a number of studies that a high omega-6/omega-3 (20/1 instead of a balanced ratio) leads to an increase in white adipose tissue and prevents the formation of brown adipose tissue leading to obesity. The changes in the diet-high in omega-6 oils depletion of omega-3 and high fructose along with highly refined carbohydrates in processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle lead to obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease and cancer. The scientific evidence from the FAT-1 mouse and recent cohort studies clearly show that the current dietary guidelines as the previous ones are not based on science that takes into consideration genetics, metabolism, the concept that a calorie is not a calorie. It is important to consider that nutrients influence the expression of genes, the omega-6 fatty acids are the most pro-inflammatory nutrients, and inflammation is at the base of all chronic non-communicable diseases. (more…)
Author Interviews, FASEB, Weight Research / 17.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ramesh Narayanan, Ph.D., MBA Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Director, Center for Cancer Drug Discovery, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, 38103. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Obesity and metabolic diseases affect over a third of the global population. Obesity, unlike several diseases, is not isolated as it’s incidence is associated with other conditions such as type-2-diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty-liver. Although calorie-restriction and exercise assist in the fight against obesity, these approaches have limitations in morbidly obese individuals and in individuals with comorbidities. The drugs that are available to treat obesity act by inducing satiety. Alternate peripheral non-CNS approaches are required to treat obesity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Genetic Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Weight Research / 15.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annette Schürmann PhD Department of Experimental Diabetology German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE) Nuthetal Germany German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD München-Neuherberg Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The aim of our study was to clarify why genetically identical mice respond very different to a high fat diet. Some of the mice react with an elevated body weight, others not. We analyzed the expression pattern of liver at two time points, at the age of 6 weeks, (the earlierst time point to distiguish between those that respond to the diet (responder mice) and those that did not (non-responders)), and at the age of 20 weeks. One transcript that was significantly reduced in the liver of responder mice at both time points was Igfbp2. The reason for the reduced expression was an elevated DNA-methylation at a position that is conserved in the mouse and human sequence. The elevated DNA-methylation of this specifc site in human was recently described to associate with elevated fat storage (hepatosteatosis) and NASH. However, as 6 weeks old mice did not show differences in liver fat content between responder and non-responder mice we conclude that the alteration of Igfbp2 expression and DNA metyhlation occurs before the development of fatty liver. Our data furthermore showed that the epigenetic inhibition of Igfbp2 expression was associated with elevated blood glucose and insulin resistance but not with fatty liver. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 08.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Li-Jun Yang MD Professor, Hematopathology University of Florida MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Irisin, an exercise-induced myokine, promotes converting subcutaneous (sc) fat-storing adipocytes into fat-burning adipocytes, namely “browning”. Although beneficial effects of irisin such as browning and weight loss in obese animal have been observed in mice, the effect of irisin in human adipocytes is controversial. Moreover, the mechanisms of irisin’s anti-obesity are not clear and systemic studies are not available using human adipose tissues. In our study, we aimed at exploring at the multiple levels in the mechanisms of irisin’s anti-obesity effects using human adipocytes and human adipose tissues. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Memory, University Texas, Weight Research / 27.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ursala. H. Winzer-Serhan Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics Texas A&M Health Science Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Nicotine is a plant alkaloid that is naturally occurring in the tobacco plant. Smoking delivers nicotine to the brain where it acts as a stimulant. Tobacco and electronic cigarette smoking delivers many other chemicals to the body, which are harmful and can cause cancer. However, the drug nicotine by itself is relatively benign and poses few health risks for most people. Nicotine acts in the brain on nicotinic receptors, which are ion channels that are widely expressed in the brain. They play an important role in cognitive functions. Research with rodents and in humans has shown that nicotine can enhance learning and memory, and furthermore, can protect neurons during injuries and in the aging brain. With the increasingly older population, it becomes more and more important to delay cognitive decline in the elderly. Right now, there is no drug available that could delay aging of the brain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Biomarkers, Weight Research / 22.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Makoto Fukuda Ph.D. Assistant Professor Children's Nutrition Research Center Department of Pediatrics Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Texas 77030 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A hallmark characteristic of obesity is diminished actions of metabolic hormones that are critically required to maintain whole body energy balance and glucose homeostasis. Leptin is a crucial and powerful hormone that keeps body weight normal. It was hoped that leptin might be a “magic bullet” that could cure obesity. Shortly after the discovery, however, obese individuals were found to have little or no response to exogenously administered leptin, a state of “leptin resistance”. These observations created a central question to be addressed in the field, which would help our understanding of the core of pathophysiology of obesity. While we and other groups previously demonstrated that Epac, a signaling molecule known as a GTP/GDP exchange factor directly activated by cAMP, is involved in cellular leptin resistance, the role of brain Epac signaling in the whole body metabolism has not yet established. We approached this question by using brain-specific knockout mice of Rap1, a direct activator of Epac. As expected from previous results, mice with brain-specific deficiency of Rap1 failed to develop leptin resistance even when they were challenged with a hypercaloric diet. What impressed us most in this study was that Rap1 in the brain plays a key role in the whole body metabolic control, beyond its role in controlling leptin sensitivity. Loss of brain Rap1 protects mice from diet-induced obesity and disordered glucose balance, whereas these knockout mice maintained a similar body weight to that of control mice on a normal regular diet. Further, pharmacological inhibition of this pathway reversed leptin resistance and reduced the body weight of dietary obese mice. At the cellular level, we found an unexpected link between Rap1 and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress that has emerged as a causative contributor to the development of leptin resistance. (more…)
Author Interviews, JCEM, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Weight Research, Yale / 21.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nicola Santoro, MD, PhD Associate Research Scientist in Pediatrics (Endocrinology) Yale University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The study start from previous observations showing an association between the gut microbiota and obesity. Similarly to what previously described in adults and in children, we found an association between the gut microbiota and obesity. We took a step further and also observed that the gut flora is associated to body fat partitioning (amount of fat in the abdomen). Moreover, we observed that the effect of microbiota could be mediated by the short chain fatty acids a product of gut flora. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Genetic Research, Weight Research / 19.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. John C. Mathers Director, Human Nutrition Research Centre Institute of Cellular Medicine and Newcastle University Institute for Ageing Newcastle University Biomedical Research Building Campus for Ageing and Vitality Newcastle on Tyne MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: More than 90 different genetics variants are associated with body fatness and, of these, the FTO gene has the biggest effect. People who are homozygous for the unusual variant of FTO i.e. carry two copies of the risk allele, are on average 3kg heavier than those not carrying the risk allele. In addition, they have 70% greater risk of being obese. Since the FTO gene is associated with being heavier, we wondered whether it made it more difficult for people to lose weight. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mayo Clinic, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 17.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David R. Jacobs, Jr., PhD Mayo Professor of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN 55454-1075 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Project EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) is on ongoing longitudinal study which began by screening middle and secondary school students in the Minneapolis and St Paul Metropolitan are. Students were the 11-18 years old (average age 15), then followed up at average ages 20 and 25. We had devised an eating pattern in about 2006, which a) predicts a lot of things in several different studies (including total mortality in the Iowa Women's Health Study) and b) looks a great deal like the recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). We call our diet pattern A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS) and think of it as close to or in the style of a Mediterranean/prudent/healthy diet. We hypothesized that this pattern would be associated with lower weight (in general with better long term health, but the focus in Project EAT was weight and BMI), probably least so at age 15. The minimal hypothesized effect in adolescence relates to the very large energy expenditure in adolescent growth years; we thought that diet composition would be less important for body weight at that time than energy intake (and APDQS is about diet composition). (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Social Issues, Weight Research / 16.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Timothy Frayling PhD Professor of Human Genetics University of Exeter Medical School Exeter, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that genes and environmental factors influence our Body mass index. We know less about if and how they interact. We wanted to answer the question of whether or not aspects of the environment and our lifestyles accentuate any genetic predisposition to obesity. The question is important as it may highlight aspects of the environment that cause some people to be particularly susceptible to gaining weight. Previous, separate, studies have suggested that specific aspects of the environment are to blame. These included sugary drinks, fried food and TV watching. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Weight Research / 13.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Korre, ScD Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Environmental & Occupational Medicine & Epidemiology Program Department of Environmental Health Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of on-duty death among firefighters (45% of on-duty fatalities) and a major cause of morbidity. It is crucial to note though, that the risk of on-duty CVD events is not evenly distributed among all firefighters, but is highly concentrated among the most susceptible individuals. Given that firefighting is an inherently dangerous occupation and many of its hazards cannot be engineered out of the job, we have concentrated our efforts on understanding what can make an individual firefighter susceptible. As in the general population, these cardiovascular events are largely due to coronary heart disease (CHD), however, there is an increasing recognition of the role of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy/cardiomegaly in the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) independent of the presence of CHD. Evidence suggests an improved prognostic value, when LV hypertrophy is based on the accurate assessment of LV mass. LV mass is a strong predictor of CVD events and despite it’s critical prognostic significance, it’s measurement and role in clinical practice has yet to be established. In this paper we aimed to identify the most important predictors of LV mass after indexing for height among career male firefighters as assessed by both echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 06.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Charlotte Suppli Ulrik MD DMSc et al. Dept. of Respiratory Medicine Hvidovre Hospital Copenhagen, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is a risk factor for new-onset asthma, but the association is incompletely understood. Our aim was, therefore, to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) BMI in childhood and asthma admissions in early adulthood (until age 45 years). We used data on BMI measured annually (age 7-13 years) in 321,830 children enrolled in the Copenhagen School Health Records Registry. During the 36-years of follow-up, a total of 2,059 first-time ever hospital admissions for asthma were observed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Duke, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 02.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Leonard Maciejewski, PhD Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine Department of Medicine Duke University School of Medicine Research Career Scientist and Director of the Health Economics and Policy Unit in the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care Durham VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: No study based on a US cohort undergoing current procedures has examined weight change comparing surgical patients and nonsurgical patients for as long as we have. This is the first study to report 10-year outcomes on gastric bypass patients and compare them to matched patients who did not get surgery. At 1 year, gastric bypass patients lost 31% of their baseline weight compared controls who only lost 1.1% of their baseline weight. At 10 years, gastric bypass had lost 28% of their baseline weight. We also compared weight loss at 4 years for Veterans who received the 3 most common procedures (gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and adjustable gastric banding). At 4 years, patients undergoing gastric bypass lost more weight than patients undergoing sleeve gastrectomy or gastric banding. Given that few high quality studies have examined sleeve gastrectomy to 4 years, the 4-year sleeve outcomes contribute to filling this important evidence gap as the sleeve gastrectomy is now the most commonly performed bariatric procedure worldwide. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Weight Research / 02.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: John A. Batsis, MD, FACP, AGSF Associate Professor of Medicine and The Dartmouth Institute Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth Section of General Internal Medicine - 3M Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Lebanon, NH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid implemented a regulatory coverage benefit to cover 22 brief, targeted 15-minute counseling visits by clinicians over the course of a 12-month period for Medicare beneficiaries with a body mass index exceeding 30kg/m2. This was an important policy determination in tackling the obesity epidemic in the United States. An emphasis on the importance of counseling, or intensive behavioral therapy, in a primary care setting set the foundation for this benefit. Yet, it was unclear how and if this benefit (which would be free of charge without a copay or deductible for beneficiaries) was being implemented in clinical care. We therefore identified fee-for-service Medicare claims for the years 2012 and 2013 to determine whether the G0477 code (Medicare Obesity benefit code) was billed. We additionally explored the rate of uptake of the Medicare benefit in relation to the prevalence of obesity using the 2012 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System data. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Social Issues, Weight Research / 31.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kai Ling Kong, PhD, MS Assistant Professor Division of Behavioral Medicine Department of Pediatrics School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences State University of New York at Buffalo MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Infant temperament, or individual behavior styles, can be reliably measured and is related to weight status. However, we know very little about the association of infants’ temperament and their motivation to eat versus engage in other activities (relative food reinforcement). Examining such associations is an important step given the need to use behavioral strategies in obesity prevention in early life. The purpose of our study was to determine if infant temperament, specifically the factors that have been linked with obesity risk, are associated with infant relative food reinforcement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Weight Research / 25.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Beatrice Lauby-Secretan, PhD IARC – Section IMO (International Agency for Research on Cancer) Lyon, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The IARC Handbook of Cancer Prevention Series perform systematic reviews and evaluations of the cancer-preventive effects of interventions and strategies. The summary article published today presents the conclusions of a Working Group of experts who examined and assessed the currently available literature on the link between overweight/obesity and cancer. Thus this is not a single study, but the report on more than 1000 individual studies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Nutrition, Weight Research / 25.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jaime Uribarri, MD Professor, Nephrology Icahn School of Medicine Mt. Sinai Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have been doing research in the area of dietary advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) for many years. AGEs are chemical compounds that form normally in the body in small amounts and also in food when cooking under high heat and dry conditions; a percent of AGEs in food is absorbed and part of it is retained in the body leading to increased smoldering inflammation and oxidative stress that eventually produce most of modern chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, etc. We have previously demonstrated that a diet low in AGEs, which essentially means changing the cooking methods to include less application of heat, plenty of water,etc, decreases inflammation of oxidative stress in people with diabetes, chronic kidney disease and in healthy subjects. In the current study we applied the same low dietary AGE intervention to a group of obese patients with the so-called Metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for Diabetes Mellitus. (more…)