Author Interviews, Diabetes, Genetic Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Weight Research / 24.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof-Dr. Annette Schürmann Department of Experimental Diabetology German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke Nuthetal, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Schürmann: 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 earliest time point to distinguish 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 specific 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 methylation 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, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 18.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Gerda Pot Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences King’s College London | Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences Division | London UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Pot: Previous evidence suggested that the timing of food intake can have a significant impact on circadian rhythms (i.e. the body's internal clock) and therefore on metabolic processes within the body, potentially leading to an increased risk of being overweight or obese. However, the evidence from studies in children is very limited so we set out to establish whether this risk was also associated with the timing of children's evening meals.  MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Pediatrics, Toxin Research, Weight Research / 18.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lori A. Hoepner, DrPH Department of Environmental Health Sciences Columbia University New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Hoepner: The Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health was funded starting in 1998.  Pregnant African American and Dominican mothers residing in Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx were enrolled from 1998 to 2006, and mothers and their children have been followed since this time.  We collected urine samples from the pregnant mothers in their third trimester and from the children at ages 3 and 5.  At ages 5 and 7 we measured the height and weight of the children, and at age 7 we also measured body fat and waist circumference. MedicalResearch.com:  What are the main findings? Dr. Hoepner:  We found a significant association between increased prenatal exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) and increases in childhood body fat measures of waist circumference and percent body fat at age 7.  Our research builds on earlier findings of an association between prenatal exposure to BPA and body fat in children up to age 4, and this is the first study to report an association at age 7. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Weight Research, Women's Heart Health / 18.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Julie M. Kapp, MPH, PhD Associate Professor 2014 Baldrige Executive Fellow University of Missouri School of Medicine Department of Health Management and Informatics Columbia, MO 65212 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Kapp: For the past several decades the U.S. has had the highest obesity rate compared to high-income peer countries, and for many years people in the U.S. have had a shorter life expectancy. For female life expectancy at birth, the U.S. ranked second to last. At the same time, the U.S. has the third highest rate of mammography screening among peer countries, and the pink ribbon is one of the most widely recognized symbols in the U.S. While the death rate in females for coronary heart disease is significantly higher than that for breast cancer, at 1 in 7.2 deaths compared to 1 in 30, respectively, women have higher levels of worry for getting breast cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 16.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chloe Barrera MPH ORISE Fellow Centers for Disease Control and PreventionChloe Barrera MPH ORISE Fellow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies have been inconsistent in whether introduction of solid foods to babies before 4 months may be associated with later obesity.  In our analysis of more than a thousand babies followed through the first year of life and contacted again at 6 years, we did not find this association. (more…)
Artificial Sweeteners, Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 15.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Meghan Azad PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Community Health Sciences University of Manitoba Associate Investigator, Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Azad: It is well known that maternal nutrition plays a key role in “programming” fetal development and infant weight gain, but the impact of artificial sweetener consumption during this critical period has not been extensively studied.  Some animal research suggests that consuming artificial sweeteners during pregnancy can predispose offspring to develop obesity, but this has never been studied in humans, until now. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Weight Research / 12.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shoaib Afzal, MD, PhD Department of Clinical Biochemistry Copenhagen General Population Study Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Afzal: Previous findings indicate that while average BMI has increased over time in most countries, the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors may be decreasing among obese individuals. Thus, the BMI associated with the lowest all-cause mortality may have changed over time. This study included three cohorts from the same general population enrolled at different times: the Copenhagen City Heart Study in 1976-1978 (n = 13,704) and 1991-1994 (n = 9,482) and the Copenhagen General Population Study in 2003-2013 (n = 97,362). The increased risk for all-cause mortality that was associated with obesity compared to normal weight decreased from 30% in 1976-1978 to 0% in 2003-2013, that is, over a 30-year period. In addition, the optimal BMI for lowest all-cause mortality increased by 3.3 from 23.7 in 1976-1978 through 24.6 in 1991-1994 to 27 in 2003-2013. Another interesting finding in this study is that the optimal BMI in relation to lowest mortality is placed in the overweight category in the most recent 2003-2013 cohort. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kaiser Permanente, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 12.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anny H. Xiang, PhD Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Xiang: Previous studies have identified a link between maternal obesity, diabetes and/or excessive gestational weight gain and long-term obesity risk in children. Our study examined the interplay among all four factors associated with childhood obesity: pre-pregnancy obesity, gestational weight gain, gestational diabetes and breastfeeding. To our knowledge, the interplay among these factors and their independent contributions to childhood obesity with data from a large and multi-ethnic cohort under current standard clinical care had not been previously studied. The study included 15,710 women who delivered babies at Kaiser Permanente medical facilities in Southern California in 2011. The key findings were:
  • A woman being obese (BMI of 30.0 or higher) prior to getting pregnant increased the odds of her child being overweight at age 2 by more than two-fold compared to women who had a normal pre-pregnancy weight (BMI between 18.5 and 25), after adjusting for weight gain during pregnancy, gestational diabetes and breastfeeding.
  • A woman being overweight (BMI between 25.0 and 29.9) prior to pregnancy was associated with 50 percent increased odds of her child being overweight at age 2.
  • Excessive weight gain during pregnancy was associated with 23 percent increased odds of a child being overweight at age 2 compared to women who had healthy weight gain during pregnancy after adjusting for pre-pregnancy weight, gestational diabetes and breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding for at least six months was associated with a 24 percent reduction for the odds of a child being overweight at age 2 regardless of a mother’s pre-pregnancy weight, gestational diabetes or excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Gestational diabetes was not associated with the risk of a child being overweight at age 2. Women with gestational diabetes in this cohort were treated following standard clinical practice and had 40-49 percent lower rate of excessive weight gain during pregnancy and similar breastfeeding rates compared to women without gestational diabetes.
Excessive weight gain was defined according to Institute of Medicine guidelines, with normal-weight women gaining more than 35 pounds, overweight women gaining more than 25 pounds and obese women gaining more than 20 pounds during their pregnancy. Children were considered overweight at age 2 if their BMI was greater than the 85th percentile for their age and sex, based on growth charts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Sleep Disorders, Weight Research / 11.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ofir Turel, Ph.D Professor, Information Systems and Decision Sciences California State University, Fullerton Scholar in Residence, Department of Psychology University of Southern California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Turel: The study emerged as a response to the growing societal concern regarding potentially problematic information system use” lifestyles”, including videogame addiction, among adolescents. Much research in this domain has focused on negative psychological (e.g., reduced wellbeing, depression) and social/life functioning (e.g., reduction in normal activities, diminished school performance). Less is known regarding potential physiological outcomes of videogame addiction. Interestingly, the increase in videogame addiction-like symptoms among adolescents happened in conjunction with an increase in sleep curtailment and obesity in this population. These are too growing concerns in North America and perhaps elsewhere. Medical research implies that these three phenomena may be related. Hence, we hypothesized that videogame addiction will be associated with increased sleep curtailment and increased abdominal adiposity; and consequently, indirectly, with cardio-metabolic deficits. Our findings suggest that videogame addiction predicts reduced sleep duration which in turn, predicts increased abdominal adiposity. Abdominal adiposity was associated with increased blood pressure, insulin resistance and triglycerides and reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Hence, sleep curtailment is an important mediating factor that helps translating videogame addiction into cardio-metabolic deficiencies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, University Texas, Weight Research / 11.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sanghamitra Mohanty, MD MS FHRS Director, translational research, Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute and Associate Professor (affiliate) Dell Medical School What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Mohanty:  In the last few years, several trials from a research group in Australia have generated tremendous interest in life-style modifications to manage AF more effectively. These studies reported significant decrease in arrhythmia burden and symptom severity and improvement in ablation outcome in patients with paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation. We investigated the impact of weight-loss on procedure outcome in terms of arrhythmia burden, quality of life and arrhythmia-free survival in long-standing persistent (LSPAF) patients undergoing catheter ablation. Our main findings were the following;
  1. In patients with long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation, weight loss improved quality of life but had no impact on symptom burden and long-term ablation outcome
  2. No change in AF type or status was detected after the weight loss
  3. Extensive ablation including pulmonary vein (PV) isolation plus ablation of posterior wall and non-PV triggers resulted in comparable outcome in both groups at 1-year follow-up, irrespective of weight-loss interventions (63.8% vs 59.3%, p=0.68).
(more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Pediatrics, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 10.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Atul Sharma MD, MSc(Statistics), FRCPC Researcher, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba; Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba; Senior Consultant, Biostatistics Group, George and Fay Yee Center for Healthcare Innovation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Sharma: Between 1978 and 2004, a previous comparison of directly measured heights and weights demonstrated an alarming increase in the prevalence of overweight or obesity in Canadian children aged 2-17y, from 23.3% (95% CI = 20.5-26.0) to 34.7% (33.0-36.4) based on the new 2007 WHO criteria. In Canada, the definitions of overweight and obesity changed with the introduction of the new '2010 WHO Growth Charts for Canada’, Previous definitions were based on Body Mass Index (BMI) percentiles from the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth chart’s. In addition to revising the percentile thresholds for diagnosing overweight or obesity, the WHO charts were based on a very different reference population. As a result, the proportion of Canadian children being classified as overweight or obese increased with the introduction of the new WHO charts. Our current study applied current Canadian definitions of overweight and obesity to a contemporary sample of Canadian children age 3-19y to assess recent trends in the rates of overweight and obesity. By pooling data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS, cycle 2.2) and the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS, cycles 2 and 3), we were able to study a representative sample of more than 14000 Canadian children from the period 2004-2013.  The sample was evenly split between boys and girls and approximately 80% white. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Weight Research / 06.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dagfinn Aune Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics School of Public Health Imperial College London St. Mary's Campus Norfolk Place, Paddington, London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased rapidly over the past decades in all areas of the world. This has raised serious public health concerns because of the relationship between excess weight and increased risk of many chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, gout, osteoarthritis, and several other conditions as well as all-cause mortality. Body mass index (BMI) is an established way of measuring adiposity and is calculated by dividing the weight in kilograms with the height in metres squared. Although overweight (BMI 25-29.9) and obesity (BMI ≥30) has been associated with increased risk of mortality in several previous studies, the largest previous study showed that when compared to normal weight, overweight was associated with reduced mortality, and only grade 2 obesity (BMI ≥35) was associated with increased risk of mortality. However, there were several limitations in that study, for example, smoking and prevalent or prediagnostic illness were not taken into account, both of which can cause lower body weight and increased mortality and may therefore bias the optimal BMI range upwards. In addition, many large studies which did not use the standard WHO categories of normal weight, overweight and obesity, but had used smaller increments to categorize BMI to provide more detailed assessment of the dose-response relationship between BMI and mortality, had been excluded.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Radiology, Weight Research / 05.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Albert Roh MD Radiology Resident Maricopa Integrated Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Roh: Obesity is well documented to be associated with many medical conditions.  Currently, obesity is defined as body mass index (BMI) over 30 kg/m^2.  Although simple to calculate and relatively accurate, BMI has its limitations.  BMI does not factor in the subject’s body type or fat distribution pattern.  For example, a muscular subject and a fatty subject may both have BMI of 30 and be considered obese, although the muscular subject would not be predisposed to the comorbidities associated with obesity.  Similarly, two subjects may have the same BMI but have different fat distribution patterns: “apple” with fat distributed primarily on the chest/abdomen and “pear” with fat distributed on the hips.  The “apple” fat distribution correlates better with the comorbidities associated with obesity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 05.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jacob (Jed) E. Friedman, Professor, Ph.D. Department of Pediatrics, Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics Director, NIH Center for Human Nutrition Research Metabolism Core Laboratory University of Colorado Anschutz MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Scientists have long established that children who are breastfed are less likely to be obese as adults, though they have yet to identify precisely how breastfeeding protects children against obesity. One likely reason is that children who are breastfed have different bacteria in their intestines than those who are formula fed. The study, published Monday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examines the role of human milk hormones in the development of infants’ microbiome, a bacterial ecosystem in the digestive system that contributes to multiple facets of health. “This is the first study of its kind to suggest that hormones in human milk may play an important role in shaping a healthy infant microbiome,” said Bridget Young, co-first author and assistant professor of pediatric nutrition at CU Anschutz. “We’ve known for a long time that breast milk contributes to infant intestinal maturation and healthy growth. This study suggests that hormones in milk may be partly responsible for this positive impact through interactions with the infant’s developing microbiome.” Researchers found that levels of insulin and leptin in the breastmilk were positively associated with greater microbial diversity and families of bacteria in the infants’ stool. Insulin and leptin were associated with bacterial functions that help the intestine develop as a barrier against harmful toxins, which help prevent intestinal inflammation. By promoting a stronger intestinal barrier early in life, these hormones also may protect children from chronic low-grade inflammation, which can lead to a host of additional digestive problems and diseases. In addition, researchers found significant differences in the intestinal microbiome of breastfed infants who are born to mothers with obesity compared to those born to mothers of normal weight. Infants born to mothers with obesity showed a significant reduction in gammaproteobacteria, a pioneer species that aids in normal intestinal development and microbiome maturation. Gammaproteobacteria have been shown in mice and newborn infants to cause a healthy amount inflammation in their intestines, protecting them from inflammatory and autoimmune disorders later in life. The 2-week-old infants born to obese mothers in this study had a reduced number of gammaproteobacteria in the infant gut microbiome. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Lifestyle & Health, Weight Research / 02.05.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Corby K. Martin PhD Department/Laboratory: Ingestive Behavior Laboratory Director for Behavioral Sciences and Epidemiology Pennington Biomedical Research Lab Baton Rouge, LA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Martin: We know that calorie restriction extends the lifespan of many species and in humans calorie restriction or dieting might extend our healthspan, which is the length of time that we are free of disease. It is possible that more healthy weight or mildly overweight people might calorie restrict to improve their health, and one concern is the possible negative effects of calorie restriction on the quality of life of these individuals. This study tested if 2 years of calorie restriction affected a number of quality of life measures compared to a group that did not calorie restrict and ate their usual diet and did not lose weight. People who enrolled in the study were normal weight to mildly overweight. The study found that calorie restriction improved mood, reduced tension and improved general health and sexual drive and relationship (a measure of sexual function) over two years. Further, the more weight that people lost, the greater their improvement in quality of life. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 29.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ashley Wendell Kranjac, PhD Department of Sociology and Kinder Institute for Urban Research Rice University Houston, Texas and Robert L. Wagmiller, Jr. Associate Professor Department of Sociology Temple University Philadelphia, PA 19122 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Center for Disease Control recently reported a decline in child obesity amongst 2-to5-year old children between 2003/4 and 2011/12 (see, Ogden et al. 2014). We aimed to identify the sources of this decline because this change occurred in a relatively short period of time. What we found is that the decline in obesity did not occur due to the things that you might expect like changes in physical activity or dietary practices (although there were some differences in these factors across years). But, rather, what we found is that because there were differences in obesity rates for the youngest and oldest children in this age range in 2003/4, but not in 2011/12, that the decline in obesity exists. In other words, because the oldest children in 2003/4 had significantly higher obesity rates than the youngest children in this time period, but this effect is not observable in 2011/12, we see a decline in obesity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 28.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Evelyn Parr Research Officer / PhD Candidate | Centre for Exercise and Nutrition Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research Australian Catholic University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Results from previous investigations suggest that compared to a healthy 'control' diet, increased consumption of dairy foods in an energy restricted diet lead to improved body composition (i.e., a loss of fat mass and the maintenance of lean mass). We investigated the effects of manipulating  the type of dairy foods (i.e., low- or high fat) within high protein, energy restricted diets on body composition and selected health parameters. Eighty-nine middle-aged (35-59 y), male and females who were overweight or obese completed a 16 week intervention comprising 3 d/wk supervised resistance training and 4 d/wk unsupervised aerobic -based exercise (i.e. walking). During this time they consumed a diet that was energy restricted by 250 kcal/d comprising either 1) high protein, moderate carbohydrate (4-5 normal fat dairy product servings), 2) high protein, high carbohydrate (4-5 low-fat, carbohydrate sweetened dairy product servings or 3) a control diet of moderate protein, high carbohydrate diet (1-2 dairy servings). We found that in the face of energy restriction, when protein intakes were above the recommended daily intakes (>0.8 g/kg body mass) and regular exercise was completed, there was no difference in the loss of fat mass  (~8 kg) when participants consumed 4-5 serves of dairy products in either low- or high-fat. Furthermore, participants maintained  lean (muscle) mass throughout the energy restricted period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, University Texas, Weight Research / 21.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Antonio Saad, MD Fellow in Maternal Fetal Medicine & Critical Care Medicine University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Saad: Recently the WHO announced an alarming news, the prevalence of diabetes has increased four fold in the past quarter-century. The major factors attributed for this increase included excessive weight, and obesity. In the US alone, two thirds of people are either overweight or obese. There are shocking numbers that should alert physicians, patients and government officials for awareness and interventions that we can alter the path away from this drastic epidemic. In light of recent events, our group strongly believes that poor diet during pregnancy predisposes offspring in adult life to develop obesity and diabetes through fetal programming. High fructose introduction into our food chain has coincided with the obesity and diabetes epidemics. Hence, we designed an animal study where we fed pregnant mice with either regular diet or high fructose diet until delivery. Then we looked at the offspring, at 12 months of age. We looked at  their blood pressure, glucose tolerance tests, insulin resistance,  and weights. We also tested for serum marker of metabolic dysfunction and used computed tomography imaging to assess for liver fat infiltration and percent visceral adipose tissue. To our surprise, these offspring (mothers were fed high fructose diet) developed several features of metabolic syndrome.  Female offspring’s cardiovascular and metabolic function at one year of age (adulthood) had increased weight, blood pressure, visceral adiposity, liver fat infiltrates and  insulin resistance with impaired glucose tolerance).  The  male counterparts were limited to high blood pressure  and glucose intolerance. Keeping in mind that the amount of fructose given to these animals were equivalent to daily soda cans consumption in humans. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Annemarie G. Hirsch, PhD, MPH Center for Health Research Geisinger Health System Danville, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Bariatric surgery is currently the most effective treatment in reversing insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, the likelihood of remission or cure after surgery varies tremendously based on certain patient characteristics. The DiaRem score provides patients with a personalized prediction of whether or not they can expect long-term remission of their disease if they choose to have surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: James E. Mitchell, MD President and Scientific Director Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo Professor and Chairman Department of Neuroscience University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings Dr. Mitchell: The amount of weight loss following bariatric surgery is widely variable. Eating behaviors and weight control practices after surgery are important in determining weight loss outcomes. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Inflammation, Prostate Cancer, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H. Assistant Professor Division of Population Sciences Department of Medical Oncology Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA 19107 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Zeigler-Johnson: Obesity has been associated with poor prostate cancer outcomes, included advanced disease at diagnosis, increased risk for cancer recurrence, and risk for mortality. One possible link in the relationship between obesity and prostate cancer progression is inflammation. Obesity produces a state of systemic chronic low-grade inflammation which may contribute to the underlying biology of the tumor microenvironment. The presence of immune cells (T-cells and macrophages) in the tumor microenvironment may indicate aggressive tumors that are likely to metastasize. The goal of this study was to examine prostate cancer tissue to characterize differences in immune cells within the tumor microenvironment by obesity status and cancer severity. We studied tumor samples from 63 non-obese and 36 obese prostate cancer patients. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Zeigler-Johnson: We found that T-cell and macrophage counts in the tumor did not differ by patient obesity status. However, macrophage (CD68) counts were higher among men diagnosed with higher tumor grade (Gleason Score 7-10). We also found that T-cell (CD8) counts were associated with quicker time to prostate cancer recurrence (indicated by detectable prostate specific antigen levels after treatment.) (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, MD Anderson, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Xifeng Wu, MD PhD Department Chair, Department of Epidemiology, Division of OVP, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Director, Center for Translational and Public Health Genomics Professor, Department of Epidemiology Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Wu: Obesity is a well-established risk factor for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common form of kidney cancer. It has been estimated that more than 40% of RCC incident cases in the US may be attributed to excessive body weight. Growing body of evidence suggests that obesity may also influence clinical outcome of RCC; however, the findings are sometimes conflicting. So far, the molecular mechanism linking obesity to RCC risk or prognosis is not well understood. In this study, we evaluated the promoter CpG site methylation of 20 candidate obesity-related genes and their association with RCC risk and recurrence in a two-phase study of 240 newly diagnosed, previously untreated RCC patients. Pyrosequencing was conducted on paired RCC tumor and normal adjacent tissues to measure promoter methylation. Among the 20 markers, we found NPY, LEP and LEPR showed significant differential methylation levels between tumors and normal adjacent tissues, and methylation was significantly higher in tumors in both discovery and validation groups. Consistent with our findings, we also found lower expression of LEPR in tumor tissues compared to normal adjacent tissues in data obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Additionally, high LEPR methylation in tumors was associated with more advanced tumor features, such as high pathologic stage, high grade and clear cell RCC histology, and increased risk of recurrence compared to the low methylation group. These results suggest that tissue changes in promoter methylation in obesity-related genes may provide some biological basis for the association between obesity and RCC outcome, and that LEPR may be an independent prognostic indicator of recurrence in RCC patients. Further research in larger study population and functional studies are warranted to validate our findings and to elucidate the underlying causal mechanisms. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Weight Research / 20.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joao Incio MD Research Fellow in Radiation Oncology Harvard Medical School/MGH Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Incio: With  the  current  epidemic  of  obesity,  the  majority  of  pancreatic  cancer  patients  are  overweight  or  obese  at  diagnosis.  Importantly, obesity  worsens treatment  outcomes  in  pancreatic  cancer  patients.  Therefore,  understanding  the  mechanisms  that  underlie  the  poorer  prognosis  of  obese  cancer  patients  is  of  paramount importance.  Obesity  causes  inflammation  and  fibrosis  in  the  normal  pancreas  due  to  the  accumulation  of  dysfunctional  hypertrophic  adipocytes.  Importantly,  desmoplasia  -­  a fibroinflammatory  microenvironment  -­  is  a  hallmark  of  pancreatic  ductal  adenocarcinoma  (PDAC),  and  we  have  shown  that  activation  of  pancreatic  stellate  cells  (PSCs)  via angiotensin-­II  type  1  receptor  (AT1)  pathway  is  a  major  contribution  to  tumor  desmoplasia.  Whether  obesity  affects  desmoplasia  in  PDACs,  and  interferes  with  delivery  and response  of  chemotherapeutics,  was   the focus of our study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Weight Research / 15.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Keigo Saeki, MD, PhD Nara Medical University School of Medicine Nara, Japan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Cold exposure causes higher blood pressure and higher coagulation status, and it may be a trigger of higher mortality from cardiovascular diseases in winter. In contrast, cold exposure may have preventive effect on obesity. Recent study found that most of human have brown adipose tissue (BAT) which play an important role in thermogenesis and in the regulation of body weight. Cold exposure activates thermogenesis in BAT, and increase energy expenditure. However, in real life situation, the association between the amount of cold exposure and obesity stays unclear. The HEIJO-KYO study is a community based study to investigate association between housing environment and health. We found that people living in colder housing environment showed lower abdominal circumference in simple correlation and even after adjustment for physical activity, total energy intake, and socioeconomic status. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 12.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura Mullaney School of Biological Sciences Dublin Institute of Technology Dublin Ireland. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  There are gaps in our knowledge regarding postpartum changes in weight. There continues to be a dramatic increase in adult obesity and the postpartum period is a vulnerable life-stage for weight gain in women. Maternal obesity matters because it is associated with an increase in both fetal and maternal complications, it is technically challenging, it is economically costly and it carries potential lifelong health consequences for the woman and her offspring. Thus, our aim was to compare trajectories in maternal weight and BMI between early pregnancy and four months postpartum and nine months postpartum, and to analyse these trajectories by BMI category. Of the 328 women who attended all appointments, mean weight at the first antenatal visit was 69.3 ±14.3 kg, mean Body Mass Index (BMI) was 25.3 ±5.0 kg/m2 and 14.4% were obese. At four months postpartum, the mean change in weight from the first antenatal visit was +1.6 ±4.2 kg, the mean change in BMI was +0.6 ±1.5 kg/m2 and 19.2% were obese. At nine months postpartum, the mean change in weight was +0.2 ±4.7 kg, the mean BMI change was -0.06 ±1.8 kg/m2 and 16.8% were obese. Of women who had an ideal BMI in early pregnancy, 16.6% and 11.1% were overweight at four and nine months postpartum respectively. Of women who were overweight in early pregnancy, 20.3%and 14.3% had become obese at four and nine months postpartum respectively. Ninety percent of women who were obese in early pregnancy remained obese at four and nine months postpartum. Women who had gained weight between early pregnancy and four months postpartum had a lower early pregnancy BMI and were less likely to be obese in early pregnancy. However women who gained weight between four and nine months postpartum were more likely to be obese in early pregnancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research, Surgical Research, University of Pittsburgh, Weight Research / 06.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wendy King, PhD Associate Professor of Epidemiology Epidemiology Data Center, Room 105 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15213 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. King: Severe obesity is associated with significant joint pain and impaired physical function, such as difficulty bending, lifting carrying and walking. Excess weight can lead to joint damage and accompanying pain, resulting in activity restriction and walking limitations. Obesity can also contribute to pain and physical limitations through factors such as impaired cardiorespiratory function, systematic inflammation, reduced flexibility, low strength per body mass, and depression.  Previous studies have reported significant improvements in mean values of bodily and joint specific pain, physical function, and walking capacity in the first 3-12 months following RYGB or LAGB. However, very few studies have examined the variability in response to surgery or reported on longer-term follow-up of these procedures. My colleagues and I followed 2,221 patients participating in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2, a large NIH-funded prospective study of adults with severe obesity undergoing weight-loss surgery at one of 10 hospitals across the U.S. Through three years of follow-up, approximately 50 to 70 % of patients who underwent bariatric surgery reported clinically important improvements in bodily pain, physical function and usual walking speed. About three-quarters of the participants with symptoms indicative of osteoarthritis before surgery experienced improvements in knee and hip pain and function. In addition, over half of participants who had a mobility deficit prior to surgery did not post-surgery. Several baseline characteristics such as younger age, male sex, higher household income, lower body mass index, fewer depressive symptoms and no history of diabetes or venous edema with ulcerations, were associated with a higher chance of improvement in pain and physical function following surgery. In addition, pre- to post-surgery reductions in weight and depressive symptoms, and remission of diabetes and venous edema with ulcerations were associated with pre- to post-surgery improvements. Thus, our findings reinforce results from shorter-term studies by addressing the durability or response and expand our understanding of the variability in response, and what factors are related to chance of improvement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 04.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ana Priscila Soggia Sirio Libanes Hospital, São Paulo, Brazil MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For many years, bariatric surgery is performed to treat class II and III obesity with diabetes remission in 80-90% of cases, related to weight loss and change in the secretion of intestinal factors that control blood glucose, like GLP-1 and GIP. In 2010, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), proposed that diabetic patients with BMI between 30-35kg/m2 could be eligible, for bariatric surgery, in the case of no glycemic control with drug treatment. In this context, once glycemic control after bariatric surgery, was not related only to weight loss and also due to intestinal factors with physiological actions, the protocol was proposed. The objectives were to compare the clinical and surgical treatment in diabetics patients with class I obesity; and to compare the efficacy and security between two different surgical techniques. This study was developed and conducted by a research team from Sirio-Libanês Hospital in partnership with Ministry of Health through its philanthropic program PROADI. It is a clinical trial, with 42 class I obese diabetic type 2 patients with inadequate glycemic control that were randomized to tree arms: clinical treatment, gastric bypass surgery or sleeve with ileal transposition (sleeve-IT) surgery. The results showed that the sleeve-IT procedure is more effective for the treatment of diabetes in these patients compared with treatment with medication and with bypass surgery, currently considered the first choice of treatment. Among patients who underwent sleeve-IT, 100% achieved glycemic control after 1 year (HbA1c<6,5%) compared to 46% for bypass and 8% in the case of medication therapy. In addition, diabetes remission, that was defined as adequate glycemic control without any anti-diabetic medication, occured in 75% of sleeve-IT patients had versus 30% in bypass group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Weight Research / 03.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Olivia Farr, Ph.D. Instructor in Medicine Division of Endocrinology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 330 Brookline Ave, Stoneman 820B Boston, MA 02215 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Farr: There are two main studies. In the first, we used immunohistochemistry to analyze 22 human brain tissue samples for the presence of GLP-1 receptors, which are protein molecules that respond to the GLP hormone’s signal. We found—for the first time—that GLP-1 receptors are expressed in the human brain, including the cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher thought. Our second study was performed in 18 adults with type 2 diabetes. Participants received 17 days of either liraglutide, up to 1.8 milligrams, or a placebo (dummy drug) in a random order. Then after a three-week “washout” of no medication, the same participants received 17 days of the opposite treatment. Participants and investigators were unaware which treatment they received. On day 17 of each treatment, participants underwent brain scanning with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). During fMRI, participants viewed images of different foods. In response to highly desirable foods such as cake, pastries and fried foods, liraglutide decreased reward- and salience-related brain activations in the cortex compared with images of less desirable foods, such as fruits, vegetables and other low-calorie, low-fat foods.​ (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Diabetes, JAMA, Weight Research / 18.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Debbie Lawlor PhD School of Social and Community Medicine University of Bristol, Oakfield House, Oakfield Grove Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit University of Bristol, UK and Rachel Freathy PhD, University of Exeter, Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital,  Exeter  UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A healthy birth weight is important for babies’ health and wellbeing in the first year of their life. It reflects how well the baby has grown and developed in the womb. The experience of fetuses in the womb and how well they grow and develop might also determine their future health, even into adulthood. Both being too light or too heavy at birth is not good for the baby. Lots of studies have shown that mothers who are fatter at the start of their pregnancy have babies who are more likely to be heavier. But is it not clear whether the mother being fatter causes their baby to be bigger at birth. If mothers’ fatness does cause their baby to be heavier at birth, why this happens is not clear. We used genes to find out whether being fatter in pregnancy causes babies to be born heavier. We also tested whether risk factors in the mother that are affected by her fatness, such as her blood pressure, and the level of glucose (sugar) and lipids (fats) in her blood stream affect how heavy her baby is. Our results showed that being fatter during pregnancy did cause a mothers’ baby to be born heavier. We also showed that having higher blood levels of glucose in pregnancy also caused a mothers’ baby to be heavier. But we did not find any effect of mothers’ blood levels of lipids in pregnancy on their baby’s weight. Whilst mothers who are heavier in pregnancy will tend to have higher blood pressure in pregnancy we found that higher blood pressure caused the women’s babies to be lighter. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Weight Research / 17.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Ellen Flint Lecturer in Population Health MRC Strategic Skills Fellow Department of Social & Environmental Health Research London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Flint: Globally, physical inactivity is a major cause of obesity, chronic disease and premature mortality. Improving population levels of physical activity is therefore a key public health policy aim, in high and middle income countries. In the past, functional active travel was a key source of physical activity for many people. However, since the mass adoption of private motorised travel in the 20th century, the vast majority (63%) of working adults in the UK commute to by car. Using UK Biobank data from more than 150,000 middle-aged adults, we found that those who commuted to work via cycling or walking had significantly lower body fat percentage and lower body mass index (BMI) compared to adults who commuted by car. The strongest associations were seen for adults who commuted via bicycle. For the average man in the sample (age 53 years; height 176.7cm; weight 85.9kg), cycling to work rather than driving was associated with a weight difference of 5kg or 11lbs (1.71 BMI points). For the average woman in the sample (age 52 years; height 163.6cm; weight 70.6kg), the weight difference was 4.4kg or 9.7lbs (1.65 BMI points). Even people who commuted via public transport also showed significant reductions in BMI and percentage body fat compared with those who commuted only by car. This suggests that even the incidental physical activity involved in public transport journeys may be important. The link between active commuting and obesity reduction was independent of other factors such as income, area deprivation, urban or rural residence, education, alcohol intake, smoking, general physical activity, dietary energy intake and overall health and disability. If you're often using public transport, particularly around the New York Area, check out this babylon schedule. (more…)