Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, CDC, Hospital Acquired, Infections / 02.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50527" align="alignleft" width="185"]This image depicts a strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Credit: Shawn Lockhart This image depicts a strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Credit: Shawn Lockhart[/caption] Snigdha Vallabhaneni, MD, MPH Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  Response: We are concerned about the fungus Candida auris (or C. auris) because it causes serious infections, is often resistant to medications, and continues to spread at alarming rates in U.S. healthcare settings. Candida. auris  primarily affects patients in who are hospitalized for a long time or are residents of nursing homes that take care of patients on ventilators. C. auris is still rare in the United States and most people are at low risk of getting infected. People who get C. auris or other Candida infections are often already sick from other medical conditions and often have invasive medical care, including ventilators for breathing support, feeding tubes, central venous catheters, and have received lots of antibiotics. Many patients infected and colonized with C. auris move frequently between post-acute care facilities and hospitals, which increases the risk of spreading C. auris between facilities.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Heart Disease / 29.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50478" align="alignleft" width="153"]Jeffrey L Jackson, MD, MPH Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dr. Jackson[/caption] Jeffrey L Jackson, MD, MPH Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Wisconsin MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Unfortunately,  most systematic reviews exclude non-English trials, mostly for convenience, but nearly all systematic reviews wind up excluding at least 1 non-English trial.  We looked at whether this was justified, since Google Translate is a free and easily usable platform.  We had native-language speakers in 9 languages (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Romanian, Russian and Spanish) abstract data and had another researcher abstract all the articles using Google Translate. We found that there was over 90% agreement and that the few differences were due to human error, not to problems with the translations.
Annals Thoracic Surgery, Author Interviews, Beth Israel Deaconess, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Geriatrics, Heart Disease, Primary Care / 23.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50354" align="alignleft" width="140"]Christina C. Wee, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Director , Obesity Research Program Division of General Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Program, BIDMC Deputy Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine Dr. Wee[/caption] Christina C. Wee, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Director , Obesity Research Program Division of General Medicine Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Program, BIDMC Deputy Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: New research is showing that for many people without diagnosed heart disease, the risk of bleeding may outweigh the benefits of taking a daily aspirin particularly in adults over 70 years of age.  The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recently updated their guidelines and now explicitly recommend against aspirin use among those over the age of 70 who do not have existing heart disease or stroke. Our study found that in 2017,  a quarter of adults aged 40 years or older without cardiovascular disease – approximately 29 million people – reported taking daily aspirin for prevention of heart disease. Of these, some 6.6. million people did so without a physician's recommendation.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Rheumatology / 17.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50282" align="alignleft" width="155"]Bella Mehta, MBBS, MS  Assistant Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery Instructor, Weill Cornell Medical College        Dr. Mehta[/caption] Bella Mehta, MBBS, MS Assistant Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery Instructor, Weill Cornell Medical College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For women with lupus, pregnancy has long been considered high-risk and associated with both medical and obstetric complications. In the 1960s and 1970s, pregnancy was thought to be contraindicated in lupus patients. Beginning in the 1980s, and especially in the 1990s, many studies identified specific risk factors for pregnancy complications and proposed best-practice management guidelines. We wished to see whether these advances improved pregnancy outcomes for lupus patients. Our study showed a decline in maternal mortality and other outcomes in lupus patients. The improvement in pregnancy outcomes was observed more so in lupus patients than those without lupus. 
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease, Kidney Stones / 16.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50193" align="alignleft" width="84"]Sunil Badve MBBS, MD, DNB, FRACP, PhD, FASN Senior Research Fellow, Renal & Metabolic Division Staff specialist nephrologist | St George Hospital University of New South Wales The George Institute for Global Health Australia Dr. Badve[/caption] Sunil Badve MBBS, MD, DNB, FRACP, PhD, FASN Senior Research Fellow, Renal & Metabolic Division Staff specialist nephrologist | St George Hospital University of New South Wales The George Institute for Global Health Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Despite the high prevalence of cardiovascular thrombotic events and venous thromboembolism (VTE) in chronic kidney disease (CKD), oral anticoagulant therapy is often underutilized in patients with advanced CKD and dialysis-dependent end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) due to uncertainty of benefit and potential bleeding complications. This comprehensive systematic review was performed to study the benefits and harms of oral anticoagulant therapy in patients with CKD.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Supplements, Vitamin C, Vitamin D / 09.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50150" align="alignleft" width="128"]Safi U. Khan, MD Department of Internal Medicine Robert Packer Hospital Sayre, PA 18840  Dr. Khan[/caption] Safi UKhan, MD Department of Internal Medicine Robert Packer Hospital Sayre, PA 18840  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is substantial body of observational data favoring use of vitamins, supplements and special diets for improving cardiovascular health. However, such type of data is limited by various biases. Randomized controlled trial (RCT) is considered gold standard to evaluate effects of a therapy. 
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Infections, University of Michigan / 09.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50132" align="alignleft" width="125"]Valerie M. Vaughn, MD MSc Assistant Professor of Medicine and Research Scientist, Division of Hospital Medicine The Patient Safety Enhancement Program and Center for Clinical Management Research Michigan Medicine and the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center Dr. Vaughn[/caption] Valerie M. Vaughn, MD MSc Assistant Professor of Medicine and Research Scientist, Division of Hospital Medicine The Patient Safety Enhancement Program and Center for Clinical Management Research Michigan Medicine and the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pneumonia is one of the top causes for hospitalization and one of the main reasons for antibiotic use in US hospitals. In the past decade, studies have suggested that patients can be safely treated with short course antibiotic therapy instead of the prolonged courses we used to prescribe. Our study looked at prescribing practices in 43 hospitals across the state of Michigan to see if we were appropriately prescribing short course therapy, and if so, how that affected patients.
Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, JAMA, Kaiser Permanente, Pharmacology / 10.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49631" align="alignleft" width="200"]Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD Vice President for Kaiser Permanente Research Executive Director Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety  Dr. McGlynn[/caption] Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD Vice President for Kaiser Permanente Research Executive Director Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: A report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices based on FDA data and observations from a Kaiser Permanente physician leader raised questions about whether direct acting antiviral medications for the treatment of Hepatitis C posed any significant safety risks for patients. Since the decision to take medications requires making tradeoffs between benefits (which had been clearly established in clinical trials) and risks (which are often harder to ascertain until drugs are in widespread use in the real world) we decided this was an important question to pursue.  We found no evidence of increased risks of significant side effects associated with taking these drugs.  In this cohort study of 33,808 patients in three large health systems we found lower adjusted odds of experiencing the following adverse events:  death, multiple organ failure, hepatic decompensation, acute-on-chronic liver event, and arrhythmia. 
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Technology / 22.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49198" align="alignleft" width="129"]Coleman Drake, PhDAssistant Professor, Health Policy and ManagementPitt Public HealthUniversity of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Dr. Drake[/caption] Coleman Drake, PhD Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management Pitt Public Health University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Telemedicine is frequently proposed as a solution to improve access to care in rural areas where driving to the nearest physician can take up to several hours. However, there needs to be sufficient broadband infrastructure for patients to actually use telemedicine. We found that broadband infrastructure is often insufficient to support telemedicine in the most rural areas, particularly in areas where there is inadequate access to primary care physicians and psychiatrists. 
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Weight Research / 23.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kishore M. Gadde, MD, Professor Fairfax Foster Bailey Endowed Chair in Heart Disease Prevention Medical Director, Clinical Services Pennington Biomedical Research Centre Baton Rouge, LA 70808  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Around 20 years ago, the Diabetes Prevention Program, DPP, enrolled 3,234 adults with excess body weight and impaired glucose tolerance. The idea was to compare the efficacy of either an intensive lifestyle intervention or metformin relative to placebo in preventing diabetes. Over approximately 3 years, both lifestyle and metformin were effective, but lifestyle intervention was better for weight loss as well as in reducing the risk of diabetes. After the blinded treatment phase ended, the researchers continued to follow this cohort in their originally randomised groups. 
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Prostate Cancer / 05.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charlotte Skriver, PhD student, MSc Danish Cancer Society Research Center Statistics & Pharmacoepidemiology Danish Cancer Society Copenhagen  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The drug aspirin is widely used due to its established protection against cardiovascular diseases. Increasing evidence also supports an effect of aspirin use on reducing the risk of and mortality from colorectal cancer and possibly other cancer types. Recent studies have suggested that aspirin use after a diagnosis of prostate cancer may improve the prognosis. We examined whether use of low-dose aspirin was associated with survival after prostate cancer in a nationwide study of prostate cancer patients in Denmark.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Clots - Coagulation, Heart Disease / 27.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47632" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr Vanessa Selak, MBChB, MPH, PhD, FAFPHM, FNZCPHMSenior Lecturer, Section of Epidemiology & BiostatisticsSchool of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health SciencesUniversity of Auckland Dr. Selak[/caption] Dr Vanessa Selak, MBChB, MPH, PhD, FAFPHM, FNZCPHM Senior Lecturer, Section of Epidemiology & Biostatistics School of Population Health Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences University of Auckland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In order to determine the balance of benefits and harms of aspirin in primary prevention there’s a need to know an individual’s risk of CVD and their risk of a major bleed without aspirin. We have lots of equations that can be used to determine, among people considering aspirin for primary prevention, an individual’s risk of CVD, but few bleeding risk equations that can be used to determine their risk of a major bleed. We sought to develop a bleeding risk equation that can be used to determine the risk of a major bleed among people in whom aspirin is being considered for the primary prevention of CVD.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Heart Disease, Karolinski Institute, Weight Research / 13.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47415" align="alignleft" width="150"]Pontus Henriksson | PhD and Registered Dietitian Postdoctoral Researcher | SFO-V Fellow Department of Biosciences and Nutrition Karolinska Institutet Dr. Henriksson[/caption] Pontus Henriksson | PhD and Registered Dietitian Postdoctoral Researcher | SFO-V Fellow Department of Biosciences and Nutrition Karolinska Institutet  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: In many countries, disability pensions are granted to working-aged persons who are likely to never work full-time again because of a chronic disease or injury diagnosed by a physician. In addition to serving as an important indicator of chronic disease, disability pensions are associated with high societal costs. Hence, we examined whether cardiorespiratory fitness and obesity (two potentially modifiable factors) were associated with disability pension later in life. Our main findings were that low physical fitness and/or obesity during adolescence, were strongly associated with disability pension later in life due to a wide range of diseases and causes. 
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Beth Israel Deaconess, Cost of Health Care, Heart Disease, Lipids / 02.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46753" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dhruv S. Kazi, MD, MSc, MS Associate Directo Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research Boston MA 02215 Associate Director Cardiac Critical Care Unit Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Dr. Kazi[/caption] Dhruv S. Kazi, MD, MSc, MS Associate Director Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Center for Outcomes Research Boston MA 02215 Associate Director Cardiac Critical Care Unit Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The ODYSSEY Outcomes trial found that addition of alirocumab to statin therapy reduces the incidence of a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke among patients with a recent history of a myocardial infarction and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. We modeled the cost-effectiveness of alirocumab and found that, at the March 2018 price of the drug, it would not be cost-effective (either relative to statin alone or statin + ezetimibe) for this indication. We found that a large price-reduction would be required to meet the cost-effectiveness threshold of $100,000 per quality-adjusted life year. Shortly after the preliminary findings of this study were released, both manufacturers of PCSK9 inhibitors announced large price reductions in order to improve access to these drugs.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, NIH, OBGYNE / 27.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46711" align="alignleft" width="133"]Dale P. Sandler, Ph.D.  Chief, Epidemiology Branch National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences NIH Dr. Sandler[/caption] Dale P. Sandler, Ph.D. Chief, Epidemiology Branch National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences NIH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Not having children is a well-established risk factor for breast cancer, but most of this evidence comes from studies of postmenopausal women since breast cancer before menopause is relatively uncommon. There is growing evidence that some risk factors differ for premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer – for example obesity which increases risk for breast cancer after menopause but appears to be protective before menopause. There was some evidence that breast cancer risk increased shortly after pregnancy. It was thought that this risk lasted for 5 to ten years. Studies were unable to fully characterize the duration of this increase in risk or evaluate factors such as breast feeding, age at birth, or family history of breast cancer that could modify the relationship between recent pregnancy and breast cancer risk. Breast cancer before menopause or age 55 is relatively rare, and few individual studies are large enough to answer these questions. To answer these questions, we formed the Breast Cancer Collaborative Group, a pooling project involving 20 prospective cohort studies. We included 890,000 women from 15 of these long-term studies across three continents, including over 18,000 incident breast cancer cases. 
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Infections, Opiods / 04.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46294" align="alignleft" width="200"]Asher Schranz, MD Division of Infectious Disease Department of Medicine UNC School of Medicine Dr. Schranz[/caption] Asher Schranz, MD Division of Infectious Disease Department of Medicine UNC School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The opioid crisis has led to several major infectious diseases concerns, including HIV and Hepatitis C. Drug use-associated infective endocarditis (DUA-IE) is a less commonly discussed consequence of the opioid epidemic. DUA-IE is an infection of one or more heart valves that occurs from injecting drugs. It can be a severe, life-threatening infection and requires a long course of intravenous antibiotics as well as, in some cases, open heart surgery to replace an infected heart valve. Several studies over the past few years have shown that DUA-IE has been increasing. Our study examined hospital discharges in North Carolina statewide from 2007 to 2017. We sought to update trends in DUA-IE and describe how much heart valve surgery was being performed for DUA-IE. We also aimed to report the demographics of persons who are undergoing heart valve surgery for DUA-IE and the charges, lengths of stay and outcomes of these hospitalizations. 
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Lipids, Pharmacology / 04.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46264" align="alignleft" width="100"]Prof. Dr. Milo Puhan Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute University of Zurich Prof. Puhan[/caption] Prof. Dr. Milo Puhan Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute University of Zurich MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The use of statins for primary cardiovascular prevention is controversial and there is a debate at what risks statins provide more benefits than harms. Current guidelines recommend statins if the 10 year risk for cardiovascular events is above 7.5 to 10% and they do not distinguish between men and women, different age groups and different statins. We found in our study that the benefits of statins exceeds the harms if the 10 year risk for cardiovascular events is above 14% for middle aged mean (40-44 years) but even higher for older age groups, and women. In addition, the benefit harm balance varies substantially between different statins with atorvastatin providing the best benefit harm balance.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Columbia, Genetic Research, Kidney Disease / 27.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46221" align="alignleft" width="174"]Hila Milo Rasoul, PhD Postdoctoral research scientist Ali Gharavi Lab Columbia University Dr. Milo Rasouly[/caption] Hila Milo Rasouly, PhD Postdoctoral research scientist Ali Gharavi Lab Columbia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Genome sequencing is increasingly used in clinical medicine to help make a clinical diagnosis and make predictions about potential future complications. The diagnostic yield and limitations for different indications are still being worked out.  We are interested in studying the applications of genome sequencing for chronic kidney diseases. It is estimated that 10% of adults have chronic kidney disease (CKD), and amongst them, 10% are caused by single-gene (Mendelian) forms of disease. The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics developed guidelines on how to interpret genetic variants in order to make a genetic diagnosis. Our lab has been engaged in studying the yield and impact of genetic testing for  CKD, and in the course of our research, we realized that a very large number of individuals have genetic variants that may be classified as pathogenic based on automated application of the guidelines. However, in majority of these cases, the genetic variant was much too frequent in the population to be plausibly disease-causing or did not match up well with the clinical diagnosis. This led us to wonder about the risk of false-positive genetic diagnosis. To analyze this risk for false-positive genetic diagnosis, we analyzed the genome sequence of 7,974 self-reported healthy adults.
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods / 14.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Drug Addiction" by Joana Faria is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0Yingxi (Cimo) Chen, MD, MPH, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow Radiation Epidemiology Branch, DCEG, NCI, NIH Rockville MD 20850  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Death rates from drug overdose have more than doubled in the US in the 21st century. Similar increases in drug overdose deaths have been reported in other high-income countries but few studies have compared rates across countries. 
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Blood Clots, Emergency Care, Kaiser Permanente, Pulmonary Disease, UC Davis / 13.11.2018

[caption id="attachment_45809" align="alignleft" width="160"]Dr-David R Vinson Dr. Vinson[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David R. Vinson, MD Department of Emergency Medicine Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center Sacramento, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: At least one-third of emergency department (ED) patients with acute blood clots in the lung, or pulmonary embolism (PE), are eligible for expedited discharged to home, either directly from the ED or after a short (<24 hour) period of observation. Yet in in most hospitals in the U.S. and around the world nearly all ED patients with acute PE are hospitalized. These unnecessary hospitalizations are a poor use of health care resources, tie up inpatient beds, and expose patients to the cost, inconvenience, and risk of inpatient care. The better-performing medical centers have two characteristics in common: they help their physicians identify which PE patients are candidates for outpatient care and they facilitate timely post-discharge follow-up. At Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), we have had the follow-up system in place for some time, but didn’t have a way to help our physicians sort out which patients with acute PE would benefit from home management. To correct this, we designed a secure, web-based clinical decision support system that was integrated with the electronic health record. When activated, it presented to the emergency physician the validated PE Severity Index, which uses patient demographics, vital signs, examination findings, and past medical history to classify patients into different risk strata, correlated with eligibility for home care. To make use of the PE Severity Index easier and more streamlined for the physician, the tool drew in information from the patient’s comprehensive medical records to accurately auto-populate the PE Severity Index. The tool then calculated for the physician the patient’s risk score and estimated 30-day mortality, and also offered a site-of-care recommendation, for example, “outpatient management is often possible.” The tool also reminded the physician of relative contraindications to outpatient management. At the time, only 10 EDs in KPNC had an on-site physician researcher, who for this study served as physician educator, study promotor, and enrollment auditor to provide physician-specific feedback. These 10 EDs functioned as the intervention sites, while the other 11 EDs within KPNC served as concurrent controls. Our primary outcome was the percentage of eligible ED patients with acute PE who had an expedited discharge to home, as defined above. During the 16-month study period (8-month pre-intervention and 8-months post-intervention), we cared for 1,703 eligible ED patients with acute PE. Adjusted home discharge increased at intervention sites from 17% to 28%, a greater than 60% relative increase. There were no changes in home discharge observed at the control sites (about 15% throughout the 16-month study). The increase in home discharge was not associated with an increase in short-term return visits or major complications. 
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Stanford / 13.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45897" align="alignleft" width="150"]Katie Hastings MPH Stanford Medicine  Kate Hastings[/caption] Katie Hastings MPH Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Heart disease has been the leading cause of death since the early 1900s, but recent data has suggested cancer will surpass heart disease in the upcoming decades. To date, this is the first study to examine the transition from heart disease to cancer mortality as the leading cause of death by U.S. county and sociodemographic characteristics using national mortality records from 2003 to 2015. Our main findings are:
  • Epidemiologic transition is occurring earlier in high compared to low income U.S. counties, and occurs earlier for Asian Americans, Hispanics, and NHWs compared to blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives.
  • Data may suggest that this shift arises from larger reductions in heart disease than cancer mortality over the study period, particularly in the highest income counties.
  • Continued disparities in heart disease and cancer mortality between blacks and other racial/ethnic groups, even in the highest income quintiles. While blacks continue to have the highest overall mortality than any other group, we do show this population experienced the greatest overall improvements in mortality (i.e. mortality rate reductions over time) for all-cause, heart disease, and cancer compared to all other racial/ethnic groups (except for heart disease in Hispanics). 
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Kidney Disease, UCSF / 23.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_45356" align="alignleft" width="200"]Michael G. Shlipak, MD, MPH Scientific Director , Kidney Health Research Collaborative (khrc.ucsf.edu/) Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics University of California, San Francisco Associate Chief of Medicine for Research Development San Francisco VA Medical Center Dr. Shlipak[/caption] Michael G. Shlipak, MD, MPH Scientific Director , Kidney Health Research Collaborative (khrc.ucsf.edu) Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology & Biostatistics University of California, San Francisco Associate Chief of Medicine for Research Development San Francisco VA Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Our study represents major advancements in our understanding of whether kidney tissue damage accompanies the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease during hypertension therapy.
  • The Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) was a landmark clinical trial that demonstrated that more intensive systolic blood pressure management (target <120 mmHg) reduced rates of major cardiovascular events and mortality compared with standard therapy (<140 mmHg). A recent announcement indicated that the lower systolic blood pressure target also slowed the rate of cognitive decline and dementia incidence.
  • The major concern with intensive blood pressure lowering in SPRINT is the 3-fold incidence of chronic kidney disease, as defined using the clinical standard of serum creatinine levels. This detrimental impact on the kidney was surprising because hypertension is a predominant risk factor for kidney disease, and hypertension therapy should reduce CKD risk.
  • Given the lower blood pressure targets in the recently-updated national hypertension guidelines, there has been substantial concern that guideline implementation of blood pressure targets could cause an epidemic of CKD and the attendant suffering from its downstream consequences of cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and kidney failure.
  • In our study, we compared SPRINT participants who developed CKD with matched controls, using a panel of validated urinary biomarkers of kidney damage. These urine tests can measure actual kidney damage, rather than relying on the creatinine which is an indirect reflection of the kidney’s filtering function.
  • In the group undergoing intensive blood pressure lowering in SPRINT, we found that the new cases of CKD had an overall lowering of the kidney damage biomarkers compared with the controls, contrary to what would have been expected if they were developing “real” CKD.
  • In contrast, the new CKD cases that developed in the standard treatment group did have overall elevations in the urinary biomarkers of kidney damage; 5 of the 9 biomarkers significantly increased relative to the CKD cases in the intensive treatment group. 
Author Interviews, Johns Hopkins, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 11.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Electronic Cigarette/E-Cigs/E-Cigarettes" by Chris F is licensed under CC BY 2.0Mohammadhassan (Hassan) Mirbolouk, MD American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation Center (A-TRAC) Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore, MD 21224. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: E-cigarettes were introduced first in US market as a less harmful method of nicotine delivery which potentially would help smokers to have a less harmful option. However, overtime e-cigarette found its niche of consumers in the younger/tobacco naïve population. Our study is amongst the first studies that describes those who use e-cigarette without any history of combustible-cigarette smoking. 
Author Interviews, Primary Care, Respiratory, Telemedicine / 02.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44849" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr. Kathryn A. Martinez PhD MPH CanSORT Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team Cleveland Clinic Dr Martinez[/caption] Dr. Kathryn A. Martinez PhD MPH CanSORT Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team Cleveland Clinic MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Most upper respiratory infections are viral and therefore should not be treated with antibiotics. Despite this, physicians commonly prescribe them for these conditions. Patients often expect antibiotics for respiratory tract infections.  As a result, physicians may find it easier to give patients what they want rather than explain to them why antibiotics aren’t needed. We hypothesized it also might be more time consuming for physicians to explain to patients why they don’t need antibiotics, which creates a further incentive to prescribe them. To explore this potential phenomenon, we used data from a large direct to consumer telemedicine system to assess differences in medical encounter length by prescription outcome for patients diagnosed with respiratory tract infections. We found that encounters resulting in antibiotics were 0.33 minutes shorter than those that resulted in no prescriptions, supporting our hypothesis that prescribing an antibiotic takes less time than prescribing nothing.
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Neurology, Opiods / 21.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_29503" align="alignleft" width="200"]Tara Gomes, MHSc Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital, The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Tara Gomes[/caption] Tara Gomes, MHSc Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital, The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Pregabalin is a medication increasingly being prescribed to manage pain, however there is emerging evidence that this drug may increase one's risk of opioid overdose when prescribed with opioids.