Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 21.05.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yanmin Zhu, M.S., Ph.D. Postdoctoral Research Fellow Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Animal studies and case reports suggest a potential teratogenic effect associated with the use of high doses of fluconazole during pregnancy. The malformations reported in case reports have a distinct phenotype, including femoral bowing, thin ribs, cleft palate, and abnormal craniofacial ossification. A few controlled studies have examined the risk of congenital malformations associated with the use of fluconazole during the first trimester, but findings are inconsistent. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pediatrics / 06.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jiabi Qin, MD, PhD Xiangya School of Public Health Central South University Changsha, China  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Congenital heart defects (CHDs), defined as a gross structural abnormality of the heart or intrathoracic great vessels occurring in embryonic period and affected nearly 1% of lives births, is the most common of all congenital defects and remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity in fancy and childhood. With a worldwide prevalence of CHDs now estimated to be 1.35 million newborns with CHDs every year, the number of CHDs is steadily increasing, representing a major global health burden. The association between maternal alcohol exposure and the risk of congenital heart defects (CHDs) has been explored, but little is known about the association between paternal alcohol exposure and the risk of CHDs. Furthermore, subsequent studies regarding the association between alcohol exposure and the risk of congenital heart defects have not yield consistent results. Therefore, given the inconsistency of existing literatures and insufficient evidence of primary studies, further an update meta-analysis based on the new and previously is evidently required. Especially, to our knowledge, any meta-analysis between paternal alcohol exposure and the risk of CHDs have not been conducted.  (more…)
Author Interviews, ENT, Genetic Research, Pediatrics / 02.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Manvendra K Singh PhD Program in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders, Duke-NUS Medical School National Heart Research Institute, National Heart Center Singapore, Singapore MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Craniofacial and cardiovascular abnormalities are the most common defects, contributing to more than one-third of the congenital diseases. Proper formation of these structures involves intricate processes such as proliferation, migration, and differentiation of neural crest cells (NCCs). Functional defects in NCCs result in craniofacial malformations, including cleft lip and/or cleft palate. Many transcription factors, chromatin remodelling factors, non-coding RNA and signalling molecules have been implicated in impaired neural crest development that result in cardio-craniofacial syndromes. However, the cell-autonomous role of splicing regulators in neural crest biology remains unclear and warrants further investigation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Genetic Research, Pediatrics / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Philip J. Lupo, PhD, MPH Co-Director, Childhood Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Program, Texas Children's Cancer Center Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics Section of Hematology-Oncology, Member, Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Baylor College of Medicine Adjunct Associate Professor, Human Genetics Center, Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences University of Texas School of Public Health   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: While cancer risk in children with certain chromosomal defects like Down syndrome is well established, much less is known for children with birth defects where there is no known genetic cause, sometimes called non-chromosomal defects. Non-chromosomal defects, as a group, affect more children, but one of the primary challenges of understanding risk among these children is that limited sample sizes make studying specific defects, like spina bifida, more difficult. Because of that, we gathered data from birth, birth defect, and cancer registries across Texas, Arkansas, Michigan, and North Carolina to generate a birth cohort of more than 10 million children born between 1992 and 2013. We looked at diagnoses of cancer until 18 years of age to determine differences in cancer risk between those with and without birth defects. (more…)
Author Interviews, JACC, Karolinski Institute, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 12.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martina Persson, M.D, PhD Karolinska Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is well known that maternal obesity increases risks of adverse fetal outcomes, including congenital malformations of the heart. However, it is unclear if maternal overweight and obesity associate with risks of specific and more complex congenital heart defects. We conducted a population-based cohort study in Sweden using data from several health registries. The study included more than 2 million live, singletons born between 1992-2012. Risks (prevalence rate ratios) of complex heart defects (Tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries (TGA), atrial septal defects (ASD), aortic arch defects, and single ventricle heart) and several specific heart defects were estimated in infants to mothers with overweight and increasing degree of obesity. We found that risks of aortic arch defects, ASD and patent ductus arteriosus (in term infants) increased with maternal obesity severity. On the other hand, we found no clear associations between maternal BMI and risks of several other complex and specific heart defects.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 19.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Krista F. Huybrechts, MS PhD Associate Professor of Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02120  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Pregnant women often experience nausea and vomiting, particularly during the first trimester.  Early treatment is recommended to relieve symptoms and prevent progression to hyperemesis gravidarum.  Although not formally approved for this indication, ondansetron is the most frequently prescribed treatment for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy in the US: 22% of pregnant women reportedly used ondansetron in the US in 2014. Despite this common use, the available evidence on the fetal safety of ondansetron is limited and conflicting, and the possibility of a doubling in risk of cleft palate and cardiac malformations has been raised. We therefore evaluated the association between ondansetron exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy, the period of organogenesis, and the risk of congenital malformations in a cohort of 1,816,414,publicly insured pregnancies using the nationwide Medicaid Analytic eXtract data for 2000-2013.  A total of 88,467 women (4.9%) were exposed to ondansetron during the first trimester.  After adjusting for a broad range of potential confounding variables, we found no association with cardiac malformations (RR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.93 – 1.06)  and congenital malformations overall (RR = 1.01; 95% CI, 0.98 – 1.05). For oral clefts, we found a 24% increase in risk (RR=1.24; 95% CI, 1.03 – 1.48), which corresponds to an absolute risk of 2.7 per 10,000 births (95% CI, 0.2 – 5.2 per 10,000 births).  These findings were consistent across sensitivity analyses, conducted to address potential misclassification and confounding bias.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 22.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eyal Cohen, MD, MSc, FRCP(C) Associate Scientist and Program Head (interim), Child Health Evaluative Sciences Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children Staff Physician, Division of Paediatric Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children Professor, Paediatrics and Health Policy Management & Evaluation The University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Having a child with a major birth defect can be a life-changing and stressful event for the child's mother.  This stress may be associated with higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease. We found that mothers of infants born with a major birth defect had a 15% higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease that a comparison group of mothers.  The risk was more pronounced, rising to 37% among mothers who gave birth to a more severely affected infant (and infant born with major birth defects affecting more than one organ system). The risk was apparent even within the first 10 years after the birth of the child. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, OBGYNE, Toxin Research / 29.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou ScD Assistant Professor Environmental Health Sciences Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders, like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been increasing. One of the hypothesized risk factors for increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders is a class of chemicals known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These chemicals are known to interfere with the endocrine system, i.e. the system that uses hormones to control and coordinate metabolism, reproduction and development. Several high production volume chemicals, ubiquitously present in commercial products, are known or suspected endocrine disruptors. Because of their widespread use in consumer products, the population-wide exposure to known and suspected EDCs is very high. Recently, there has been increased attention in the potential effects of EDCs on neurodevelopment that span multiple generations. Animal studies have provided evidence that exposure to EDCs, such as phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), alter the behavior and social interactions in mice in three to five generations after exposure. However, evidence of such multi-generational impacts of EDC exposure on neurodevelopment in humans is unavailable, likely because of the lack of detailed information on exposures and outcomes across generations. For this study we leveraged information from a nationwide cohort, the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII), to investigate the potential link between exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) and third generation ADHD, i.e. ADHD among the grandchildren of the women who used DES while pregnant. DES is a very potent endocrine disruptor that was prescribed between 1938 and 1971 to pregnant women thought to prevent pregnancy complications. In the United States, between 5 and 10 million women are estimated to have used DES, although the exact number is not known. DES was banned in 1971, when was linked to vaginal adenocarcinomas (a rare cancer of the reproductive system) in the daughters of the women who had used it during pregnancy. Since then, DES has been also linked to multiple other reproductive outcomes in DES daughters, as well as with some reproductive outcomes in the grandchildren of the women who used it, such as hypospadias and delated menstrual regularization. However, to our knowledge, no study to date has evaluated the association between DES, or any other EDC, and multigenerational neurodevelopment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Global Health, NEJM, Zika / 15.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Bruno Hoen, M.D., Ph.D Dept of Infectious Diseases, Dermatology, and Internal Medicine University Medical Center of Guadeloupe  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy has been identified only recently to cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly, other brain defects, and the congenital Zika syndrome. However, the magnitude of this risk was not clearly defined, with discrepancies between observational data from Brazil and the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry. We implemented a cohort study of pregnant women who have been exposed to ZIKV throughout the outbreak that hit the Caribbean in 2016. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Neurological Disorders, University Texas, Zika / 07.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Slobodan Paessler, D.V.M., Ph.D. Professor, Department of Pathology; Director, Galveston National Laboratory Preclinical Studies Core; Director, Animal Biosafety Level 3, Institute for Human Infections and Immunity; Member, Center for Biodefense & Emerging Infectious Diseases University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Zika virus infection is associated with various developmental issues for human embryos such as reduced head growth, reduced brain tissue growth, and damage to brain or eyes. We wanted to better understand if some of these birth defects are caused directly by the Zika virus or maybe by the host response to infection. In our study we demonstrate that the Zika virus infection induces autoimmune response against the C1q protein. This protein is a very important immune protein as well as one of the essential proteins for healthy brain development. Attacking the C1q protein upon exposure with the Zika virus could contribute to the development of autoimmune disorders and birth defects.  (more…)
ADHD, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, JAMA, OBGYNE / 14.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Krista F. Huybrechts, MS PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02120   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In recent years, use of stimulant medications in adults, including women of reproductive age, has increased substantially. However, data regarding the safety of stimulant medications in early pregnancy are sparse and conflicting.  For example, two recent cohort studies failed to detect an association between use of methylphenidate in early pregnancy and overall or cardiac malformations, while another found an 81% increased risk of cardiac malformations, although the estimate was imprecise. Given the rapidly increasing use of stimulant medications during pregnancy and among women of reproductive age who may become pregnant inadvertently, there is an urgent need to better understand their safety. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 21.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Parvati Singh B. Tech, MBA, MPA PhD student, Department of Public Health, University of California, Irvine and Dr. Tim Bruckner, first author MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study builds upon earlier research by our group which showed that male fetal deaths rose and the number of liveborn males fell after the 9/11 attacks. Here we show that, in California, the number of live born males with birth defects fell after 9/11. This finding appears consistent with the notion that frail male gestations, such as those with defects, may have been lost in utero as a result of the stress induced by the 9/11 attacks. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, NEJM, Ophthalmology / 08.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elisabetta Patorno, MD, DrPH Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lithium, a widely used medicine to treat bipolar disorder, has been associated with a 400 fold increased risk of Ebstein’s anomaly, a congenital malformation of the heart, and a 5 fold increased risk of cardiac defects overall in infants when taken early in pregnancy, based on the results from the International Register of Lithium Babies in the 1970’s. Beyond this data, most of the information on the safety of lithium during pregnancy accumulated in the last 40 years is based on case reports and small studies with conflicting results. Despite these concerns and the limited information, lithium remains a first-line treatment for the 1% of women of reproductive age with bipolar disorder in the U.S. population, due to its recognized efficacy during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and due to the presence of a larger body of evidence showing increased risk of congenital malformations for other mood stabilizers, such as valproate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, OBGYNE / 16.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexander Egeberg, MD PhD Gentofte Hospital Department of Dermatology and Allergy Denmark MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: An issue that frequently arise in clinical practice is the question from patients whether they should discontinue their therapy if they want to have children. Since immunosuppressant agents are frequently used for a number of conditions, and discontinuation could lead to disease flaring, assessment of the potential impact of such drugs on birth outcomes is important. In our study, we examined birth outcomes in children whose father had received treatment with methotrexate, azathioprine, cyclosporine, and mycophenolate mofetil in the time leading up to conception. Importantly, we found no increased risk of congenital abnormalities, low birth weight, or preterm birth associated with paternal treatment with these drugs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Neurological Disorders, PNAS / 17.04.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Zhiyong Zhao, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore, MD MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Diabetes in early pregnancy can cause neural tube defects in fetus. The defects are a result of failure in neural tube closure, due to excess cell death. The aim of this study was to delineate molecular processes that induce cell death. The main findings of this study are: (1) Hyperglycemia disrupts protein folding. The misfolded proteins, including the ones that are associated with neurodegenerative diseases, form aggregates, indicating similar molecular processes in both fetal neural tube defects and adult neurodegenerative diseases. (2) Protein aggregation leads to formation of a neurodegenerative disease-related cell death inducting mechanism. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Flu - Influenza, Karolinski Institute, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Pharmacology / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Sophie Graner Department of Women's and Childrens Health Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pregnant women are at increased risks of severe disease and death due to influensa infection, as well as hospitalization. Also influenza and fever increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes for their infants such as intrauterine death and preterm birth. Due to this, the regulatory agencies in Europe and the US recommended post exposure prophylaxis and treatment for pregnant women with neuraminidase inhibitors during the last influenza pandemic 2009-10. Despite the recommendations, the knowledge on the effect of neuraminidase inhibitors on the infant has been limited. Previously published studies have not shown any increased risk, but they have had limited power to assess specific neonatal outcomes such as stillbirth, neonatal mortality, preterm birth, low Agar score, neonatal morbidity and congenital malformations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Neurological Disorders, Pediatrics, Science, Stem Cells / 27.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paul D. Morton, Ph.D. Research PostDoc and lead study author of “Abnormal Neurogenesis and Cortical Growth in Congenital Heart Disease.” Children’s National Health System Washington, DC Nobuyuki Ishibashi, M.D. Director of the Cardiac Surgery Research Laboratory at Children’s National Health System and co-senior study author. Vittorio Gallo, Ph.D. Director of the Center for Neuroscience Research at Children’s National Health System and co-senior study author.     Richard A. Jonas, M.D. Chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery at Children’s National Health System and co-senior study author. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the leading birth defect in the United States and often results in an array of long-term neurological deficits including motor, cognitive and behavioral abnormalities. It has become increasingly clear that children with CHD often have underdeveloped brains. In many cases of complex CHD, blood flow to the brain is both reduced and less oxygenated, which has been associated with developmental abnormalities and delay. The cellular mechanisms underlying the impact of CHD on brain development remain largely unknown. We developed a preclinical chronic hypoxia model to define these mechanisms. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 13.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Alex Kemper, MD, MPH, MS Member,US Preventive Services Task Force Professor of Pediatrics and Professor in Community Medicine Department of Pediatrics Duke University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Neural tube defects, where the brain or spinal cord do not develop properly in a baby, can occur early in pregnancy, even before a woman knows she is pregnant. Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy can help protect against neural tube defects. Most women do not get enough folic acid in their diets, so most clinicians recommend that any woman who could become pregnant take a daily folic acid supplement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 06.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathalie Auger MD MSc FRCPC Montréal, Québec MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We carried out this study because congenital heart defects take a large share of birth defects, but not much is known on its risk factors. In previous research, we found that very high temperatures in the summer were associated with a greater risk of stillbirth. We sought to determine whether elevated outdoor heat could also be linked with congenital heart defects in a sample of about 700,000 pregnancies. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 21.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eyal Cohen, MD, MSc, FRCP(C) Staff Physician, Paediatrics The Hospital for Sick Children Associate Scientist, Research Institute Child Health Evaluative Sciences Associate Professor, University of Toronto   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Major structural or genetic congenital anomalies affect approximately 2 percent to 5 percent of all births in the United States and Europe. Mothers of children born with major congenital anomalies face serious challenges such as high financial pressures, as well as the burden of providing care to a child with complex needs within the home setting, which can impair a mother's health. Little is known about the long-term health consequences for the mother. We assessed whether the birth of an infant with a major congenital anomaly was subsequently associated with an increased risk of death of the infant's mother. The population-based study (n = 455,250 women) used individual-level linked Danish registry data for mothers who gave birth to an infant with a major congenital anomaly between 1979 and 2010, with follow-up until December 31, 2014. A comparison group was constructed by randomly sampling, for each mother with an affected infant, up to 10 mothers matched on maternal age, parity (the number of children a woman has given birth to), and year of infant's birth. Mothers in both groups were an average age of 29 years at delivery. After a median follow-up of 21 years, there were 1,275 deaths (1.60 per 1,000 person-years) among 41,508 mothers of a child with a major congenital anomaly vs 10,112 deaths (1.27 per 1,000 person-years) among 413,742 mothers in the comparison group. Mothers with affected infants were more likely to die of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and other natural causes. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE / 01.12.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Kenji Tanimura M.D., Ph.D. Assistant professor Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology Graduate School of Medicine and Hideto Yamada M.D., Ph.D. Professor and Chairman Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection can cause long-term neurological sequelae, such as hearing difficulties and mental retardations, in affected children. Some investigators reported that early diagnosis and antiviral therapy can improve neurological outcomes in symptomatic congenital infected infants. However, universal screening of newborns for congenital CMV infection is not yet available. Therefore, the development of non-invasive methods for prenatal detection of mothers and newborns at high risk for congenital CMV infection has been desired. We aimed to determine maternal clinical, laboratory, and ultrasound findings that effectively predict the occurrence of congenital CMV infection in high-risk pregnant women, who were positive for CMV IgM. We performed maternal blood screening for CMV IgG and IgM, and 300 IgM-positive pregnant women, including 22 with congenital CMV infection, received series of examinations. We evaluated maternal clinical and laboratory findings, including serum CMV IgM and IgG, IgG avidity index, antigenemia testing, and CMV-DNA PCR for the maternal serum, urine, and uterine cervical secretion, and prenatal ultrasound findings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 14.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Chung-Yi Li Department of Public Health College of Medicine National Cheng Kung University Tainan Taiwan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Congenital heart disease is the leading congenital malformation that causes perinatal and infant deaths. However, little information is available about the risk factors, especially modifiable environmental and behavioral factors that may have posed adverse effects on fetal cardiac development. We conducted a nationwide population-based study in Taiwan to further evaluate the potential role of maternal chronic diseases in the risk of developing congenital heart disease in offspring. We found that children of women with several kinds of chronic disease were at elevated risk for congenital heart disease; these diseases included type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, congenital heart defects, anemia, connective tissue disorders, epilepsy, and mood disorders. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, Mental Health Research, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 13.10.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alan S. Brown, M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology Columbia University Medical Center Director, Program in Birth Cohort Studies, Division of Epidemiology New York State Psychiatric Institute  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Maternal use of antidepressants during pregnancy has been increasing.  A previous study from a team that I led in a national birth cohort in Finland showed that mother’s use of a serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant is related to an increased risk of depression in offspring.  We sought to evaluate whether these medications also increased risk of speech/language, scholastic, and motor outcomes in offspring.  We found an increased risk (37% higher risk) of speech/language disorders in offspring of mothers exposed to SSRIs in pregnancy compared to mothers who were depressed during pregnancy but did not take an SSRI during pregnancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 27.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erik Berg, MD Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care University of Bergen Bergen, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Parents regularly express concern about long term health outcomes for children born with oral cleft. In this study we used population-based long-term follow-up data from multiple national registries to focus on the future health outcomes of cleft cases without additional chronic medical conditions or congenital anomalies. The study cohort consisted of all individuals born in Norway between 1967 and 1992. All patients treated for clefts in Norway during the study period were invited to participate. 2 337 cases with isolated clefts and 1 413 819 unaffected individuals were followed until 2010. The main outcome variables were conditions diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood, need for social security benefits, and risk of death. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Fertility, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 06.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sheree L. Boulet, DrPH, MPH Division of Reproductive Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Boulet: Findings from some studies have suggested that children conceived with assisted reproductive technology (ART) have increased risks of birth defects compared with spontaneously conceived children. Many of these studies were limited by a small sample size and were unable to assess risks associated with specific ART procedures. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Dr. Boulet: We found that singleton infants conceived using assisted reproductive technology were 1.4 times more likely to have a non-chromosomal birth defect compared with other infants, and the risks were highest for gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal defects. However, when our study was restricted to only ART-conceived infants, no single procedure substantially increased the risk for birth defects. This suggests that the higher risk of birth defects may be due to underlying issues related to infertility, rather than to ART itself. (more…)
Allergies, Asthma, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pulmonary Disease / 05.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anick Bérard PhD FISPE Research chair FRQ-S on Medications and Pregnancy and Director Réseau Québécois de recherche sur le médicament (RQRM) and Professor, Research Chair on Medications, Pregnancy and Lactation Faculty of Pharmacy,University of Montreal and Director, Research Unit on Medications and Pregnancy Research Center CHU Ste-Justine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Intranasal corticosteroid (Nasacort) use during pregnancy for the treatment of seasonal allergies has increased over the past decade. Nasacort is now available over the counter since October 2013 in the US and January 2015 in Canada. Given that seasonal allergies are prevalent during pregnancy and that a medication available over-the-counter is likely to be used frequently, we aimed to study the risk of using Nasacort during gestation. Furthermore, given the potential public health impact, the objectives of our study were to assess the safety of intranasal triamcinolone exposure during pregnancy on the occurrence of major congenital malformations, small-for-gestational-age (SGA) newborn, and spontaneous abortions. Use of intranasal triamcinolone during the first trimester of pregnancy was not significantly associated with the risk of overall congenital malformations (OR 0.88, 95%CI 0.60-1.28; 31 exposed cases) compared to non-exposure; it was however associated with the risk of respiratory defects (OR 2.71, 95%CI 1.11-6.64; 5 exposed cases). This is important given that a medication given for the treatment of respiratory diseases is associated with respiratory defects in newborns. Pregnancy exposure to intranasal triamcinolone was not significantly associated with the risk of spontaneous abortions (OR 1.04, 95%CI 0.76-1.43; 50 exposed cases). No association was found between 2nd or 3rd trimester exposure to intranasal triamcinolone and the risk of SGA (OR 1.06, 95%CI 0.79-1.43; 50 exposed cases). (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 25.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Muraskas M.D. Professor of Pediatrics and OB/Gyne Neonatal and Maternal Fetal Medicine Director Neonatal-Perinatal Research Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine Loyola University Medical Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Dr. Muraskas: Multiple studies over the years have demonstrated that only 15% of cerebral palsy is due to the birthing process. In other words, a normal pregnancy is 7000 hours and lawyers frequently only focus on the last 2 hours. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, OBGYNE, Pharmacology / 07.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brittany M. Charlton, ScD Instructor Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School Researcher, Harvard Chan School Department of Epidemiology Boston, MA 02115   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Charlton: Even though oral contraceptives can be over 99% effective with perfect use, almost 10% of women become pregnant within their first year of use. Many more women will stop using oral contraceptives when planning a pregnancy and conceive within just a few months. In both of those examples, a woman may inadvertently expose her offspring during pregnancy to exogenous sex hormones. We conducted a nationwide cohort study in Denmark in order to investigate whether oral contraceptive use shortly before or during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of major birth defects in the offspring. Our main finding was that there was no increased risk of having a birth defect associated with oral contraceptive exposure. These results were also consistent when we broke down the birth defects into different subgroups, like limb defects. (more…)