Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 09.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Syed Ali Husain, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York Presbyterian Hospital The Columbia University Renal Epidemiology Group New York, New York  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: One group of patients thought to be at a high risk of severe COVID-19 manifestations is kidney transplant recipients, since they take medications that suppress their immune system and they often have other medical problems that have been associated with severe infection. We wanted to understand whether it is safe to manage kidney transplant recipients who develop COVID-19 as outpatients, without admitting them to the hospital. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Heart Disease, Mediterranean Diet, Women's Heart Health / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Riddhi Shah, PhD AHA SFRN Postdoctoral Research Fellow Division of Cardiology Columbia University Medical Center New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Mediterranean Diet, characterized by higher intakes of plant foods including plant proteins, monounsaturated fat, fish, and lower consumption of animal products and saturated fat, has long been associated with reduced cardiovascular risk and greater longevity, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these associations have not been fully elucidated. We evaluated associations of an Alternate Mediterranean Diet Score, reflective of adherence to this diet pattern and adapted for US populations, and its components with markers of endothelial inflammation directly measured in endothelial cells harvested from women, including oxidative stress, nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene expression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Columbia, OBGYNE / 11.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew ESpotnitzMDMPH Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Obstetrics and Gynecology Columbia University Medical Center Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics, and Medical Informatics Services New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our take home message is that copper and hormonal IUDs may have different physiological effects on the female genitourinary system. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Columbia, Heart Disease, JAMA / 17.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: George Hripcsak, MD, MS Vivian Beaumont Allen Professor of Biomedical Informatics Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics Columbia University Director, Medical Informatics Services NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Diuretics are considered among the best drugs to treat hypertension, but there are no randomized studies to tell us which diuretic is best. Hydrochlorothiazide is the most frequently used diuretic for hypertension, but another drug, chlorthalidone, is gaining favor, with the most recent US hypertension guideline expressing a preference for it. Chlorthalidone is known to be longer acting and therefore perhaps more effective. Other (non-randomized) studies have been inconsistent, and some of them imply that chlorthalidone may be more effective. But other studies have shown that chlorthalidone may have more side effects. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, Columbia, Heart Disease, JACC / 21.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ersilia DeFilippis, MD Second-year cardiology fellow Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana use has been increasing significantly and is the most commonly illicit drug used in the United States. In recent years, more states have been legalizing its use for both recreational and medicinal purposes. We have all seen news reports regarding the rise of vaping-related health hazards. Yet, data are limited regarding the cardiovascular effects of marijuana which is what drove us to explore this topic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, JAMA, Pulmonary Disease / 28.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth C. Oelsner, MD, MPH Irving Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of General Medicine New York Presbyterian Columbia University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Uncertainty regarding how to diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has posed significant problems for early detection and treatment of this common disease. Simplifying and standardizing the diagnosis of COPD has the potential to improve diagnosis, clinical care, and clinical research for this common and under-diagnosed chronic lung disease. We therefore aimed to provide robust evidence for the best threshold to diagnose COPD by comparing how well various thresholds predict hospitalizations and deaths from COPD. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Columbia, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, NEJM, Neurology / 27.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jan Claassen, MD, PhD, FNCS Associate Professor of Neurology Division of Division of Critical Care and Hospitalist Neurology Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Unconsciousness is common and predicting recovery is challenging – often inaccurate. Many patients do not show movements on commands and typically this is interpreted as unconsciousness. Some of these patients may be able to have brain response to these commands raising the possibility of some preservation of consciousness. This has previously been shown months or years after the injury mostly using MRI. We were able to detect this activation at the bedside in the ICU shortly after brain injury. For this we applied machine learning to the EEG to distinguish the brain’s responses to commands. Patients that showed this activation were more likely to follow commands prior to discharge and had better outcomes one year later.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Depression, JAMA, OBGYNE, USPSTF / 21.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Karina Davidson, PhD Professor of Behavioral Medicine (in Medicine and Psychiatry) Executive Director, Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health Columbia University Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Perinatal depression, which includes depression that develops during pregnancy or after childbirth, is one of the most common complications of pregnancy and the postpartum period, affecting as many as 1 in 7 pregnant women. The Task Force found that counseling can help those who are at increased risk of developing perinatal depression, and clinicians should provide or refer pregnant and postpartum individuals who are at increased risk to counseling. Clinicians can determine who might be at increased risk of perinatal depression by looking at someone’s history of depression, current depressive symptoms, socioeconomic risk factors, recent intimate partner violence, and other mental-health related factors. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Columbia, Genetic Research, Kidney Disease / 27.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Sugar / 25.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Soda” by Jannes Pockele is licensed under CC BY 2.0Jennifer Woo Baidal, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Director of Pediatric Weight Management, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Columbia University Medical Center & New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Childhood obesity prevalence is historically high, with most incident obesity among children occurring before age 5 years. Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in childhood obesity are already apparent by the first years of life. Latino/Hispanic children in low-income families are at-risk for obesity. Thus, understanding potentially effective ways to prevent childhood obesity, particularly in vulnerable populations, should focus on early life. Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is a modifiable risk factor for obesity and is linked to other adverse health outcomes. Maternal SSB consumption in pregnancy and infant sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in the first year of life are linked to later childhood obesity. We sought to describe beverage consumption in a modern cross-sectional cohort of 394 low-income, Latino families, and to examine the relationship of parental attitudes toward sugar-sweetened beverages with parental and infant SSB consumption. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Environmental Risks, Genetic Research, Ophthalmology, PLoS / 09.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrei V. Tkatchenko, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor Columbia University Medical Center Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Clear distance vision is rapidly becoming a rare privilege around the world, especially in Asia, due to increasing prevalence of myopia. Although much effort has been directed towards elucidating the mechanisms underlying refractive eye development and myopia, treatment options for myopia are mostly limited to optical correction, which does not prevent progression of myopia or pathological blinding complications often associated with the disease. During early childhood development, the axial length of the eye normally grows to match its optical power in a process called emmetropization, producing focused images on the retina. However, very often environmental and genetic factors lead to a mismatch between the optical power of the eye and its axial length resulting in the development of myopia if eyes grow too long for their optical power. Experimental studies in many animal species suggest that emmetropization is regulated by optical defocus. The eye can compensate for imposed negative and positive optical defocus by increasing or decreasing its growth rate, respectively. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying emmetropization are poorly understood which prevents development of anti-myopia drugs. (more…)