Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Vaccine Studies / 03.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeffrey M. Wilson MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Allergy and Immunology University of Virginia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: To date there have been few head-to-head studies evaluating the immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines. Here we measured IgG antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 spike-RBD in adults who received full vaccination with either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. Our study is distinguished from many others because we developed a quantitative test with a read-out in standardized units (expressed as micrograms/mL). We found that antibody levels to the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain were lower in recipients of the Pfizer/BioNTech than Moderna vaccine. The difference in the antibody levels between vaccines was most evident in relatively older subjects. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 02.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David H. Canaday, MD Associate Director of Research Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC),  Cleveland VA Professor, Division of Infectious Disease, Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We were interested in following up on a prior study where we determined that nursing home residents, and in particular those that were given the Pfizer shot who never had COVID-19 in the past, had 4 fold less antibodies against the key Spike protein of the coronavirus than did the group of health care workers who were the other group studied. We wanted to see how those antibodies levels in these groups held up over 6 months.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Occupational Health, Weight Research / 01.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: https://www.newtopia.com/Jeff Ruby, JD, MBA, Founder and Chief Executive Officer Leonard Fensterheim, MPH Vice President of Analytics MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are common weight-change findings during the pandemic?  Obesity has been linked to increased risk of serious complications and the need for costly medical utilization – all of which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been an increase of imposed restrictions that impact healthy lifestyles – the closing of gyms as an example – leading to additional stress and the complete disruption of daily lives. It’s no surprise that many people have gained weight since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before the pandemic, about 40% of Americans had obesity in the United States. This was already an alarming figure, but given that the American Psychological Association found that 42% of U.S. adults report undesired weight gain, with an average gain of 29 lbs. since the start of the pandemic, we expect that percentage has continued to grow. Against this backdrop, Newtopia sought to evaluate the impact of a guided habit change program on weight loss for 12 months during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method:
  • This was a retrospective study that looked at 1436 participants who began participating in the Newtopia experience in early 2020.
  • This analysis focused on weight change and was restricted to those participants with a body mass index >
  • 52% of participants were female, and the average age of the total study population was 46.5 years old (±10.6).
  • The percentage of participants with a 4.3% weight reduction after 12 months was assessed. This has been shown to be associated with meaningful reduction in healthcare costs.
  • The average weight loss and the percentage BMI decrease was also assessed.
  Outcomes:
  • 77% of participants lost weight.
  • 44% of participants had a weight loss of >3%.
  • Average weight loss was 4.2% (p<.0001).
  • 22% of obese participants dropped a BMI category.
Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, individuals participating in the Newtopia habit change experience still achieved impactful weight loss. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Vaccine Studies, Vanderbilt / 27.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kimberly G. Blumenthal, MD, MSc Massachusetts General Hospital The Mongan Institute Boston, MA 02114 Matthew S. Krantz, MD Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the initial COVID-19 vaccine campaign with healthcare workers in December 2020, there was an unexpected higher than anticipated rate of immediate allergic reactions after Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines.  This prompted both patient and provider concerns, particularly in those with underlying allergic histories, on the associated risks for immediate allergic reactions with the mRNA vaccines. Because of the significantly improved effectiveness of two doses of an mRNA vaccine compared to one dose, it was important to determine if those who experienced immediate allergic reaction symptoms after their first dose could go on to tolerate a second dose safely.    (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JAMA, UCSD / 01.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Margaret Ryan MD MPH Medical Director of Defense Health Agency Immunization Healthcare Division Pacific Region Office, San Diego CA Clinical Professor at the University of California San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Military clinicians, especially those in the Defense Health Agency Immunization Healthcare Division, first became aware of a few cases of myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination in early Feb 2021.  These cases included young men who presented with chest pain a few days after 2nd dose of mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine.  As more young people became eligible for 2nd doses of vaccine, more cases were identified.  By late April, the military had identified 23 cases of myocarditis, with remarkably similar presentations, after COVID-19 vaccination.  This case series is described in the current issue of JAMA Cardiology. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks / 30.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Els M. Broens DVM, PhD, Dipl. ECVM, EBVS European Veteirnary Specialist in Veterinary Microbiology Associate Professor / Director VMDC Department Biomolecular Health Sciences (Clinical Infectiology) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine | Utrecht University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several events have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 can infect animals, felines and mustelids in particular. In companion animals these are currently considered to be incidents with a negligible risk for public health since the main force of the pandemic is transmission between humans. However, it is urgent to understand the potential risk of animal infections for public health in the later stages of the pandemic when SARS-CoV-2 transmission between humans is greatly reduced and a virus reservoir in animals could become more important. Incidental cases have shown that COVID-19 positive owners can transmit SARS-CoV-2 to their dog or cat. The close contact between owners and their dogs and cats and the interaction between dogs and cats from different households raises questions about the risk for pets to contract the disease and also about role of these animals in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 22.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Boby Varkey Maramattom MD,DM, FRCP, FRCPE Fellow in Critical care neurology (Mayo Clinic) Lead Consultant Neurologist Aster Medcity, Kochi, Kerala Associate Director- Clinical Research Centre, Aster Medcity. Convener, Neurocritical care subsection Indian academy of Neurology  (IAN) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:  Approximately 2-3 months after the vaccination programme commenced in India, we began to notice an uptick in the incidence of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) in our community. All the cases that presented to us during this period had almost the same clinical presentation. They presented within a few days ( usually within 1-2 weeks) of the first dose of the ChAdOx1-S/nCoV-19 vaccine. Most of the patients were women and it seemed to involve the middle aged to elderly age groups. As a result of this observation, we started to compile the clinical findings of these patients and collate them. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 22.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rafael Kroon Campos PhD Department of Microbiology and Immunology University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting millions of people. COVID-19 is a disease that primarily affects the lungs, but it also affects other organs and tissues, including heart and olfactory receptors. There is a growing body of evidence showing that COVID-19 can affect reproductive health by reducing androgen hormones, sperm counts and causing pain and discomfort in the testes. The virus that causes this disease is named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is unknown whether these symptoms are caused by direct virus testes infection or a byproduct of the immune system fighting the virus. (more…)
COVID -19 Coronavirus / 15.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Baktari, MD CEO of e7health.com Dr. Baktari, CEO discusses the COVID-19 Delta COVID-19 variant and his insights into pandemic concerns and control. MedicalResearch.com: What is meant by the 'Delta' variant?  Are there differences in the clinical presentation or complications?  Response: Variants are now given Greek lettering for everyone and the Delta variant represents the variant from India. Pulmonary reports indicate it is much more contagious and there are reports of increased hospitalization with this variant.  MedicalResearch.com: Where is the variant currently found and where is it likely to spread? Response: Obviously India, but it has taken over as the dominant strain in England and it is about 6% of the strains in the United states and growing. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Pediatrics / 11.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Angela P. Campbell, MD, MPH Medical Officer Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in the Influenza Division MIS-C Incidence Authorship Group CDC MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
  • Response: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a serious condition associated with COVID-19 where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and gastrointestinal organs. Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal (gut) pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. Not all children with MIS-C have the same symptoms.
  • It is still not known exactly how MIS-C may be linked to prior COVID-19 infection. However, 99% of cases in the CDC national surveillance system tested positive for COVID-19. The remaining 1% were around someone with COVID-19.
  • MIS-C incidence might vary by certain patient characteristics, such as such as race, ethnicity, age, sex and geographic location.
  • In this study we estimated the rate of MIS-C cases overall in the general population as well as the rate of MIS-C cases among those with COVID-19.
(more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Johns Hopkins, Nutrition / 04.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Hyunju Kim Ph.D. Johns Hopkins School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the past few months, we have learnt that individuals with comorbidities (obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension) are at higher risk of Covid-19. The etiology of these conditions is largely driven by poor nutrition and unfavorable lifestyle choices, yet no study examined whether dietary habits play a role in Covid-19 infection, severity of symptoms, and duration of illness. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Sleep Disorders, Technology / 03.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michele Ferrara, PhD. Professor of Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology Chair of the Psychology Didactic Council Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences University of L'Aquila MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the current period of social distancing, the pervasive increase in the use of electronic devices (smartphones, computers, tablets and televisions) is an indisputable fact. Especially during the long lockdown period of Spring 2020, technologies played a pivotal role in coping with the unprecedented and stressful isolation phase. However, exposure to backlit screens in the hours before falling asleep can have serious repercussions on sleep health: on the one hand, by mimicking the effects of exposure to sunlight, and thus interfering with the circadian rhythm of the hormone melatonin, and on the other hand, counteracting the evening sleepiness due to the emotionally and psycho-physiologically activating contents. In light of this assumption, we decided to test longitudinally during the third and the seventh week of lockdown a large Italian sample (2123 subjects) through a web-based survey. We assessed sleep disturbances/habits and the occurring changes of electronic device usage in the 2 hours before the sleep onset. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 23.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Baktari, MD CEO of e7health.com Dr. Baktari dicusses COVID-19 vaccinations as well as the nine vaccinated New York Yankees have now tested positive for COVID-19.  They all received the J&J vaccine. MedicalResearch.com:  There are nine known COVID positive results among members of the Yankees, previously immunized with the J&J vaccine.  Do you know if the players have become ill or just tested positive on routine testing? Response: Only 1 out of the 9 was mildly symptomatic and were all picked up as part of MLB testing protocol. MedicalResearch.com: Do you know how long after they were vaccinated that they tested positive?  Do you know of other incidences of positive reactions after vaccinations?  Response: According to MLB, all players tested positive after receiving the J&J vaccine.  All were at least 14 days after the vaccine was administered.  The 14 days post vaccination is when J&J is supposed to be effective in preventing serious illness and death. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JACC, Social Issues / 12.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kobina Hagan MBBS, MPH Postdoctoral Fellow Center for Outcomes Research, Houston Methodist Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Before the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, risk mitigation guidelines including respiratory hygiene, social distancing, and job flexibility, were the most effective preventive measures against coronavirus transmission. Social determinants of health scholarships had identified social circumstances to limit adherence to these mitigation guidelines. Individuals with underlying cardiovascular disease are identified as high-risk phenotypes for severe COVID-19 outcomes. In addition, research efforts during the early and middle waves of the pandemic had identified coronavirus exposure risk as a greater mediator of the observed COVID-19 disparities, compared to clinical susceptibility from comorbidities. Yet, population-based evidence on the practice of these mitigation guidelines in this high-risk group were lacking. Consequently, we believed there was a need to robustly characterize COVID-19 risk mitigation practices among adults with cardiovascular disease in the nation. The COVID-19 Household Impact Survey was a survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, to provide statistics about health, economic security, and social dynamics of the US adult household population nationwide and for 18 geographic areas (10 states, 8 metropolitan statistical areas) between April and June 2020. This survey complemented the Household Pulse Survey by the Census Bureau. In this study we described the COVID-19 risk mitigation practices among patients with CVD and evaluated the association between cumulative social determinants of health burden (a measure of social adversity) and adherence these measures.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Dermatology / 11.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Monisha Madhumita Father Muller Medical College India MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? hand-washing-eczema-dermatologyResponse: The COVID‐19 pandemic requires stringent adoption of hand hygiene practices. Health Care Workers (HCW) and the general population are at increased risk of irritation, dryness, redness and cracked hands (irritant dermatitis) due to frequent hand washing and the use of alcohol-based hand rubs. An effective hand sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol to kill germs. Thus, it can be very drying to the skin. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is a way to measure the water lost from the skin. It is an essential parameter for characterizing skin hydration and protective function. Both of which are disrupted in irritant hand dermatitis. This research study was conducted on 582 participants: 291 health care workers and 291 healthy individuals of the general population. Measurements of TEWL were made using a noninvasive, closed- chamber system (VapoMeter) in a standardized environment. The study participants were asked to identify the challenges to compliance in hand hygiene practice (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 09.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Justin Salciccioli, MBBS, MA Research Fellow in Medicine Elliot Israel, MD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Pulmonary and Critical CareRheumatologyMedicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Asthma attacks account for almost 50% of the cost of asthma care, which costs $80 billion each year in the United States. Asthma is more severe in African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latinx patients, with these groups having double the rates of attacks and hospitalizations as the general population. The PREPARE study is an ongoing national clinical trial for African American/Black and Hispanic/Latinx adults with moderate-to-severe asthma from different U.S. cities in which reporting of asthma control and asthma exacerbations was monitored entirely remotely. With the arrival of the Covid19 pandemic, several studies suggested that asthma exacerbations may have decreased during the pandemic. However, multiple reports have suggested people were avoiding health services because of the pandemic, making it difficult to tell whether exacerbations truly decreased or whether people were simply avoiding their doctors. This is the first study done to assess asthma exacerbations before and during the pandemic that is unlikely to be impacted by patient healthcare avoidance. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Depression, Mental Health Research, PTSD / 07.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: João Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia, MD, PhD (he/him) NIDA INVEST Drug Abuse Research Fellow Policy and Health Initiatives on Opioids and Other Substances (PHIOS) Department of Epidemiology Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University New York, NY 10032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:     It remains unclear whether COVID-19 is associated with psychiatric symptoms during or after the acute illness phase. Being affected by the disease exposes the individual to an uncertain prognosis and a state of quarantine. These factors can predispose individuals to the development of mental symptoms during or after the acute phase of the disease. There is a need for prospective studies assessing psychiatric symptoms in COVID-19 patients in the post-infection period. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Technology / 05.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Saket Navlakha PhD Simons Center for Quantitative Biology Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cold Spring Harbor, NY  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this algorithm? How does it aide in patient care? Response: The machine learning algorithm helps to predict if and when a patient will develop severe COVID symptoms, based on information on how the patient presents on the day of infection. This could lead to improved patient outcomes, by getting a “heads up” on what may happen in the near future. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Technology / 04.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ramani “Ram” Peruvemba, MD, FASA Co-founder and CMO of HSR.health MedicalResearch.com: Would you tell us about your background?  Response: I am a dual-board certified Anesthesiologist and Pain Management physician, currently serving as the co-founder and CMO of HSR.health. I am a Health IT expert and well-versed in the clinical, regulatory, and policy issues surrounding healthcare. I leverage my expertise, professional networks, and insights to HSR.health to bring health risk information to industry. As a clinician, I formerly served as Vice Chairman of the board for the largest anesthesia provider in Maryland and led them through a private equity transaction that helped elevate our group onto a national platform. I have also served on the advisory boards of QSSI corp, a Health IT firm involved in the construction of Healthcare.gov and ultimately sold to Optum, as well as Welldoc, a digital health leader that developed the only FDA approved digital health solution for the management of diabetes. Through my role on the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commissions Advisory Council, I play a key role in the development and implementation of the unique value based hospital payment system, the Total Cost of Care Model, in conjunction with CMS and CMMI. I currently serve on the board of the Maryland State Medical Society, MedChi, as chairman of the medical policy council, and am the President of the Maryland Society of Anesthesiologists. Most recently, I’m proud to share that I was named a 2021 Top 100 Healthcare Innovator for my leadership in HSR.health's efforts supporting COVID-19 pandemic response globally. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 23.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aris Papageorghiou MBChB, MRCOG Professor of Fetal Medicine and the Clinical Research Director Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute University of Oxford MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our study was really guided by a key question: does Covid-19 in pregnancy increase the risk of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes as compared with pregnant women who do not have the infection? The question is highly relevant because of the known deleterious effects of other coronavirus infections in pregnancy, e.g. SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus). In order to answer this question we undertook this multinational cohort study. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JNCI, Johns Hopkins, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joel N. Blankson, MD, PhD Department of Infectious Diseases Associate Professor Cellular and Molecular Medicine Program Johns Hopkins MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Which vaccines did you evaluate? Response: Prior studies from several groups including our own have found T cell cross-recognition of peptides from SARS-CoV-2 and the common cold coronaviruses. We asked whether as a result of this cross-reactivity, immunization with the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine would also enhance T cell responses to the common cold coronaviruses. Prior studies also suggested that antibodies elicited from the mRNA vaccines had a reduced ability to neutralize the emerging variants of concern. Most of the study participants had received the Pfizer vaccine, but a few had received the Moderna vaccine.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Masoud Jahandar Lashaki, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering Florida Atlantic University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Toilet flushing can generate large quantities of microbe-containing aerosols depending on the design and water pressure or flushing energy of the toilet. Based on previous reports, a variety of different pathogens which are found in stagnant water or in waste products (e.g., urine, feces, and vomit) can get dispersed widely via such aerosolization, including the legionella bacterium responsible for causing Legionnaire’s disease, the Ebola virus, the norovirus which causes severe gastroenteritis (food poisoning), and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Based on previous reports, such airborne dispersion is suspected to have played a key role in the outbreak of viral gastroenteritis aboard a cruise ship, where infection was twice as prevalent among passengers who used shared toilets compared to those who had private bathrooms. Similarly, transmission of norovirus via aerosolized droplets was linked to the occurrence of vomiting or diarrhea within an aircraft restroom, as passengers and crew who got infected subsequently were more likely to have visited restrooms than those that were not infected. The participants in the study reported that all of the restroom surfaces appeared to be clean, which indicates that infection is likely to have occurred via bioaerosols suspended within the restroom. Although many of these studies blamed flush-generated aerosols for disease outbreak, a limited number of them quantified the presence of such aerosols. Consequently, we decided to conduct this study to demonstrate the spike in aerosol concentrations following flushing.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, Pediatrics / 16.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jared Bullard MD FRCPC Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics & Child Health and Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Max Rady College of Medicine Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Cadham Provincial Laboratory Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Children are well known to transmit epidemic/endemic respiratory viruses like influenza. Initial public health policy was based on that children were likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 effectively within a community and subsequently in-person school and extracurricular activities were suspended. Initial research did not show a clear association with children driving transmission. The purpose of our study was to take respiratory samples from both children and adults with COVID-19 (all had SARS-CoV-2 detected by RT-PCR) and compare those samples by their ability to grow in cell culture and amount of virus in samples. We took 175 samples from children (97 younger than 10 years of age and 78 between 11-17 years) and compared them to 130 adult samples from the same communities in Manitoba experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 16.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Sickbert-Bennett PhD, MS, CIC, FSHEA Director, Infection Prevention, UNC Hospitals Administrative Director, Carolina Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, UNC Hospitals Associate Professor of Medicine-Infectious Diseases, UNC School of Medicine Associate Professor of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recently public health officials have recommended doubling masks, although the initial study conducted by CDC investigators  was limited in type and combinations of masks tested, so our study compared fitted filtration efficiency of commonly available masks worn, singly, doubled or in combination. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response:  Doubling of masks can improve the fitted filtration efficiency of masks, that is how well masks protect you from inhalation of aerosols from others.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Pollard Ph.D Senior Sociologist; Professor Pardee RAND Graduate School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has traditionally been a highly trusted source of public health information, and conveying information to the public about the vaccine and broader pandemic response is critical.  This study examines changes in levels of public trust in the CDC between May and October, 2020, in light of the numerous challenges the CDC initially faced during the COVID-19 pandemic: technical problems with their COVID-19 testing kits, mixed messaging about the pandemic and mitigation strategies, and public commentary and interference by people in the Trump administration, for example. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 25.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hesam Dashti, PhD Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School Senior Computational Scientist The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What parameters does the SARS2 score take into consideration? Response: While complex models have been developed for predicting the severity of COVID-19 from the medical history, laboratory, and imaging results of patients, simplified models with similar accuracy would be more practical for individualizing the decision making, especially when detailed medical history of patients is not readily available. In this study, we developed the SARS2 risk equations for estimating risk of hospitalization of patients with COVID-19 and also the risk of mortality among hospitalized patients. The “SARS2” risk equations are named for their input variables: Sex, Age, Race, Socioeconomic and Smoking status. To develop and validate the models, we used the electronic records from 12,347 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 at the Mass General Brigham medical centers in Massachusetts between 02/26/2020 and 07/14/2020 to construct derivation and validation cohorts for estimating 1) risk of hospitalization within 30 days of COVID-19 positive PCR test, and 2) for the hospitalized patients, risk of mortality within approximately 3 months. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Respiratory / 25.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Pranay Sinha, MD Section of Infectious Diseases Boston University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We hypothesized that mitigation measures such as physical distancing and mask wearing instituted in Boston would reduce transmission of common respiratory viruses such as influenza, Rhinovirus, and Parainfluenzavirus. We compared the rate of detection of such viruses at Boston Medical Center on comprehensive respiratory panels in the ambulatory, emergency room, and hospital settings in 2020 to rates in the previous five years. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Occupational Health, Vaccine Studies / 25.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michelle N. Meyer, PhD, JD Assistant Professor & Associate Director, Research Ethics, Center for Translational Bioethics & Health Care Policy Faculty Co-Director, Behavioral Insights Team, Steele Institute for Health Innovation Assistant Professor of Bioethics Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Geisinger, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Earlier research had found people are less likely to say they'll receive a COVID-19 vaccine offered to them under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) than one offered to them following full FDA approval. Earlier surveys had also found that only around 30% of health care workers intended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Because the public often looks to local health care workers for health advice, and in most prioritization schemes they were slated to be offered vaccines first, this was quite concerning for the prospect of achieving population immunity. Commenters had warned that if the FDA chose to make COVID-19 vaccines available under EUAs, that substantial efforts would need to be made to ensure trust. On Dec. 4, 2020, an announcement about anticipated vaccine availability was emailed to all 23,784 Geisinger employees, who were asked to indicate their intention to receive a vaccine when one was available to them and the reasons for any hesitation they might have. (more…)