Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Hearing Loss, JAMA / 04.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Archelle Georgiou, MD Chief Health Officer for Starkey Starkey Hearing Technologies Eden Prairie, Minnesota MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: In August 2021, Starkey introduced a vaccination incentive program for employees in the U.S. to provide education on COVID-19 and encourage vaccinations. The program encouraged employees to watch and acknowledge online educational information and report their vaccination status. Those fully vaccinated and who submitted proof of vaccination by September 2021, including employees who were vaccinated prior to the incentive announcement, received $1,000.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Diabetes / 17.03.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Wolfgang Rathmann MSPH Prof. of Epidemiology Deputy Director, Institute for Biometrics and Epidemiology, German Diabetes Center, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Diabetes is associated with a poor prognosis of COVID-19. There have been raised concerns about a bidirectional relationship between diabetes and COVID-19. Recent studies raised the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 can cause diabetes. However, there is a lack of studies investigating the incidence of diabetes after recovery from COVID-19 in mild cases. To provide more evidence, we analyzed electronic health records from 1,171 general and internal medicine practices across Germany between March 2020 and January 2021. This included 35,865 patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19. The incidence of diabetes after COVID-19 was compared with patients, who were diagnosed with an acute upper respiratory tract infection (AURI), matched for sex, age, and comorbidities including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, and stroke.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 15.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy School of Public Health University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study? Response: In 2020, most insurers waived the cost of COVID-19 hospitalization for patients. In early 2021, many major insurers started to abandon those waivers. By August 2021, the vast majority of insurers had started billing patients for COVID-19 hospitalizations again. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 10.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carmit Cohen, PhD, MDV – Laboratory manager Infection Prevention and Control UNIT Sheba Medical Center MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: We, Professor Regev-Yochay research group, began this study when the first COVID-19 patients were diagnosed in Israel. We followed humoral immune response kinetics of recoverees in the first year of the pandemic for a year (before the introduction of the Delta variant) and compared them to a matched cohort of two doses Pfizer vaccinated that was followed for up to eight month (until they received the third dose). (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Vaccine Studies / 04.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bianca V. Sanchez Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the study? Response: Hispanic populations have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as evident by their increased rate of infection with the virus, hospitalizations, and mortality. Previous literature has indicated that many of these individuals demonstrate increased rates of vaccine hesitancy, subsequently increasing their risk for infection. This study aimed to characterize the reasoning behind vaccine hesitancy in Hispanic populations in the hopes of addressing their concerns through targeted educational interventions. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, NYU / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrea B. Troxel, ScD (she/her/hers) Professor and Director, Division of Biostatistics Department of Population Health NYU Grossman School of Medicine NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: This study represents an international collaboration across four continents and six countries, to pool information from studies in different patient populations to generate robust information about the possible benefits of convalescent plasma in treating COVID-19. Because the study was so large and the methods so rigorous, we were able to show that while CP doesn’t benefit all patients, it may have positive effects in certain subgroups. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Technology / 03.02.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael J. Mahan Ph.D Professor Dept of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9625 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: A critical need exists in resource-poor settings for low-cost, low-tech, yet highly reliable and scalable testing for SARS-CoV-2 virus that is robust against circulating variants.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 26.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tasleem J. Padamsee, PhD Co-Leader  C3-REACH -- Committed to Communities Collaborative: Research and Engagement to Advance beyond COVID to Health EquityPrincipal Investigator The Daughter Sister Mother Project: Empowering Women and their Healthcare Providers to Fight Familial Cancer Lead Qualitative Investigator WOW Project: Washington & Ohio Workers Study Assistant Professor Division of Health Services Management & Policy, College of Public Health Faculty Affiliate, James Comprehensive Cancer Center The Ohio State University MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: This is a study about COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United States. Although there has been a lot of discussion about vaccine hesitancy as a barrier to achieving high rates of COVID-19 vaccination, there have been few studies of changes in hesitancy - or how it might vary across groups. As COVID-19 vaccines were becoming available in the US there was a lot of discussion about worrisome rates of vaccine hesitancy, particularly among communities of color. Our team suspected, however, that these high rates might be short-lived, and that Black Americans in particular might become willing to use COVID-19 vaccines after a short period of time - as they became reassured that they would be safe, effective, and protect communities. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Emory, Heart Disease, JAMA / 25.01.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Oster, MD, MPH CDC COVID-19 Response CDC Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities Pediatric Cardiologist, Sibley Heart Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Emory University School of Medicine Emory University Rollins School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: More than 192 million people ages 12 years and older in the U.S. received at least one dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from December 2020 through August 2021. From this population, VAERS (the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) received 1,991 reports of myocarditis,  1,626 of which met the case definition of myocarditis. Rates of myocarditis were highest following the second dose of an mRNA vaccine among males aged 12–15 years (70.7 per million doses of Pfizer), 16-17 years (105.9 per million doses of Pfizer), and 18–47 years (52.4 and 56.3 per million doses of Pfizer and Moderna, respectively). Of those with myocarditis, the median age was 21 years and the median time from vaccination to symptom onset was two days. Males accounted for 82% of patients for whom sex was known. Approximately 96% were hospitalized, 87% of whose symptoms had gone away by the time they were discharged from the hospital. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (589/676, 87%) were the most common treatment. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Kidney Disease, Vaccine Studies / 16.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shuchi Anand, MD MS (she/her) Assistant Professor in Medicine Director, Center for Tubulointerstitial Kidney Disease Stanford University School of Medicine  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: A majority of  people on dialysis who completed vaccination as of September 2021 have had a decline in antibody response to levels that would render them vulnerable to infection. Antibody response immediately after vaccination and circulating antibody response is strongly associated with risk for breakthrough after the initial vaccination series. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 13.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ronen Arbel, PhD Outcomes Research, Community Medical Services Division Clalit Health Service Tel Aviv, Israel Director, Maximizing Health Outcomes Research Lab Sapir College, Sderot, Israel.  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant and reduced effectiveness over time of the BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) led to a recent Coronavirus 2019 disease (Covid-19) resurgence in early vaccinated populations. The Israeli Ministry of Health was the first in the world to approve a third (booster) dose of BNT162b2 to cope with this resurgence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NEJM, Vaccine Studies / 02.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Barbra Dickerman, PhD CAUSALab investigator and instructor Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Early randomized trials showed that the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccines were both remarkably effective at preventing symptomatic disease, when comparing each vaccine with no vaccine. However, head-to-head comparisons of these vaccines have been lacking, leaving open the question of which vaccine is more effective.  In this study, we analyzed the VA’s high-quality databases in a way that emulated the design of the hypothetical trial that would have answered this question. Specifically, we used the findings from the original trials to benchmark our methods and then extended them to provide novel evidence for the comparative effectiveness of these two vaccines in a real-world setting and across diverse subgroups and different time periods. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 28.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jonathan Baktari, MD CEO of e7health.com Dr. Baktari, CEO discusses Pfizer’s recent announcement that their vaccine trial for children ages 5-11 has been safe and effective, marking a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19.   MedicalResearch.com: What risks should parents weigh? Response: Pfizer has already said that based on their studies the lower dose two shot COVID vaccine for children is safe, meaning that their data shows minimal side effects. If that data is correct, then we should expect the same minor symptoms we see with teenagers to the COVID vaccine  (more…)
COVID -19 Coronavirus, PLoS / 07.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melanie Bell, PhD, MS Professor Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health The University of Arizona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In May 2020 my colleagues began a cohort study called CoVHORT, which  aimed to investigate the impacts of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic among residents of Arizona. The current study on long covid is a sub-study which included all CoVHORT participants who had a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, were not hospitalized, and had symptom data 30 days are longer since the test. We wanted to investigate the prevalence of long covid, also known as post-acute sequalae of COVID-19 (PASC) amongst people who did not experience severe acute infection. Although the definition is still evolving in the research community, we defined PASC as continuing to experience at least one symptom 30 days or longer post-acute infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Imperial College, Lancet / 28.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Adam Hampshire PhD Faculty of Medicine Department of Brain Sciences Imperial College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During 2020 I was leading a study that sought to map the distribution of cognitive abilities and aspects of mental health across the UK population. The study generated a lot of interest because it was a collaboration with BBC2 Horizon, leading to ~390,000 participants. When the pandemic began to escalate in the UK a number of my colleagues at Imperial and elsewhere contacted me to note that the study could be used to investigate the impact of both the pandemic and direct illness on daily life, mental health and cognition. I had been thinking along similar lines so decided to add questionnaires about peoples' experiences with the pandemic and Covid-19 illness. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 15.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Ohl, MD, MSPH Associate Professor of Internal Medicine-Infectious Diseases Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine University of Iowa MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background is that remdesivir was approved for treatment in 2020 largely based on the results of the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial 1 (ACTT-1), which found that remdesivir treatment was associated with more rapid recovery from illness among people hospitalized with COVID-19. The intention was that - even if remdesivir did not lead to substantial improvements in survival-  it could help people to recover more quickly and be discharged from hospital sooner, potentially opening scare hospital pends to treat more patients during the pandemic.   (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Clots - Coagulation, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 05.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isaac See, MD Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Response Team Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: On February 27, 2021 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization for the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 Vaccine in people 18 years of age or older in the United States.  The Janssen/J&J COVID-19 Vaccine uses a replication-deficient (i.e., cannot cause infections) human adenovirus vector.  In mid-March, the European Medicines Agency announced that they had conducted a preliminary investigation of cases of blood clots and low counts of blood cells called platelets in patients who had recently received the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine, which uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vector.  This syndrome of blood clots and low platelet counts has been called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS.  The European investigation showed that over 70% of their cases specifically involved blood clots in particular veins inside the brain, a condition caused cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), in addition to low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia is the medical term for low platelet counts). CVST is already a rare condition, and CVST with thrombocytopenia is even rarer.  By April 12, 2021, approximately 7 million doses of the Janssen/J&J COVID-19 Vaccine had been given in the United States, and six cases of CVST and thrombocytopenia after receipt of the Janssen/J&J COVID-19 Vaccine had been reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is the U.S. national vaccine safety monitoring system.  The next day (April 13, 2021) CDC and FDA recommended a pause in use of the vaccine recommended to allow for further investigation of these events.  On April 23, 2021 data about the first 12 cases reported after authorization of the Janssen/J&J COVID-19 Vaccine were presented at an emergency meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to decide what to recommend regarding the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.  The ACIP concluded that the benefits of resuming Janssen COVID-19 vaccination among persons aged 18 years or older outweighed the risks and reaffirmed its interim recommendation under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.  The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization includes a new warning for rare clotting events among women aged 18 to 49 years. Our report provides clinical details about these first reported 12 U.S. cases of CVST and thrombocytopenia following receipt of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks / 23.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Margaret J. Hosie BVM&S, MRCVS, BSc. PhD. Professor of Comparative Virology MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research United Kingdom  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: SARS-CoV-2 is a new coronavirus of animal origin that recently jumped to humans and has spread rapidly across the world. It is likely that SARS-CoV-2 will establish as an endemic virus of humans, which has the potential to be transmitted to animals that live in close proximity to humans. There have been sporadic reports of infections in pet cats in households with COVID-19 patients, which demonstrates that cats are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and could act as virus reservoirs. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 13.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael H. Lazar MD Jeffrey H Jennings, MD Pulmonary and Critical Care specialists Henry Ford Hospital Detroit Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Persons of color who are infected with COVID-19 have a higher incidence of hospitalization and death when compared to white patients.  However, it was previously unknown if there was a difference in outcomes based upon race in patients who are sick enough to be treated in an intensive care unit (ICU). Our study found that race made no difference in ICU outcomes. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Lack of racial differences in survival and other meaningful outcomes in the intensive care unit may be related to the highly protocolized nature of care and experience of the critical care team. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Stroke / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Thanh Nguyen MD Director of Interventional Neurology/ Neuroradiology Boston Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, there were many regional and sometimes national reports of declines in stroke and myocardial infarction volumes. Our goal was to understand whether these declines were also seen for other neurological emergencies such as subarachnoid hemorrhage hospitalizations and ruptured aneurysm endovascular treatments. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gout, Rheumatology / 03.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Rene Oliveira Department of Internal Medicine Ribeirao Preto Medical School University of Sao Paulo Ribeirao Preto, Brazil  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As rheumatologists our background for testing colchicine for COVID-19 was the effect of the drug on gout, Behçet's disease and familial Mediterranean fever. For these diseases, the drug is able to reduce systemic inflammation by acting in some cytokine pathways which the first reports in COVID-19 suggested being the same. We found that colchicine was able to reduce systemic inflammation and diminish the length of need for supplemental oxygen and hospitalisation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Prostate, Prostate Cancer, Surgical Research, Urology / 01.02.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David-Dan Nguyen Research Fellow | Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital MPH (Health Policy) Student | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Medical Student | McGill University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced hospitals to delay the definitive treatment of cancers via surgery or radiation therapy. While previous evidence has shown that delaying the treatment of low-risk prostate cancer is not associated with worse outcomes, treatment delays for intermediate-risk and high-risk prostate cancer are more controversial. As such, we sought to determine if delays for these disease states negatively impacted oncological outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 08.01.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jay C. Butler, MD, FAAP, MACP, FIDSA Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA  30333 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There are still disagreements about the significance of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from asymptomatic persons.  It has been known since at least March 2020 that, unlike the closely related coronavirus that causes SARS, transmission of COVID-19 from asymptomatic and presymptomatic persons occurs and that at least 30% of infected persons do not develop symptoms.  Estimating the proportion of transmissions from persons without symptoms informs the decision analysis for prioritization of community mitigations opportunities:  wearing of masks, social distancing, and hand hygiene. If only a low proportion of transmission occurs from people without symptoms, these interventions would be less likely to control transmission when broadly applied in the community.  On the other hand, if a significant proportion of spread is from infected persons without symptoms, the value of these measures is enhanced. Additionally, obtaining strategic and systematic screening tests for SARS-CoV-2 to identify and isolate persons without symptoms in selected settings, such as congregational housing settings, will have greater potential impact if spread from persons without symptoms is common.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology / 17.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yashu Dhamija MD Dr. Thomas Schmidlin, MD Cleveland Clinic Akron General  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are seeing an increased use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic and while that is encouraged and necessary to limit the spread of disease in the general publication, it can mean challenges for some individuals. Patients with known sensitizations to allergens contained in face masks may experience rash or irritation with commonly used face coverings. It is also possible for patients without a history of contact dermatitis to become sensitized to allergens after wearing facial coverings more regularly, thus leading to new cases of contact dermatitis (CD) in individuals with no known prior history of contact dermatitis. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 12.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brunella Posteranno PhD Associate Professor of Microbiology Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences Rome, Italy MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: This study arises from an attempt to clarify some recent evidences of positive real-time PCR (RT-PCR) test results among patients who recovered from COVID-19 with prior negative results. Retesting positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, in the absence of any symptoms suggestive of new infection, poses questions regarding not only the SARS-CoV-2 infection course but also, most importantly, the infectivity status of recovered COVID-19 patients. In other words, it is unknown whether such patients are infectious and whether they should be quarantined. Detecting genetic sequences (i.e., RNA) of SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory samples (e.g., nasal/oropharyngeal swab samples) by RT-PCR assays enable us to identify persons suffering from COVID-19 along with those who have been exposed and able to transmit virus to others even if they are asymptomatic. It is not hyperbole to say that without RT-PCR testing an effective fight against the virus would be impossible. However, RT-PCR assays are not a viral culture and do not allow to determine whether the virus is viable and, consequently, transmissible. In this study, we investigated RT-PCR retested positive nasal/oropharyngeal swab (NOS) samples from recovered COVID-19 patients for the presence of replicative SARS-CoV-2 RNA to assess active virus replication.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Hearing Loss / 06.11.2020


MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Eldré Beukes PhD Clinical Scientist in Audiology Clinical Audiologist: Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital Associate lecturer: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain what is meant by tinnitus? Response: Tinnitus is characterised by hearing unwanted sounds, such as a ringing or buzzing, without a corresponding sound in the environment. It is one of the most frequently occurring chronic conditions, affecting 1 in 8 adults worldwide. People with tinnitus are found to be at higher risk of lower emotional wellbeing, depression and anxiety. This led our team to realise that tinnitus may be more problematic as a result of the added stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic. As such, we initiated an exploratory study to examine changes in tinnitus during the pandemic. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 05.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Duane Wesemann, MD, PhD Div. of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston, MA 02115 Wesemann Lab   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is a lot of variability in how long antibodies to pathogens are produced in humans.  Some infections and vaccinations like measles induce high levels of antibodies that can be produced for a lifetime.  Other infections or vaccinations induce only short lived antibody responses. Also, some people make longer lasting antibodies compared to others.   We wanted to ask what the antibody durability dynamics looked like after COVID-19 and if we could tease out any insights—both with regard to COVID-19 as well as in general.  (more…)