Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA / 03.08.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa A. Cosimi, MD Division of Infectious Diseases Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Response: Current CDC COVID-19 isolation guidance allows for ending isolation after day 5 for non-immunocompromised individuals if they are afebrile and with improving symptoms, or if the individual is asymptomatic from the start. It has been proposed that rapid antigen tests (RATs) may assist in determining when individuals are no longer infectious. Specifically, a negative test would be potentially reassuring for an individual not being transmissible, while a positive test could be suggestive of continued infectiousness.  However, there is little data about use of RATs in this particular setting and how they may correlate with ongoing risk of transmission as they were developed to be used during the initial diagnosis of infection, not in the later phase. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 02.08.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Emma Wall Senior Clinical Research Fellow, UCLH-Crick Legacy study Consultant Infectious Diseases UCLH MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Since April 2022, both the UK and US have changed their COVID-19 isolation and testing policies. The impact these changes in the guidance and vaccination on community-acquired COVID-19 caused by recent SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) has not been fully tested, including infections with BA.2. We aimed to characterise both symptoms and viral loads over the course of COVID-19 infection in otherwise-healthy, vaccinated, non-hospitalised adults, to assess whether current guidance remains justified. All participants were included in the UCLH-Crick Legacy study, a prospective, observational cohort study of otherwise healthy adults who have been taking part in regular workplace testing for SARS-CoV-2 in London We sent swabs by same-day courier every other day to all adults who reported a positive PCR or lateral flow test to the study team up to day 10 after the start of each infection. We confirmed which variant caused the infection by PCR and sequencing. All participants completed linked symptom diaries. We compared symptoms and changes in the amount of virus detected in the nose and throat during infection between study participants reporting COVID-19 caused by VOCs Delta and Omicron BA.1 and BA.2. We then analysed how many of our participants would meet current UK/US isolation guidelines. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lung Cancer, Surgical Research / 21.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emanuela Taioli, MD, PhD Director, Institute for Translational Epidemiology Professor, Population Health Science and Policy Professor, Thoracic Surgery Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: NYC experienced a halt on all elective care from March 22 to June 8, 2020, provoking reduced cancer screening rates, and delayed cancer care and treatment. We wanted to quantify the effect of the “pause” on cancer stage at diagnosis using lung cancer as an example of a condition where early diagnosis can dramatically modify survival. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Vaccine Studies / 15.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hiam Souheil Chemaitelly Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Research in Population Health Sciences Population Health Sciences Weill Cornell Medical College   MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?    Response: The Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants resulted in a large wave of infections. The level of protection provided by prior infection or vaccination with Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines or a combination of both against infection with Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants was unknown. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, NYU / 08.06.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Katherine Garcia MD NYU Langone Health MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Studies on cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic have shown a decrease in new diagnoses, delays in care, and a shift to later stage disease presentations. Considering that NY has been an epicenter for COVID-19 in the U.S., we investigated its impact on new cancer diagnoses at the two campuses of NYU’s Perlmutter Cancer Center and hypothesized that there would be a decrease in presentations during the peak outbreaks in NY. (more…)
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…)