Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections / 02.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chanu Rhee, MD, MPH Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Institute Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sepsis is a leading cause of death, disability, and healthcare costs.  This has triggered regulators and hospitals to invest heavily in improving sepsis recognition and care.  Most notably, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented the Severe Sepsis/Septic Shock Early Management Bundle (SEP-1) by the in October 2015.  SEP-1 requires hospitals to report compliance with a 3 and 6 hour sepsis care bundle, which includes initial and repeat lactate measurements, blood culture orders, broad-spectrum antibiotic, specific quantities of fluid boluses for hypotension, vasopressors for persistent hypotension, and documentation of a repeat volume and perfusion assessment for patients with septic shock. While SEP-1 has helped raise awareness of sepsis and catalyzed sepsis quality improvement initiatives around the country, concerns have been raised about its potential unintended consequences -- particularly around increasing unnecessary broad spectrum antibiotic use -- and the strength of evidence supporting the measure.  In this study, we used detailed clinical data from a diverse cohort of hospitals to assess whether SEP-1 implementation was associated with changes in key processes of care and mortality in patients with suspected sepsis.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 28.08.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emily Oken MD MPH Professor, Harvard Medical School Professor in the Department of Population Medicine Associate Director and Advisor, Oliver Wendell Holmes Society. Professor, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In this study of over 11,000 mothers and children, we found that a mothers with higher weight in late pregnancy had children with poorer performance on tests of cognition and behavior in childhood and adolescence. The findings are consistent with results from studies in other populations around the world, as well as animal experiments.  This research suggests that maternal nutrition is important for child health over the long-term, and specifically provides support for mothers to try to achieve healthy weight and nutritional status during pregnancy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA / 14.08.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maryam M. Asgari, MD MPH Professor Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors used for?  Response: Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) are FDA approved for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (though they are used off-label to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions of the skin, including psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis).  There are currently two drugs available – tacrolimus and pimecrolimus – both of which carry a black box label warning users about the potential for increased skin cancer risk.  The risk associated with keratinocyte carcinoma, the most common cancer (defined as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), remains poorly defined because findings from large-scale post-marketing surveillance studies are lacking.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Nutrition, Social Issues / 09.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alon Peltz, MD MBA MHS  Department of Population Medicine Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Thank you for taking an interest in our study. This study represented a collaboration between investigators from Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine. SNAP is an important U.S. federal aid program that serves nearly 40 million persons annually with well-established health, nutrition, and financial benefits. Families can be eligible for the SNAP program under “federal” rules or “categorical eligibility” rules that extend SNAP support to otherwise ineligible families who receive benefits under certain social assistance programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. In July 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed new SNAP policies that would limit qualifications via the categorical eligibility route. Although these new policies have not been finalized, it is estimated that 1 in 10 U.S. families currently participating in SNAP may lose their benefits. We wanted to investigate the potential ramifications of these changes to help inform policymakers of the vulnerabilities of the families who receive SNAP benefits and may be at risk for disenrollment if the proposed policies are implemented. (more…)