Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, CT Scanning, Global Health, Medical Imaging / 13.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Soheil Kooraki MSR MS, MD on behalf of Dr. Ali Gholamrezanezhad MD and co-authors Department of Radiological Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles Los Angeles, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: COVID19 is a novel strain of the coronavirus family causing pneumonia. Two similar strains were discovered in 2003 and 2012 to cause the so-called SARS and MERS outbreaks, respectively. Radiologists need to be prepared for the escalating incidence of COVID-19. We reviewed the literature to extract the epidemiologic and imaging features of SARS and MERS in comparison with known imaging features of COVID-19 pneumonia to have a better understanding of the imaging features of the COVID19 pneumonia in acute and post-recovery stages. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections / 30.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bin Cao, MD, PhD Professor, China-Japan Friendship Hospital Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Beijing 100029, China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In December, 2019, recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of the first 41 patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by Jan 2, 2020. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Global Health / 20.01.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Andrea On Yan LUK (陸安欣) Associate Professor, Department of Medicine & Therapeutics Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Specialist in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Honorary Associate Consultant, Hospital Authority MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The overall mortality in people with diabetes has declined in many developed countries but little is known about the mortality trend in Asia. In this study, we examined the trend in mortality rates using a territory-wide database of 770,000 people with diabetes in Hong Kong. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, HIV / 14.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rosalie Hayes Senior Policy & Campaigns Officer NAT (National AIDS Trust) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The international community has committed to the Sustainable Development Goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 (SDG 3.3). Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV infection involves the use of antiretroviral drugs by people at high risk of acquiring HIV, and its efficacy of PrEP is well-documented. To help achieve SDG 3.3, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has recommended as one of its global targets that 3 million people access PrEP by 2020. For this paper, we examined European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and UNAIDS monitoring data from Europe and Central Asia (the 53 countries of the WHO European Region plus Kosovo* and Liechtenstein) to identify what progress has been made in implementing PrEP in these countries. We also used data on self-reported PrEP use and expressed need for PrEP among men who have sex with men (MSM) from the European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS-2017) to calculate an estimate of the level of unmet need for PrEP in each country, what we term the ‘PrEP gap’. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Mental Health Research, Pain Research, Psychological Science / 07.09.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dimitris Xygalatas, PhD Assistant Professor, Anthropology (Affiliate) Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) UCONN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Ever since I was a graduate student, I have been intrigued by the performance of ritual practices that involve pain, bodily harm, and other forms of suffering. These rituals carry obvious risks, including health risks, but despite these risks they are performed voluntarily by millions of people around the world. And even more intriguing is the fact that in various contexts such rituals are often culturally prescribed remedies for a variety of maladies. When I was doing my doctoral fieldwork, I studied the fire-walking rituals of the Anastenaria in Northern Greece, and I heard several people describing their experience of participation as one that involved both suffering and healing. And of course I am not the first anthropologist to document this link. But these observations seemed puzzling to me. Some years later, I met one of the co-authors of this paper, Sammyh Khan, who was asking very similar questions. We got a grant to design this study, and put together a team of researchers that spent two months in the field collecting data for this project. We studied the Hindu kavadi ritual, which involves piercing the body with numerous needles, hooks, and skewers, and various other forms of suffering. Our study took place in the island of Mauritius, where I have been conducting research over the last decade, but this ceremony is performed by millions of Hindus around the world. We used portable health monitors as well as interviews and survey instruments to document the effects of this ritual of psycho-physiological health and wellbeing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Health Care Systems / 29.08.2019

healthcare health care
At least one half of the world’s 7.7 billion population do not have proper access to crucial health services. Even high-income countries with accessible and affordable healthcare are finding it difficult to meet the needs of their citizens. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, millions of people spend a significant part of their household budget to be able to access health services -- some are even pushed into poverty as a consequence. Given these facts and statistics, a comprehensive understanding of health insurance can be crucial in encouraging people to seek healthcare services as well as avoid complications from preventable conditions. If you want to know more about the status of healthcare all over the world, here’s a look at the healthcare systems of three top nations. The State of Healthcare In The United States The United States is considered the most powerful country in the world; however, its healthcare system still lags behind other high-income countries. Currently, there is no universal healthcare for U.S. citizens. There are federal-funded programs such as Medicaid that provides health insurance to low-income populations, the elderly and people with disabilities. The Affordable Care Act, which aimed to provide health insurance to all, was enacted in 2010 under the Obama administration. However, this is being challenged by the Trump administration’s American Health Care Act of 2017, which also seeks major reforms to healthcare in the United States. Currently, U.S. citizens who are employed full-time receive private insurance through their employers. While some self-employed individuals and part-time employees opt for private health insurance, many of them have to pay for health services out-of-pocket. In many cases, these expenses are beyond their means. As it stands, healthcare has become one of the hottest issues in the lead-up to the country’s upcoming 2020 elections. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Heart Disease, Mental Health Research / 21.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lasse Brandt, M.D. and Jonathan Henssler, M.D. Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Migration has increased globally and the effect of migration on health is highly relevant for clinicians, particularly in mental health. There is no increase in the risk for nonaffective psychosis in the home countries of migrants, so environmental factors could be of key importance. Refugees are often subjected to inhuman conditions. While migration has repeatedly been identified and confirmed as a risk factor for psychosis, the impact of refugee experience on this risk of psychosis was unclear. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health / 02.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leah Zallman, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Physician at Cambridge Health Alliance. Director of Research Institute for Community Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In October 2018, the U.S Department of Homeland Security published a proposed change to a longstanding immigration rule. The proposed change would increase the chance of an immigrant being deemed a “public charge”, and increase the chance of being denied legal permanent residency or entry to the United States. Up to now, enrollment in public food, housing and health insurance programs were not counted against immigrants applying for “green cards"; the proposed rule change drastically changes the intent of the rule and newly includes food, housing and health insurance programs as benefits that can be considered counted against immigrants. These proposed changes are expected to cause many immigrant parents to disenroll their families from safety-net programs, largely because of fear and confusion about the rule - even among families to whom the rule does not technically apply. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections, NEJM / 08.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Birgit Nikolay PhD MATHEMATICAL MODELLING OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES Institut Pasteur MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Nipah virus was identified by the World Health Organization as an emerging infectious disease that may cause major epidemics if the pathogen evolves to become more transmissible, leading the organization to prioritize it for research to prevent future health emergencies. In the absence of efficient treatments or vaccines, the only way to control Nipah virus outbreaks is through targeted interventions that limit opportunities of spread. Designing such interventions is challenging in a context where transmission mechanisms remain poorly understood. The study provides important insights to better understand these mechanisms. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, JAMA / 29.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Barbara Mintzes PhD Associate Professor The University of Sydney Charles Perkins Centre and School of Pharmacy Faculty of Medicine and Health The University of Sydney MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When medicines are approved for marketing, the information available on rare serious harmful effects, longer-term effects, and outcomes in vulnerable populations is often limited. New serious safety concerns often arise when a medicine is already on the market. In many cases these can be managed for example through dose reductions or avoiding prescribing to at-risk patients. Drug regulatory agencies such as the US FDA often issue safety warnings to let health professionals and the public know about new evidence of potential harm and often to provide advice on how to avoid this. We were interested to know how consistent these warnings are between different countries. This is a research project funded by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. We examined warnings for medicines in Australia, Canada the US and the UK over a 10-year period, from 2007 to 2016 inclusive. We were looking at how often regulators issue the same warning if the drug is approved for marketing at the time. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Lancet, Pediatrics / 12.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ploy Pattanun Achakulwisut, PhD Postdoctoral Scientist in Climate change, Air pollution, and Public Health Milken Institute School of Public Health (Anenberg Group The George Washington University, D.C MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dozens of epidemiological studies have found positive and generally statistically significant associations between long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) and asthma development in children. The evidence is most robust for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a major component of and commonly used surrogate for the complex TRAP mixture. Recent reviews conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada concluded that there is “likely a causal relationship” between long-term NO2 exposure and pediatric asthma development. Using NO2 as a proxy for TRAP, our study provides the first global estimate of the number of new asthma cases among children that are attributable to traffic pollution, using fine spatial-scale global datasets that can resolve within-city and near-roadway NO2 exposures. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Ebola, Global Health, Lancet / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Patrick Vinck, PhD Research Director, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative Assistant Professor, Global Health and Population T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health; Emergency Medicine Harvard Medical School Lead Investigator, Brigham & Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The second worst epidemic of Ebola on record is currently unfolding in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Whether or not safe practices are implemented to prevent the spread of the epidemic is influenced by the behavior of individuals at-risk of contracting the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) - Will they follow the recommendations of health professionals? Will they report suspected cases and deaths? Will they seek treatment from health professionals? Will they accept vaccines and adopt preventive behaviors? We find that belief in misinformation about Ebola is widespread and trust in authorities is generally low, likely as a result of decades of violence and poor governance and, more recently, the politicization of the Ebola response. Our analysis shows that trust and (mis-)information influence adherence to risk avoidance behavior and acceptance of vaccination. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Global Health, Melanoma / 08.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Catherine M. Olsen Associate Professor Cancer Control Group QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Melanoma incidence and mortality rates are increasing globally. Public health campaigns aiming to reduce sun exposure and use of sunbed have been implemented in many parts of the world, but there is significant variability in terms of the history and reach of these campaigns across countries. We examined melanoma incidence rates in eight different countries with different patterns of sun exposure and varying approaches to melanoma control. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Health Care Systems, Lancet, Pediatrics / 29.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "By @plumavioleta "Atardecer en #caracas... #avebolivar # ccs #venezuela." via @PhotoRepost_app" by Pedro Fanega is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 Ms Jenny García, PhD candidate Institut National d’Études Démographiques INED Institut de Démographie de l'université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne IDUP Paris, France Prof Gerardo Correa, MSc Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales IIES Universidad Católica Andrés Bello UCAB Caracas, Venezuela Prof Brenda Rousset, PhD Departamento de Estadística, Escuela de Sociología (FaCES) Universidad Central de Venezuela UCV Caracas, Venezuela MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Venezuela, as many countries in Latin America, showed substantial improvements in infant mortality rates during the last 60 years. However, the decreasing pattern might be reversing. Recent socioeconomic and political events have led to a collapse in living standards, along with a breakdown of the health system. At the same time, a strict secrecy policy has ruled public institutions, and since 2013 the Venezuelan government stopped publishing mortality statistics. This study attempts to fill this gap and estimate infant mortality using hospital and census data after 2013. The main finding is that infant mortality rates in Venezuela may have stopped decreasing and started increasing in 2009 – around the time funding for the Venezuelan health system started to be substantially reduced. By 2016, the infant mortality rate was 21.1 deaths per 1000 live births, which is 1.4 times the rate in 2008 (15.0 deaths per 1000 live births), and equivalent to the rate recorded in the late 1990s, meaning 18 years of progress may have been lost. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Global Health, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 11.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kevin Chatham-Stephens, MD, MPH, FAAP CDR U.S. Public Health Service MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Typhoid fever is a life-threatening disease caused by Salmonella Typhi bacteria. It spreads when someone consumes food or water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from someone carrying the bacteria. About 12–27 million cases of typhoid fever occur worldwide every year. About 350 culture-confirmed cases of typhoid fever in the United States are reported to CDC each year. Most of these cases occur among international travelers. Symptoms of typhoid fever often include high fever, weakness, stomach pain, cough, and loss of appetite. Some people have diarrhea or constipation. Typhoid fever can be prevented through vaccination and safe food and water practices. Typhoid fever is treated with antibiotics, although most infections diagnosed in the United States cannot be successfully treated with the class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Global Health, Infections, PLoS / 28.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Marks MRCP DTM&H PhD Clinical Research Department, Faculty of Infectious & Tropical Diseases London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Hospital for Tropical Diseases London, United Kingdom Twitter @dr_michaelmarks Daniel Engelman MBBS; BMedSci; MPHTM; FRACP; PhD Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne, Tropical Diseases Research Group Murdoch Children’s Research Institute Melbourne, Australia Twitter @Dan_Engelman                   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? MM: Scabies is extremely common. Globally in the region of 100-200 million people are believed to be affected by scabies annually. Recently the WHO has recognised Scabies as a ‘Neglected Tropical Disease’ in response to this burden of disease. There has been increasing interest in using Mass Drug Administration (treating whole communities) as a strategy to control scabies in communities. In order to make this practical countries need an easy mechanism for establishing if scabies is a significant problem in their communities. In general when treating an individual, clinicians would conduct a full body examination to diagnose scabies – however this may not be practical or necessary when making decisions about whether to treat whole communities. DE: Despite the fact that Scabies is a very common condition that causes a great deal of health problems, it has been largely neglected by health, research and funding agencies – but pleasingly, the WHO has now started to take action on scabies control, starting with the recognition of scabies as a "Neglected Tropical Disease" (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Heart Disease, JAMA, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 17.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marcelo G. Cardarelli, MD Inova Children’s Hospita Fairfax, Falls Church, Virginia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Global Humanitarian Medical efforts consume a large amount of resources (nearly $38B in 2016) and donors (Countries, International organizations, WHO, Individuals) make the decisions as to where their funds should be allocated based on cost-effectiveness studies. Most resources go to prevent/treat infectious diseases, sanitation efforts and maternal/child care issues. An insignificant amount of resources is directed to satisfy the surgical needs of the populations in low and middle income countries (LMICs). The idea behind our project was to find out if it was cost-effective to perform a tertiary surgical specialty (pediatric cardiac surgery) in this context and the answer (at $171 per DALY averted) was an overwhelming yes! But most importantly, we believe, as many others do, that judging the cost/effectiveness of an intervention in order to decide resources allocation is valid for diseases that can be prevented, but not relevant when it comes to surgical problems that are not preventable. Instead, we propose the use of another measure of effectiveness, what we call "The Humanitarian Footprint". The Humanitarian Footprint represents the long term benefits, as measured by changes in the life expectancy, extra years of schooling and potential lifetime earnings of patients treated surgically during humanitarian interventions. To our surprise and based on the results, the effects on society of at least this particular surgical intervention were greater than we expected. We suspect this measure can be used in many other surgical humanitarian interventions as well. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Global Health, Pediatrics / 07.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala Professor of Biostatistics Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering Northumbria University, UK Professor Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala Professor of Biostatistics Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering Northumbria University, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background “UNICEF (2014) estimates that worldwide more than two hundred million women have undergone some form of FGM/C, and approximately 3.3 million girls are cut each year. Recent estimates show that if FGM/C practices continue at current, 68 million girls will be cut between 2015 and 2030 in 25 countries where FGM is routinely practiced and more recent data are available (UNJP, 2018).” Main findings: The prevalence of FGM/C among children varied greatly between countries and regions and also within countries over the survey periods. We found evidence of significant decline in the prevalence of FGM/C in the last three decades among children aged 0–14 years in most of the countries and regions, particularly in East, North and West Africa. We show that the picture looks different in Western Asia, where the practice remains and affects the same age group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Hospital Acquired, Infections, Lancet / 07.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Antibiotics" by Michael Mortensen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 Dr Alessandro Cassini MD Epidemiologist, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Solna, Sweden MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We published an ECDC study estimating attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years caused by infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the European Union and the European Economic Area (EU/EEA). This study is based on 2015 data from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net). The study was developed by experts at ECDC and the Burden of AMR Collaborative Group, and published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, Geriatrics, Global Health / 05.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Drapeau au Parlement du Canada" by abdallahh is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Dr. Justin Lang, PhD Research Analyst, Public Health Agency of Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study is based on the Global Burden of Disease Study, which is led by the Institute of Health Metrics at the University of Washington. In this study, we present estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study to describe the major causes of health loss among Canadians, and how these have changed from 1990 to 2016. In 2016, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, and mental and substance use disorders, combined, resulted in over half of the total health loss among Canadians as measured by disability adjusted life years. Disability-adjusted life years is a measure that combines both mortality, through years of life lost, and morbidity, through years lived with disability, into a single measure that allows us to compare health loss from different causes using the same metric. The all-cause age-standardized years of life lost rate declined 12% between 2006 and 2016, while the all-cause age-standardized years lived with disability rate remained stable (+1%) and the all-cause age-standardized disability-adjusted life year rate declined by 5%. Finally, between 1990 and 2016, there has been a shift in what contributes to health loss in Canada from premature mortality to disability. In 1990, 45% of total all-cause disability-adjusted life years were due to years lived with disability. By 2016, this proportion grew to 52%. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Global Health, Infections, Vaccine Studies / 13.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Veronica Toffolutti PhD Research Fellow in Health Economics Bocconi University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Austerity has been linked to several health damaging effects such as suicides, increase in unmet needs, disease outbreaks that affect vulnerable peoples such as malaria in Greece, HIV in Greece and Romania during the current economic crises or in the earlier economic crisis cuts in public health expenditure have been linked with diphtheria and TB. Europe is experiencing declining vaccination rates and resurgences in measles incidence rates. Italy appears to be particularly affected reporting the second largest number, second to Romania, of infection in Europe in 2017. Starting from the point that the primary reason for the outbreak in the decline in the measles vaccination we test the hypothesis that large budget reductions in public health spending were also a contributing factor. Using data on 20 Italian regions for the period 2000-2014 we found that each 1% reduction in the real per capita public health expenditure was associated with a decrease of 0.5 percentage points (95% CI: 0.36-0.65 percentage points) in MMR coverage, after adjusting for time and regional-specific time-trends. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, HIV / 25.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Donna Spiegelman ScD Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Biostatistics Director, Center for Methods in Implementation and Prevention Science (CMIPS)­­­­­­, Yale School of Public Health Professor, Department of Statistics and Data Science, Yale University Director, Interdisciplinary Methods Core, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: HIV infections can be transmitted from mothers to their infants during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Without access to a package of health services that includes antiretroviral medicines and counseling on best breastfeeding practices, it is estimated that 25% of children born to HIV-positive mothers become infected with HIV.In low-resource settings, 50% of these children die before their second birthday. A 32% increase in under-five mortality between 1988 and 2003 prompted the Kenyan government to establish Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programs in over 10,000 health facilities. This achievement was supported by U.S.President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the which contributed over $248 million to PMTCT programs in Kenya between 2004 and 2014. Although this investments in PMTCT coincided with a remarkable halving of Kenya’s under-five mortality rate, it is unknown whether this improvement can be causally attributed to PEPFAR funding for PMTCT. During the 2000s, child mortality decreased across most of sub-Saharan African countries. These regional trends, rather than PEPFAR funding, may explain all or part of Kenya’s reduction in over 10,000 in child mortality. To help identify whether PEPFAR’s investments in PMTCT made a causal contribution to this reduction in child mortality, we used statistical methods to assess whether the amount or “dose” of PEPFAR funding provided to different provinces in Kenya was associated with increased HIV testing among pregnant women, which is a critical first step in identifying which women need PMTCT, and reduced infant mortality in Kenya. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, JAMA, Leukemia / 21.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andrew J. Cowan, MD Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Division of Medical Oncology University of Washington, Seattle MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell neoplasm with substantial morbidity and mortality. A comprehensive description of the global burden of multiple myeloma is needed to help direct health policy, resource allocation, research, and patient care. Myeloma cases and deaths increased from 1990 to 2016, with middle-income countries contributing the most to this increase. Treatment availability is very limited in countries with low socioeconomic development. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, JAMA, Pulmonary Disease, Technology / 15.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Hawkes MD PhD Adjunct Professor Assistant Professor Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine School of Public Health University of Alberta MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • Pneumonia is the leading cause of mortality in children globally.
  • Oxygen is an essential therapy for children with hypoxemic pneumonia, but is not available in many resource-limited and rural areas.
  • Our innovation, solar powered oxygen delivery, harnesses freely available sun and air to delivery oxygen to patients independent of grid electricity.
  • We performed a randomized controlled trial of solar powered oxygen delivery, compared to standard oxygen delivery using compressed oxygen cylinders in children with hypoxemia hospitalized at two centres in Uganda.
  • Solar powered oxygen was non-inferior to cylinder oxygen with respect to clinical outcomes, and offers advantages in terms of reliability, simplicity, and cost.
(more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Global Health, Pediatrics, Vitamin D, Weight Research / 04.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Javeria Saleem PhD Department of Public Health, Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary University of London London, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Severe acute malnutrition is the most extreme and visible form of undernutrition. Affected children have very low weight for their height and severe muscle wasting; they may also have swollen feet, face and limbs. Around 20 million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition worldwide of whom an estimated 1.4 million live in Pakistan. The condition is a major cause of death in children under 5 in Asia and Africa. The standard treatment is to give a high-energy, micronutrient enhanced paste called ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). Vitamin D deficiency has been reported to be a risk factor for severe wasting in children with severe acute malnutrition Ready-to-use therapeutic food contains relatively modest amounts of vitamin D. However, the effects of adding high-dose vitamin D to this standard treatment have not previously been evaluated. We therefore did a clinical trial to assess whether high-dose vitamin D hastened recovery in 185 children aged 6-58 months who were receiving standard treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Southern Punjab, Pakistan. The 93 children in the active arm of the study received two doses of 5 mg vitamin D by mouth, while the 92 children in the control arm received placebo (a dummy medicine containing no vitamin D). Our findings were very striking: after 2 months of treatment, the children who received high-dose vitamin D in addition to standard therapy had significantly better weight gain, and significantly better motor and language development, than those who received standard treatment alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections, Pediatrics / 10.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Georgies Mgode PhD Sokoine University of Agriculture Pest Management Centre African Centre of Excellence for Innovative Rodent Pest Management and Biosensor Technology Development Morogoro, Tanzania MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The background of this study is the APOPO and Sokoine University of Agriculture together with NIMR and NTLP interest to explore a cheap, reliable and sustainable means of addressing TB problem in high-burden countries with limited access to advanced sensitive tests. This refers to countries where to-date TB diagnosis is mainly by microscopy that is less sensitive leaving majority of patients undetected. We were driven to explore how these rats can contribute to diagnosis of TB in children that is known to be difficult and rats are known to have a better and advanced sense of smell. According to WHO " an estimated 1 million children became ill with TB and 250 000 children died of TB in 2016 and the actual burden of TB in children is likely higher given the challenge in diagnosing childhood TB. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Weight Research / 27.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Pepita Barlow, MSc, Department of Sociology University of Oxford, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, United Kingdom

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The escalating global prevalence of overweight and obesity, or “globesity,” is often described as a pandemic. Globalization via free trade agreements (FTAs) with the US has been implicated in this pandemic because of its role in spreading high-calorie diets rich in salt, sugar, and fat through the reduction of trade barriers like tariffs in the food and beverage sector.

We used a “natural experiment” design (that mimics a randomized controlled trial as closely as possible) and data from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Office to evaluate the impact of the 1989 Canada-US Free Trade Agreement on caloric availability in Canada (CUSFTA).

We found that CUSFTA was associated with an increase in caloric availability and likely intake of approximately 170 kilocalories per person per day in Canada. Additional models showed that this rise in caloric intake can contribute to weight gain of between 1.8-9.3 kg for men and 2.0-12.2 kg for women aged 40, depending on their physical activity levels and the extent to which availability affects caloric intake. (more…)

Author Interviews, Global Health, JAMA, Pediatrics / 26.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, PhD Dr. Braithwaite is founding director of the Australian Institute of Health Innovation at Macquarie University and Chief Investigator of the just-published CareTrack Kids Study the largest study of the quality of care to children ever undertaken. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While seeking to improve health outcomes for patients, there has been substantial investment in developing clinical practice guidelines, to support the delivery of evidence-based healthcare. Prior to the CareTrack Kids study, little was known about the level of adherence to clinical practice guidelines for the care of Australian children. Our study examined care provided to children under 16 years of age treated for 17 important clinical conditions, such as asthma or fever, to assess adherence to these guidelines. We surveyed over 6500 medical records in four clinical settings (general practices; paediatricians offices; hospital emergency departments; and hospital inpatient wards) in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland, and assessed visits during 2012 and 2013. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Global Health, Lancet / 18.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gilaad Kaplan, MD, MPH, FRCPC Associate Professor CIHR New Investigator & AI-HS Population Health Investigator Co-Director, Environmental Health Research Group Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases & Institute of Public Health Departments of Medicine & Community Health Sciences University of Calgary MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The aim of the study was to provide a global perspective on the epidemiology of the inflammatory bowel diseases in the 21st century. During the 20th century IBD was considered a disease of the Western world. At the turn of the 21st century, IBD has become a global disease with accelerating number of cases in the developing world as it transition towards a westernized society. (more…)
Author Interviews, Global Health, Infections, Pediatrics / 19.06.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aleksandra Jakubowski, MPH PhD candidate Department of Health Policy and Management Gillings School of Global Public Health University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) provides approximately $600 million annually to fund implementation of key evidence-based malaria prevention and treatment interventions, including insecticide treated nets (ITNs), artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), and indoor residual spraying (IRS) to populations in 19 recipient countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Despite this considerable investment, no study to date has evaluated the impact of PMI on population health outcomes. Previous evaluations have noted improved health outcomes in PMI countries, but comparison groups are needed to establish whether these changes were beyond the declining trends in mortality observed in the rest of the region. Our study sought to generate objective evidence for policy makers about the role this US-funded malaria aid program may have played in curbing child mortality in SSA. We used a quasi-experimental design known as difference-in-differences to compare trends in health outcomes in PMI-recipient vs. PMI non-recipient countries. We analyzed publicly-available data from 32 countries in SSA spanning a period that included about ten years before and after the introduction of the program. (more…)