Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 16.05.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wei Bao, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242 and Dr. Yangbo Sun, PhD (Former postdoc research scholar at University of Iowa) Tenure-track Assistant Professor The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is a rising epidemic in the United States and worldwide. Bariatric surgery has been shown to be the most effective and durable treatment for clinically morbid obesity which is difficult to reverse through traditional approaches such as lifestyle intervention. There has been long-standing uncertainty and debate regarding the value of pre-operative weight loss as a requirement for bariatric surgery. Meanwhile, one of the major indicators for surgery outcomes is 30-day mortality after surgery, which is especially important for bariatric surgery because the vast majority of the patients undergoing bariatric surgery are voluntary and if the surgery were not performed, they are not supposed to die in short term. So far, the association of pre-operative weight loss with 30-day mortality after bariatric surgery remains unclear. Therefore, in this study, we examined the associations of pre-operative BMI and weight loss with 30-day mortality following bariatric surgery using a large database among ~500,000 patients who underwent bariatric surgery in the United States and Canada. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition / 20.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leighton Ku, PhD, MPH Professor, Dept. of Health Policy and Management Director, Center for Health Policy Research Milken Institute School of Public Health George Washington University Washington, DC 20052 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In this study, we examined how requirements that low-income adults work in order to keep their food assistance benefits (SNAP, formerly called food stamps) affects the number of people receiving benefits. Briefly, we found, based on analyses of data from 2,410 counties from 2013 to 2017, that soon after work requirements are introduced, more than a third of affected participants lose their food assistance. This meant that about 600,000 poor adults lost food assistance very quickly. This is important for two reasons: (1) Work requirements create greater hardship, including food insecurity and increased risk of health problems, when poor people lose their nutrition benefits. (2) The Trump Administration is trying to broaden this policy, expanding it further in SNAP, but also applying work requirements to Medicaid (for health insurance) and public housing benefits. This is a massive effort at social experimentation that will cause tremendous harm. And the sad part is that we already know, from other research, that these work requirement programs do not actually help people get jobs, keep them or to become more self-sufficient. This is because the work requirements do not address the real needs of low-income unemployed people, to learn how to get better job skills or to have supports, such as child care, transportation or health insurance, that let them keep working. (more…)
Author Interviews, HPV, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Syringe and Vaccine” by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Ali Moghtaderi PhD MBA Assistant Research Professor and Avi Dor PhD Professor of Health Policy and Economics Milken Institute School of Public Health George Washington University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In this study, we investigate the effect of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination on participation in Pap test, which is one of the most effective cancer screening interventions. Cervical cancers are causally linked to HPV infections. The Pap test is a diagnostic procedure for early detection of cervical cancer. HPV vaccination provides partial protection against cervical cancer, and the Pap test is strongly recommended for women 21 to 65 years of age even after vaccination. If vaccination leads to a reduction in testing participation, it could contribute to greater incidence and severity of cervical cancer. Note that we focus on relatively older women (age 22 or older) who were not vaccinated at younger ages. (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, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Pharmaceutical Companies / 26.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas J Moore AB Senior Scientist Institute for Safe Medication Practices Lecturer, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics The George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health Alexandria, VA 22314 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
  • The study provides realistic cost estimates of pivotal clinical trials that establish drug benefits to support FDA approval of 59 new drugs released for marketing in 2015-2016.
  • The median estimated cost was just $19 million, with half of the 138 trials studied clustered between $12 million and $33 million.
  • The highest cost trials–with estimates up to $345 million–were for new drugs that were similar to drugs already available and already proven in treating serious illnesses.
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