Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 05.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50551" align="alignleft" width="200"]Muhammad Ali Chaudhary, MD Research Scientist | Center for Surgery and Public Health Department of Surgery | Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School | Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Dr. Chaudhary[/caption] Muhammad Ali Chaudhary, MD Research Scientist Center for Surgery and Public Health Department of Surgery Brigham and Women’s Hospital Harvard Medical School Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many studies have documented disparities in cardiovascular care for minorities, specifically African Americans compared to white patients. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a common procedure in the United States, and the outcomes and post-surgical care for African Americans tend to be worse. We examined whether patients insured through TRICARE — a universal insurance and equal-access integrated healthcare system that covers more than 9 million active-duty members, veterans and their families — experienced these disparities. We found no racial disparities in quality-of-care outcomes, providing insights about the potential impacts of universal insurance and an equal-access health care system. The study included 8,183 TRICARE patients, aged 18-64, who had undergone CABG. The study took its data from TRICARE health care claims from the Military Health System Data Repository for the years of 2006 to 2014.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Nutrition, Weight Research / 22.07.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_50363" align="alignleft" width="128"]Frank Qian, MPH Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts Frank Qian[/caption] Frank Qian, MPH Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Plant-based diets have really grown in popularity in the last several years, particularly among the younger generation in the United States, many of whom are adopting a plant-based or vegetarian/vegan diet. However, the quality of such a diet can vary drastically. While many prior studies have demonstrated beneficial associations for risk of type 2 diabetes with healthful plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, whole grains, and legumes, the opposite is true for less healthful plant-based foods such as potatoes and refined grains such as white rice. In addition, some animal-based foods, such as dairy and fish, have shown protective associations against the development of type 2 diabetes, so strict vegetarian diets which exclude these foods may miss out on the potential benefits. Given these divergent findings, we sought to pool all the available data from prior cohort studies to analyze whether the overall association of a diet which emphasizes plant-based foods (both healthful and unhealthful) are related to risk of type 2 diabetes.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Prostate Cancer, Weight Research / 10.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49690" align="alignleft" width="200"]Barbra Dickerman, PhD Research Fellow Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA Dr. Dickerman[/caption] Barbra Dickerman, PhD Research Fellow Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is associated with a higher risk of advanced prostate cancer and poorer prognosis after diagnosis. However, emerging evidence suggests that the specific distribution of body fat may be an important prognostic factor for prostate cancer outcomes. In this original investigation, we analyzed body fat distribution on computed tomography imaging and the risk of being diagnosed with, and dying from, prostate cancer. This study was conducted among 1,832 Icelandic men with over a decade of follow-up in the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Exercise - Fitness, JAMA / 02.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49426" align="alignleft" width="133"]I-Min Lee, MD, ScDProfessor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolProfessor of EpidemiologyHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Prof. I-Min Lee[/caption] I-Min Lee, MD, ScD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Professor of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While we have many studies showing that physical activity is beneficial for health, there are few data on steps and health, particularly long-term health outcomes.  An expert committee – the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, which reviewed the scientific evidence to support the recently released Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition – noted this (i.e., the relation between steps and health outcomes) to be a critical gap in knowledge, since many individuals are using wearables and monitoring their step counts. We often hear the number 10,000 steps cited as a daily goal, but the basis for this number is unclear. It likely originated as a marketing tool: in 1965, the Yamasa Clock and Instrument Company, Japan sold a pedometer called “Manpo-kei” – “ten thousand steps meter” in Japanese. For many older people, 10,000 steps/day can be a very daunting goal; thus, we wanted to investigate whether this was necessary for lower mortality rates in older women.  Additionally, steps taken can be fast or slow, and there are no published studies on step intensity and long-term health outcomes.  Note that walking pace and step intensity are not the same concept: walking pace gauges intensity when walking purposefully (e.g., for exercise or transportation), while step intensity assesses an overall best natural effort in our daily life.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Heart Disease, Red Meat / 22.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48738" align="alignleft" width="158"]Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD Research Scientist, Dept of Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Instructor of Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02115 Dr. Guasch-Ferré[/caption] Marta Guasch-Ferre, PhD Research Scientist, Dept of Nutrition Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Instructor of Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicin Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, 02115   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Previous findings from randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of red meat on cardiovascular disease risk factors have been inconsistent. But our new study, which makes specific comparisons between diets high in red meat versus diets high in other types of foods, shows that substituting red meat with high-quality protein sources lead to more favorable changes in cardiovascular risk factors. That is, to properly understand the health effects of red meat, it’s important to pay attention to the comparison diet. People do not simply eat more or less meat – it will almost always be in substitution with other foods. 
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Ebola, Global Health, Lancet / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48164" align="alignleft" width="142"]Patrick Vinck, PhDResearch Director, Harvard Humanitarian InitiativeAssistant Professor, Global Health and Population T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health; Emergency MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolLead Investigator, Brigham & Women's Hospital  Dr. Vinck[/caption] 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.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, End of Life Care, JAMA / 21.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joanna Paladino, MD Director of Implementation, Serious Illness Care Program | Ariadne Labs Brigham and Women's Hospital | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Palliative Care | Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Instructor | Harvard Medical School and Dr. Rachelle Bernacki MD MS Director of Quality Initiatives Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care Senior Physician, Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Dr. Paladino's responses: MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Paladino: People living with serious illness face many difficult decisions over the course of their medical care. These decisions, and the care patients receive, should be guided by what matters most to patients, including their personal values, priorities, and wishes. These conversations don’t often happen in clinical practice or do so very late in the course of illness, leaving patients exposed to getting care they don’t want. Doctors and nurses want to have these important discussions, but there are real challenges, including insufficient training and uncertainties about when and how to start the conversation. We designed an intervention with clinical tools, clinician training, and systems-changes to address these challenges. When tested in a randomized clinical trial in oncology, we found that the intervention led to more, earlier, and better conversations between oncology clinicians and their patients with life-limiting cancer. These findings demonstrate that it is possible to ensure reliable, timely, and patient-centered serious illness conversations in an outpatient oncology practice.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Social Issues / 05.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46399" align="alignleft" width="143"]Professor Tyler VanderWeele Ph.D John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology Harvard University Prof. VanderWeele[/caption] Professor Tyler VanderWeele Ph.D John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology Harvard University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the key points of the paper?   Response: Several prior studies have suggested that religious service attendance is associated with lower rates of divorce. However, many of these studies have been with small samples and have not had rigorous study designs. In addition, most studies have focused on women earlier in life and there has been little research on the effects of religious service attendance on divorce later in life. While divorce rates in the United States in general has been falling, it has in fact been increasing for middle-aged groups, doubling between 1990 and 2010. In our study we found that among women in mid- to late- life, regular religious service attendance was subsequently associated with 50% lower divorce rates over the following 14 years of the study. We also found that among those who were widowed, religious service attendance was associated with a 49% increase in the likelihood of remarrying over the 14 years of the study.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Occupational Health / 24.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Night Shift" by Yuchung Chao is licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0Dr. Zhilei Shah PhD Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Hubei Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety Ministry of Education Key Lab of Environment and Health, School of Public Health Tongji Medical College, Huazhon University of Science and Technology Wuhan,  China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Shift work has progressed in response to changes in economic pressure and greater consumer demand for 24-hour services. There are many economic advantages to increased shift work, including higher employment, increased services to customers, and improved trade opportunities. Currently, one in five employees in the U.S. works nonstandard hours in the evening, night, or rotating shifts. However, shift work, especially night shift work, has been associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer. Compelling evidence has shown that body weight and lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking, diet, and physical activity can influence type 2 diabetes risk. Among shift workers, excess adiposity and increased smoking are frequently and consistently reported, whereas the evidence on physical activity and diet is mixed. Additionally, no previous study has examined the joint associations of rotating night shift work duration and unhealthy lifestyle factors with risk of type 2 diabetes, or evaluated their potential interactions. Therefore, we prospectively assessed the joint association of rotating night shift work and established type 2 diabetes lifestyle risk factors with risk of type 2 diabetes and quantitatively decomposed the proportions of the joint association to rotating night shift work alone, to lifestyle alone and to their interaction in two large US cohorts.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Red Meat / 05.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "bacon&eggs" by ilaria is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Maryam Farvid, Ph.D., Research Scientist   Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Prior prospective studies on red and processed meat consumption with risk of breast cancer have produced inconsistent results. Current meta-analysis of 15 prospective studies shows that women who eat a high amount of processed meat each day may have a higher risk of breast cancer than those who don't eat or have a low intake in their diet.