AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Surgical Research / 30.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stavros G. Drakos, MD, PhD, FACC Professor of Cardiology Univ. of Utah Healthcare & Medical School and the Salt Lake VA Medical Center. Dr. Drakos is Medical Director of the University's Cardiac Mechanical Support/Artificial Heart Program Co-Director Heart Failure & Transplant and Director of Research for the Division of Cardiology MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Heart transplantation and LVADs are first line therapies for advanced chronic heart failure. There were some earlier anecdotal observations and single center small studies from several programs in the US and overseas that left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) significantly reduce the strain on failing hearts and in some cases, using LVADs for limited periods of time has allowed hearts to “rest” and remodel their damaged structures. As a result of these repairs, described as “reverse remodeling,” heart function can improve to the point that the LVAD can be removed. The new study sought to broaden the reach of the research with a multicenter trial involving physicians and scientists at the University of Utah Health, the University of Louisville, University of Pennsylvania, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, OBGYNE, Weight Research / 30.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Suvi Ravi Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences University of Jyväskylä Jyväskylä, Finland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The results of studies comparing the prevalence of menstrual dysfunction in athletes and non-athletes have been inconsistent. Menstrual dysfunction can have many different causes but one of the most common in athletes is low energy availability (i.e., inadequate energy intake relative to energy expenditure). Disordered eating/eating disorder as a result of e.g. body weight dissatisfaction, which is the discrepancy between actual and desired weight, can be a risk factor for inadequate energy intake and thus could play a role in menstrual dysfunction. We studied a cohort of athletes and non-athletes, in adolescence (14-16 years) and subsequently in young adulthood (18-20 years) to determine the prevalence of menstrual dysfunction and body weight dissatisfaction. Menstrual dysfunction in our study was defined as primary amenorrhea, which is the absence of menses by the age of 15, prolonged menstrual cycle (>35 days), or secondary amenorrhea i.e., absence of menses for at least three consecutive months. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Inflammation / 30.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Douglas Maslin, MPhil, MB BCHir Dermatologist and Pharmacologist Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge, UK   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: I’d like to answer this question in three parts: EVELO BIOSCIENCESFirstly, the background to Evelo and the therapeutic EDP1815: Evelo is developing orally administered biologic medicines based on a new understanding of how systemic inflammation is controlled. Evelo’s medicines are selected for their ability to modulate the small intestinal axis, or SINTAX, a network of anatomical and functional connections that has evolved to connect the small intestine with the rest of the body. SINTAX links small intestinal mucosal immunology with systemic inflammation and is now accessible with oral medicines. This inflammatory control pathway may enable a new class of products which are effective, safe, and can be manufactured affordably at large scale. EDP1815 is a non-live pharmaceutical preparation of a strain of the bacterium Prevotella histicola isolated from the duodenum of a human donor. Its pharmacodynamic effect is through interactions with the immune cells within the small intestine and it has no systemic absorption. These local interactions in the small intestine then downregulate systemic inflammation. In fact, the inflammatory control afforded by targeting the small intestinal axis appears to result in the coordinated downregulation of multiple inflammatory pathways without immunosuppression, mimicking the body’s normal physiological processes of inflammation resolution. Secondly, there is the key and exciting background pre-clinical data on EDP1815 – the details of which have been published today at the EADV conference. For example, oral administration of EDP1815 to mice has been shown to lead to striking therapeutic effects in in vivo models of delayed-type hypersensitivity, imiquimod-induced skin inflammation, fluorescein isothiocyanate cutaneous hypersensitivity, collagen-induced arthritis, and experimental acute encephalomyelitis (EAE). The consistency of effect and dose shows that EDP1815 can coordinately resolve systemic inflammation across TH1, TH2 and TH17 pathways. This suggests the potential for clinical benefit across multiple diseases. And, thirdly, there is the clinical unmet need for an oral, safe, effective treatment specifically for mild and moderate psoriasis patients, who have very limited treatment options outside of the poorly tolerated topical therapies, and these patients are reported to be dissatisfied with treatment options and therefore are often under-treated. These three points explain the background to EDP1815 and the reason for progressing forward into the phase 1b in psoriasis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Fertility, Genetic Research, OBGYNE, Technology / 29.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: PGT-A & ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IMPROVES PREGNANCY OUTCOMES FOR PATIENTS UNDERGOING IVF MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Large, PhD Senior Director, Research at CooperGenomics CooperSurgical MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Large: Independent study results, presented at the recent the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Virtual Scientific Congress, demonstrated a 13 percent relative increase in ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates associated with the use of CooperSurgical’s PGTaiSM 2.0 technology to screen embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The single-center study was conducted by NYU Langone Fertility Center (NYULFC), part of The Prelude Network. Preimplantation Genetic Testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) is performed on embryos produced through IVF; it provides genetic information to help identify embryos that are more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. PGTai 2.0 technology is an advancement in PGT-A testing platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to increase objectivity of this screening process. The study compared results from three next generation sequencing (NGS) genetic tests: Standard NGS, NGS with first generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 1.0 Technology Platform) and NGS with second generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 2.0 Technology Platform). The ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates significantly increased by a relative 13 percent in the PGTai 2.0 group as compared to subjective and prior methodologies. Study results also suggest that the increase in ongoing pregnancy and live births may be linked to improvements in several preceding IVF outcomes (implantation rates, clinical pregnancy rates and pregnancy loss.) MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Dr. Large: This research moves us an important step closer to our goal of increased live births, improved pregnancy outcomes and further reduction of multiples in pregnancy through greater confidence in single embryo transfer. An estimated 48.5 million couples – approximately 15% of couples -- are affected by infertility worldwide. 80,000 babies were born with IVF in 2017 in the United States and more than one million babies were born in the period 1987 to 2015 in the United States as a result of IVF. MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research this study? Dr. Large: The goal of PGT-A is to decrease risk and maximize the chances of IFV success by screening for embryos with the highest potential. This was precisely what NYULFC have observed so far with PGTai 2.0 compared to older technologies. To fully appreciate the impact that these improvements are having for patients, we’re excited to hear from additional IVF centers across the world as they utilize this technology. MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures? Dr. Large: The study demonstrates CooperSurgical’s commitment to developing the most advanced technology in the field of genetic testing to advance reproductive medicine and help families. By applying artificial intelligence in the PGTaism2.0 technology, we leverage mathematical algorithms derived from real-world data to achieve objective embryo assessment. I am the Senior Director of Genomics Research and Development at CooperSurgical. Michael Large, PhD, is the Senior Director, Genomics Research and Development at CooperSurgical. His team recently led and continues to develop state-of-the-art analytical methods for interrogating Reproductive Genetics. Dr. Large earned his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the Baylor College of Medicine and his Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Michael Large, PhD Senior Director, Research at CooperGenomics CooperSurgical   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Large: Independent study results, presented at the recent the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Virtual Scientific Congress, demonstrated a 13 percent relative increase in ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates associated with the use of CooperSurgical’s PGTaiSM 2.0 technology to screen embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF).[1] The single-center study was conducted by NYU Langone Fertility Center (NYULFC), part of The Prelude Network. Preimplantation Genetic Testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) is performed on embryos produced through IVF; it provides genetic information to help identify embryos that are more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. PGTai 2.0 technology is an advancement in PGT-A testing platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to increase objectivity of this screening process. The study compared results from three next generation sequencing (NGS) genetic tests: Standard NGS, NGS with first generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 1.0 Technology Platform) and NGS with second generation artificial intelligence (PGTai 2.0 Technology Platform). The ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates significantly increased by a relative 13 percent in the PGTai 2.0 group as compared to subjective and prior methodologies. Study results also suggest that the increase in ongoing pregnancy and live births may be linked to improvements in several preceding IVF outcomes (implantation rates, clinical pregnancy rates and pregnancy loss.) (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Health Care Systems / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steve Olin Chief Product Officer Rally Health, Inc., part of the Optum business of UnitedHealth Grou MedicalResearch.com: Can you please elaborate on Rally Health’s mission? Mr. Olin: Our founding mission 10 years ago and still to this day is to put health in the hands of the individual. As a digital health company, we live this mission through our focus in three key areas: 1) Providing digital-first access to care by giving individuals easy-to-use digital tools and support to navigate their health care and take full advantage of their health benefits; 2) Engaging people in their daily health by creating experiences that people enjoy and that inspire them to perform healthy actions, and by giving them access to resources that help them achieve their health goals; 3) Saving people time and money by providing digital tools that help them understand health care costs and guide them to lower-cost, high-quality care options. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 27.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Antoni Bayes-Genis, MD, PhD, FESC, FHFA Head, Heart Institute. Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol Full Professor, Autonomous University Barcelona MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Omega-3 fatty acids are incorporated into the phospholipids of cellular membranes, including cardiac contractile cells, and have a wide range of demonstrated physiological effects. Several potential mechanisms have been investigated, including antiarrhythmic, anti-inflammatory, and endothelial. Omega-3 fatty acids lower heart rate and improve heart rate variability, both associated with lower sudden cardiac death risk, one of the complications that may occur after a myocardial infarction. Increased omega-3 fatty acids also enhance arterial elasticity by increasing endothelium-derived vasodilators, which is associated with blood pressure–lowering effects. They also have a cardioprotective effect on platelet-monocyte aggregation, and lower triglyceride levels. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, NYU, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Technology / 26.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marie Bragg, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health on Health Choice NYU College of Global Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know from previous research that children who see food advertisements eat significantly more calories than children who see non-food advertisements. Those studies led the World Health Organization and National Academy of Medicine to issue reports declaring that exposure to food advertising is a major driver of childhood obesity. What we don’t know is how frequently unhealthy food and beverage brands are appearing in YouTube videos posted by Kid Influencers. Kid influences are children whose parents film videos of the child playing with toys, unwrapping presents, eating food, or engaging in other family-friendly activities. The parents then post the videos to YouTube for other children and parents to view for entertainment. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs / 24.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Mazzeffi MD MPH MSc Associate Professor of Anesthesiology Division Chief Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine Medical Director Rapid Response Team MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We have known for some time that COVID19 is characterized by hypercoagulability or excess blood clotting. In fact, the incidence of blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary emboli) is as high 20% and is two to three times more common in COVID19 than in severe influenza. Further, autopsies of patients who died from COVID19 have shown that endothelial cells (cells that line the blood vessels) are damaged and that "micro clots" form in multiple organs. Together, these findings strongly suggest that excess blood clotting and endothelial cell dysfunction are defining features of severe COVID19. For several months, my colleagues and I have been interested in whether aspirin might improve outcomes in patients with severe COVID19. In prior observational research studies, aspirin was found to be protective in patients with severe lung injury. The general idea is that aspirin reduces platelet aggregates in the lung and this improves outcome. Unfortunately, in a prior randomized controlled study (LIPS-A) aspirin was not shown to reduce the incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Nevertheless, COVID19 has unique features that make aspirin more likely to be effective. Mainly COVID19 is associated with hypercoagulability to a greater degree than in other viral illnesses. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 23.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Steven Grieco, PhD Postdoctoral Scholar Xu Lab, UCI MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In recent years the drug ketamine, which has been used safely as a dissociative anaesthetic for decades, has gained widespread interest in the field of psychiatry for its use as an antidepressant at low doses. In 2019 the FDA finally approved a nasal spray that delivers ketamine to patients with untreatable clinical depression. Now, such patients go to the appropriate clinical setting and receive ketamine treatments, though this is not required daily for an effective outcome. In fact, studies have found that a single low dose ketamine treatment can result in beneficial improvements in mood that last for several days or even weeks. This suggests that ketamine treatment induces significant neural plasticity in the brain. Since the mechanisms governing this ketamine-mediated neural plasticity were not known, our group studied this using the visual cortex as a model tissue. The visual cortex has perhaps the most well-characterized patterns of neural plasticity in the brain to date, and is an excellent arena in which to test hypotheses about the mechanisms of neural plasticity. In fact, the classical antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac), which induces neural plasticity only after long-term chronic treatment, has been studied extensivley in the visual cortex as well. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Social Issues, Technology / 23.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Lu PhD Gerald Lyles Rising Star Associate Professor of Management Krannert School of Management Purdue University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We started this project in 2016. Overcrowding in emergency rooms (ERs) is a common yet nagging problem. It not only is costly for hospitals but also compromises care quality and patient experience. Hence, finding effective ways to improve ER care delivery is of great importance. Meanwhile, the advancement of healthcare technologies including electronic medical records, online doctor ratings and 4G mobile network motivates us to think about the impact of telemedicine on ER operations in the near future. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Nature, Pediatrics / 23.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. John Boland AMBER The SFI Research Centre for Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research, CRANN, and Trinity’s School of Chemistry Prof. Liwen Xiao at TrinityHaus and Trinity’s School of Engineering Trinity College Dublin baby-bottle-infant-plasticsMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: There is growing evidence to suggest that micro and nano plastics are released into our food and water sources through the chemical and physical degradation of larger plastic items. Some studies have demonstrated the potential transfer of micro and nano plastics from oceans to humans via the food chain but little is known about the direct release of microplastics (MPs) from plastic products through everyday use – and this is what we wanted to investigate. Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most commonly produced plastics in the world for food preparation and storage. It is used to make everyday items such as lunch boxes, kettles and infant-feeding bottles (IFBs). Despite its widespread use the capacity of PP to release microplastics was not appreciated until now. We analysed the potential for release of MPs from polypropylene infant-feeding bottles (PP-IFBs) during formula preparation by following international guidelines. We also estimated the exposure of 12-month-old infants to MPs in 48 countries and regions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dental Research, Inflammation / 22.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Michael Glogauer, D.D.S., Ph.D Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto Toronto, ON Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Periodontal disease (PD) affects between 20% and 50% of the global population, with growing evidence supporting its association with other inflammatory diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Several studies have shown how untreated periodontal disease leads to increased medical care costs for nonoral conditions, including patient hospitalization rates. The interaction of inflammatory diseases with PD suggests a shared, underlying pathology that may be exploited to better manage patients and reduce the economic burden. However, the mechanisms through which these diseases interact are unclear. In periodontal disease, tissue and bone destruction in the mouth is driven by elevated recruitment of white blood cells called polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs), which are activated by the oral disease and recruited from the circulation to sites of inflammation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carrie Cuttler, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Washington State University Department of Psychology Pullman, WA, 99164-4820 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: While many studies have examined the acute effects of cannabis on other mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychosis there is almost no research on acute effects of cannabis on symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in humans. Nevertheless, we have previously found that acute cannabis intoxication is associated with reductions in anxiety as well as with reductions in the intrusive thoughts characteristic of PTSD. Further previous research using a rodent model of compulsive behavior has provided pre-clinical evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) - which is the second most common constituent in the cannabis plant - reduces compulsive behavior. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, JAMA / 21.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Liliana Sanchez-Gonzalez MD, MPH Medical Epidemiologist Dengue Branch – Division of Vector Borne Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention San Juan, PR MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain the significance of prion disease? Response: Prion diseases are neurodegenerative diseases that occur in animals and humans. These diseases are caused by an infectious agent known as a prion. While the accuracy of diagnostic tests using cerebrospinal fluid or brain imaging from living patients has improved greatly in recent years, analysis of brain tissue is still necessary to confirm the diagnosis of these diseases. Human prion disease cases are rare, but always fatal. There have been around 500 reported cases annually in the US in recent years. A very small percentage of human prion disease cases are acquired, meaning they are caused by an exposure to the infectious agent from an external source. The most well-known acquired human prion disease is variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which was first described in the United Kingdom in 1996 and linked to consumption of contaminated beef from cattle with the animal prion disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow” disease). The only US state where classic BSE has been reported is Washington, where an infected dairy cow was imported from Canada in 2003. Beef from the slaughtered cow was processed for human consumption, and beef from cattle slaughtered the same day at the involved slaughter plant was recalled. After this incident, the Washington State Department of Health, in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center (NPDPSC), implemented enhanced human prion disease surveillance. All patients with positive results from tests conducted at the NPDPSC are investigated. We present the results of 12 years of human prion disease surveillance, from 2006 to 2017, plus results of surveillance for vCJD through July 2020. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, Vaccine Studies / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Douglas L. Kriner, PhD The Clinton Rossiter Professor in American Institutions Department of Government Cornell University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 reaches the market, the world will not change overnight. Rather, government and public health individuals will have to develop a comprehensive plan to distribute the vaccine and to convince potentially wary Americans to take it. Our study examined the influence of both specific vaccine characteristics and the politics surrounding it on public willingness to vaccinate. Both matter in important ways. For example, efficacy is unsurprisingly a major driver of public opinion; Americans are more willing to take a vaccine that is more efficacious. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Social Issues / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aaron Baum, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Health System Design & Global Health Economist, Arnhold Institute for Global Health Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: To what degree are geographic health disparities in the leading risk factors for morbidity and mortality in the United States – including elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, obesity, and poor mental health – driven by the place where people live versus by characteristics of the people who live in different places? For example, male adults in Mississippi are 33% more likely to have uncontrolled blood pressure and 54% more likely to be obese than male adults in Colorado. One explanation is that male adults who live in Mississippi are different is many other ways from male adults in Colorado, some of which can't be directly measured and adjusted for, and that those unobserved differences cause the health disparity. Another possibility is that the place where a person lives actually contributes to the health disparity. Using national electronic health records from the Veterans Health Administration, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of 5 million adults, including 1 million who moved zip codes exactly once between 2008-2018. Our goal was to isolate how a movers' likelihood of uncontrolled blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity and depression changed in response to changes in the prevalence of each outcome in his or her environment. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Esophageal, Gastrointestinal Disease / 20.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 加藤元嗣 Mototsugu KATO MD PhD 院長 独立行政法人国立病院機構函館病院 Director, National Hospital Organization Hakodate National Hospita MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The primary goal of upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopic examination is to detect neoplastic lesions in the pharynx, esophagus, and stomach. However, early-stage lesions may frequently be overlooked by conventional white light endoscopy. Since the recent launch of image-enhanced endoscopy, many studies have evaluated its efficacy in diagnosing upper GI neoplasms as well. Linked color imaging (LCI )emphasizes the difference in color to make it easier to detect neoplastic lesions. The aim of this trial is to compare the performance of LCI with white light imaging in detecting upper GI tract neoplastic lesions. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gender Differences, PNAS / 18.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Paola Profeta, PhD Professor of Public Economics, Department of Social and Political Sciences Bocconi University Director, Msc Politics and Policy Analysis, Bocconi University Coordinator, Dondena Gender Initiative, Dondena Research Center President, European Public Choice Society MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We interview more than 20000 men and women in 8 OECD countries in two periods during the lockdown. Using two waves from 8 OECD countries, we find that women are more likely to perceive the pandemic as a very serious health problem, to agree with restraining measures and to comply with public health rules, such as using facemasks. This gender differences are less strong for married individuals and for individuals who have been directly exposed to COVID, for instance by knowing someone who was infected. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 16.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shane Riddell MSc CSIRO—Australian Animal Health Laboratory Geelong, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: While it is generally considered that SARS-CoV-2 is spread via aerosol and respiratory droplets, we still need to investigate how much of a role fomites play in transmission. Understanding the risk first requires you to know how long the virus can survive on a surface. We therefore wanted to assess how long the virus would remain viable on various common surfaces such as stainless steel, glass and banknotes. We found that, under controlled conditions, we could recover infectious virus at 28 days for all non-porous surfaces at 20 degrees Celsius. When the temperature was raised to 40 degrees Celsius, SARS-CoV-2 only remained viable for 24hrs on most surfaces. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease / 16.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mallika Mendu, MD, MBA MedicalDirector of Clinical Operations Brigham and Women’s Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: African-Americans with chronic kidney disease have poorer outcomes with respect to hypertension control, timely nephrology referral, progression to end stage renal disease, placement of vascular access and transplantation compared to other racial groups. For the past two decades a race multiplier has been applied in equations that estimate glomerular filtration rate (a proxy for kidney function) for African-Americans. We sought to determine whether what the impact of the race multiplier term was on care delivered to African-Americans, by using our health system-wide CKD registry. We were particularly focused on advanced CKD patient outcomes, knowing that there are health disparities that could be potentially exacerbated.

The original CKD-EPI and MDRD studies showed an association between African-American race with higher measured GFR at the same blood creatinine concentration. However, there have been concerns raised about the application of the race multiplier to all African-American patients. First, there is no clear biological explanation for the association, the identification of Black race was unclear in some of the cohorts used in these studies, and there is vast genetic and ancestral heterogeneity among those who self-identify as black. The use of the race multiplier also ignores the fact that race is a social, not biological construct.

We found that with the removal of the race multiplier, up to one in every three African-American patients would be reclassified as having a more severe stage of CKD, with one-quarter of African-American patients going from stage 3 to stage 4. We also found that with the removal of the race multiplier, 64 patients would have had an eGFR <20, the threshold for referral for kidney transplant, and none of these patients were referred, evaluated or waitlisted for transplant. This is in contrast, to those African-American patients with an eGFR <20 with the race multiplier applied, who had a higher odds of being referred, evaluated or waitlisted for transplant compared to other racial groups (Odds ratio of 2.28, compared to White cohort).

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Author Interviews, BMJ, Surgical Research / 15.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sebastian Straube, BM BCh, MA (Oxon), DPhil Professor and Director, Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine University of Alberta Zone Section Chief, Occupational Medicine Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services Director, Foundation Course in Occupational Medicine surgery-aerosols-covid-19MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical procedures that generate aerosols require a higher grade of personal protective equipment, typically including filtering facepiece respirators (e.g. N95 masks). We wanted to know which procedures were aerosol-generating and would require such enhanced precautions. MedicalResearch.com: How did you approach that question? Response: We conducted a systematic review of the literature and aimed to find those procedures for which there is widespread agreement that they are aerosol-generating. We assembled a team of researchers with expertise in the subject matter as well as in systematic review methodology, and we searched widely for relevant guidelines, policy documents, and academic papers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, PNAS, Weight Research, Wistar / 15.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kristina M. Rapuano PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow BJ Casey, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Yale University Richard Watts PhD Technical Consultant Department of Psychology Yale University, New Haven, CT MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Around 35% of children and adolescents in the US are overweight or obese, dramatically increasing their likelihood of obesity as adults and the associated health risks. In our paper we use a novel MRI technique to investigate links between obesity and neurobiology in a large group of typically developing 9-10 year-olds. The data were acquired as part of the NIH-funded Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM (ABCD) study, which enrolled more than 11,000 children from across the US. We looked specifically at a reward-related region of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. Previous human studies have shown that healthy weight and obese children display different responses to food cues, for example adverts for unhealthy foods, in this region. Animal studies have also found that a high saturated fat (unhealthy) diet induces inflammation in the nucleus accumbens, and changes in behavior including sucrose-seeking. We wanted to investigate if we could use advanced MRI techniques to provide evidence of a similar effect in humans. (more…)
Author Interviews / 14.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chuan-Liang Xu, MD, PhD Changhai Hospital of Shanghai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Patients with urothelial carcinoma usually have to undergo lifelong cystoscopy for surveillance, because it recurred often. Cystoscopy is an examination which inserted a catheter with light and camera into the urethra and inspect the lining of the bladder. Cystoscopy is invasive and uncomfortable for the patients, and also cost a lot of money. Urothelial carcinoma is in direct contact with the urine, just like fish and water, and tumor cells might be flushed out by urine. Traditional method urine cytology is trying to find tumor cells in the urine by cytopathologist, but this method may miss up to 50 to 70% of tumor patient. So, the main purpose of our study is to establish a new non-invasive, and more accurate method to detect urothelial cancer by analyzing the chromosomal alterations from the urine exfoliated cells, and reduce the use of cystoscopy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Surgical Research / 14.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Cassandra M. Kelleher, MD, FACS Surgical Director, Fetal Care Program Surgical Director, NICU Quality and Safety Chair, Pediatric Surgery MGH eCare Clinical Informaticist Pediatric Surgery MassGeneral Hospital for Children Boston, MA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Only about one in five surgeons practicing in U.S. is female. Unemployment is virtually nonexistent among surgeons, but many female surgeons, as well as professional women in other fields, experience underemployment—the underuse of skills—according to the Federal Reserve Bank. Women in surgery talk among themselves about how they may be perceived as less confident or competent, and for those reasons they may have less opportunity to do exciting and challenging cases. We wondered if this was true, and if so, why? (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Memory, Pediatrics / 08.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leonie Margarita Kausel, PhD Postdoctoral Researcher Development University Santiago, Chile MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As a violin teacher, I observed the positive impact on many levels that musical training has on children and as a scientist (Biochemist), I was intrigued to be able to show this with data. I thought this was very important, because in my experience childhood music education can give you so much joy and important skills for life, but it is often not considered to be important in educational settings. After attending a seminar on education and neuroscience, I discovered that this discipline could allow me to investigate this in a scientific manner. This inspired me to enter the Neuroscience PhD program at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile where I was lucky to work with Dr. Francisco Aboitiz, who has vast experience in attention research (ADHD) and is an international expert in language and evolution. At that time Dr. Mary Elizabeth Sutherland was making her postdoc at the lab, and she had worked with Dr. Robert Zatorre, one of the leading researchers in music and the brain. Also, I was lucky to work with Dr. Francisco Zamorano, a pioneer of fMRI research in Chile. So together we designed the research. :) Also, I am very grateful that I could make a research stay at the Lab of Dr. Gottfried Schalug, who is also a pioneer in the research of music and the brain, and who inspired me to do this research since he wrote the first papers that I read about this subject. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, BMJ, Exercise - Fitness / 08.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ulrik Wisløff Professor and Head of CERG and K.G. Jebsen Centre for Exercise in Medicine of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences NTNU-Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Generation 100 study followed more than 1500 women and men in their 70s for five years. The aim was to find out if exercise gives older adults a longer and healthier life, and we also compare the effect of moderate and high-intensity exercise. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Overall survival was high in all three groups, compared to what’s expected in this age group. There was a clear trend towards greater survival in the high-intensity compared to the moderate intensity exercise group. High-intensity interval training also had the greatest effect on cardiorespiratory fitness and health-related quality of life. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Tobacco Research / 08.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tsu-Shuan Wu University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? “Checking your phone and vaping as you do” by Alper Çuğun is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Response: The background for this study involves the associations of household rules and parental awareness with youth tobacco use using data from the Population Assessment Tobacco and Health Study. Health concerns regarding non-cigarette tobacco products, specifically e-cigarettes, have been on the rise. We wanted to explore whether parents are up to date with the trends of popular tobacco products today and what role they may play in youth tobacco cessation and prevention. The main findings of the study revealed that parents less often suspected their children’s tobacco use if their children reported using only e-cigarettes, and other non-cigarette tobacco products, when compared with cigarettes. Additionally, we found that youth who agreed with their parents that their home has strict rules for tobacco use were less likely to initiate of tobacco use compared to youth who had different understanding of the rules from their parents or youth from households with more permissive household rules. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donna R. Cryer, JD President & CEO of the Global Liver Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this announcement? What is the mission of the GLI? Response: Global Liver Institute 's (GLI) mission is to improve the impact of the liver community by promoting innovation, collaboration, and scaling optimal approaches to eradicating liver diseases. Our vision is for liver health to take its proper place on the global public health agenda consistent with its prevalence and impact. One of the ways we seek to fulfill that mission is through a #OctoberIs4Livers worldwide awareness campaign for the fight against liver cancer, reinforcing October as liver disease and liver cancer awareness month. Not only are we seeing a continuous rise of prevalence of liver cancers, but survival rates for liver cancers are also some of the lowest of any cancer. Even more concerning is that the startling truth about the rise of liver cancer rates began before the COVID-19 pandemic. With the added burden of COVID-19, patients directly at risk from the virus may be diagnosed at a later stage due to delayed screening, and are getting sicker due to limitations on access to care during this pandemic. GLI is appealing to the US Congress to act now to secure the health and well-being of people living with liver disease and liver cancers during COVID-19. Funding is crucial to ensure federal agencies can restart and continue medical research, implement targeted prevention, and support awareness efforts for those impacted by liver disease as they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. [1] (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Nutrition, Social Issues / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Nagata, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California, USA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity is expected to rise given economic uncertainty and job losses. Vulnerable and marginalized populations are disproportionately affected by both COVID-19 and food insecurity. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: In this perspective, we argue that food insecurity and COVID-19 can exacerbate one another via bidirectional links. Experiencing food insecurity can lead to nutritional deficiencies and weakened host defenses, increasing susceptibility to COVID-19 infection. Food insecurity is also associated with chronic medical conditions which may lead to a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Conversely, people with COVID-19 may not be able to work, generate income, or procure food while quarantined, which may worsen food insecurity. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Tobacco Research / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isabella Lanza, PhD Associate Professor of Human Development California State University, Long Beach MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is the first study to examine both nicotine vaping and cannabis vaping trajectories across adolescence and young adulthood, which allowed us to assess whether poly-substance vaping is common among adolescents and young adults. Poly-substance vaping (nicotine and cannabis vaping) was reported among a significant proportion of participants in the study (25% were identified as poly-substance vapers). For those that either escalated to frequent nicotine vaping use in adolescence or initiated frequent nicotine vaping use in young adulthood, the probability of engaging in cannabis vaping was very high (85%+). (more…)