Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JNCI, Johns Hopkins, Respiratory, Vaccine Studies / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joel N. Blankson, MD, PhD Department of Infectious Diseases Associate Professor Cellular and Molecular Medicine Program Johns Hopkins MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Which vaccines did you evaluate? Response: Prior studies from several groups including our own have found T cell cross-recognition of peptides from SARS-CoV-2 and the common cold coronaviruses. We asked whether as a result of this cross-reactivity, immunization with the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine would also enhance T cell responses to the common cold coronaviruses. Prior studies also suggested that antibodies elicited from the mRNA vaccines had a reduced ability to neutralize the emerging variants of concern. Most of the study participants had received the Pfizer vaccine, but a few had received the Moderna vaccine.  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, USPSTF, Vitamin D / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Michael Silverstein M.D., M.P.H Professor of Pediatrics Director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pediatrics Boston University School of Medicine   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Vitamin D is an important nutrient for keeping bones healthy, and it may also have a role in other aspects of good health. However, we do not have enough evidence to understand what levels of vitamin D people need to keep them healthy or what levels are too low. As a result, the Task Force determined there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening for vitamin D deficiency in adults who do not have signs or symptoms. It is our hope that with more research, we will be able to make a strong, evidence-based recommendation on screening for vitamin D deficiency in the future. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Environmental Risks / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Masoud Jahandar Lashaki, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering Florida Atlantic University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Toilet flushing can generate large quantities of microbe-containing aerosols depending on the design and water pressure or flushing energy of the toilet. Based on previous reports, a variety of different pathogens which are found in stagnant water or in waste products (e.g., urine, feces, and vomit) can get dispersed widely via such aerosolization, including the legionella bacterium responsible for causing Legionnaire’s disease, the Ebola virus, the norovirus which causes severe gastroenteritis (food poisoning), and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Based on previous reports, such airborne dispersion is suspected to have played a key role in the outbreak of viral gastroenteritis aboard a cruise ship, where infection was twice as prevalent among passengers who used shared toilets compared to those who had private bathrooms. Similarly, transmission of norovirus via aerosolized droplets was linked to the occurrence of vomiting or diarrhea within an aircraft restroom, as passengers and crew who got infected subsequently were more likely to have visited restrooms than those that were not infected. The participants in the study reported that all of the restroom surfaces appeared to be clean, which indicates that infection is likely to have occurred via bioaerosols suspended within the restroom. Although many of these studies blamed flush-generated aerosols for disease outbreak, a limited number of them quantified the presence of such aerosols. Consequently, we decided to conduct this study to demonstrate the spike in aerosol concentrations following flushing.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Heart Disease, JAMA / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: First Author Michelle Lee, MD, PharmD Fellow-in-training, Health Services Research & Development Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX   Senior & Corresponding Author Salim S. Virani, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA, FASPC Professor, Section of Cardiovascular Research Director, Cardiology Fellowship Training Program Baylor College of Medicine Staff Cardiologist, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Co-Director, VA Advanced Fellowship in Health Services Research & Development Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX Investigator, Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center HSR&D Center of Innovation Houston, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), defined as ischemic heart disease (IHD), ischemic cerebrovascular disease (ICVD), or peripheral arterial disease (PAD), is the leading cause of death globally. Particularly in young ASCVD patients, secondary prevention with antiplatelet therapy and statins are extremely important in reducing disease burden. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, NEJM / 22.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aditya Bardia MD, MPH Director, Breast Cancer Research Program, Attending Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents an aggressive subtype of breast cancer associated with guarded prognosis. For patients with pre-treated metastatic TNBC, standard chemotherapy is associated with low response rate (5-10%) and poor progression-free survival (2-3 months), highlighting need for better therapies. Sacituzumab govitecan is an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) which  combines SN-38, an active metabolite of irinotecan, with an antibody against Trop-2, an antigen overexpressed in majority of triple negative breast cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Psychological Science / 19.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Daniel J. Kruger Ph.D. Research Investigator, Population Studies Center University of Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Thorstein Veblen coined the terms “conspicuous consumption” and “conspicuous leisure” to describe the wasteful habits of the upper classes in amassing and displaying expensive goods that did not have inherent practical benefits and devoting time to pursuits such as sports and fine arts. The purpose of these socially conspicuous displays and behaviors was to advertise one’s membership in the upper, leisure class, as only the very wealthy could afford them. Veblen was inspired in part by Charles Darwin’s theory of biological evolution. Darwin himself was greatly puzzled by what he considered wasteful investments of energy in elaborate physiological displays. He saw these features as the greatest threat to his theory of natural selection. Why would something like the peacock’s tail feathers evolve, as they actually threatened survival because of their impediment to foraging and avoiding predators? Darwin was so troubled by this dilemma that the sight of a peacock’s tail feather would make him feel sick. Darwin later realized that these features provided a reproductive advantage, leading to his theory of sexual selection, including the processes of inter-sexual selection and intra-sexual competition.  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, Pediatrics / 16.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jared Bullard MD FRCPC Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics & Child Health and Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Max Rady College of Medicine Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Cadham Provincial Laboratory Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Children are well known to transmit epidemic/endemic respiratory viruses like influenza. Initial public health policy was based on that children were likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 effectively within a community and subsequently in-person school and extracurricular activities were suspended. Initial research did not show a clear association with children driving transmission. The purpose of our study was to take respiratory samples from both children and adults with COVID-19 (all had SARS-CoV-2 detected by RT-PCR) and compare those samples by their ability to grow in cell culture and amount of virus in samples. We took 175 samples from children (97 younger than 10 years of age and 78 between 11-17 years) and compared them to 130 adult samples from the same communities in Manitoba experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Psychological Science / 15.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael J. Poulin, PhD, PhD Associate Professor of Psychology College of Arts and Sciences University of Buffalo  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: A great deal of research suggests that practicing mindfulness--full attention to and acceptance of one's experiences--can be good for individuals. Mindfulness seems to reduce stress and has other psychological benefits. But what about its effects on others? Does mindfulness make people more generous and helpful, or does it make them more selfish? (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Toxin Research / 13.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elisabeth Schirmer Doctoral student University of Bayreuth, Germany plastics-bpa-bisphenols MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Bisphenol A (BPA) is worldwide one of the most frequently used plasticizers. Over time it has been shown that BPA interferes with developmental processes in vertebrates, i.e. brain development. It is therefore increasingly being substituted by supposedly safe plasticizers like bisphenol S (BPS).  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 13.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael H. Lazar MD Jeffrey H Jennings, MD Pulmonary and Critical Care specialists Henry Ford Hospital Detroit Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Persons of color who are infected with COVID-19 have a higher incidence of hospitalization and death when compared to white patients.  However, it was previously unknown if there was a difference in outcomes based upon race in patients who are sick enough to be treated in an intensive care unit (ICU). Our study found that race made no difference in ICU outcomes. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Lack of racial differences in survival and other meaningful outcomes in the intensive care unit may be related to the highly protocolized nature of care and experience of the critical care team. (more…)
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, MD Anderson / 12.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Vivek Subbiah, MD Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics Division of Cancer Medicine The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: RET fusions occur predominantly in 2% of lung cancers and 10-20% of thyroid cancers, and in low frequency in an increasing number of diverse cancers, including pancreatic cancer, salivary gland cancer, and colorectal cancer. The therapeutic relevance of RET fusions occurring outside of lung and thyroid cancers has not been well established.. (more…)
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Weight Research / 10.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Dr. Karsten Koehler Department of Sport and Health Sciences Technical University of Munich MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The primary background is the phenomenon that most people fail to loose (meaningful) weight through exercise alone, which is related to what we call compensatory eating – an increase in food intake to compensate for the increased energy expenditure of exercise. This is been described in a number of studies and is considered a key weight loss barrier – yet few have come up with solutions to overcome this problem. Therefore, we wanted to see if the timing of food choices has an impact on how much and what we want to eat in the context of exercise. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Cannabis, CMAJ / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah Windle, MPH PhD Student in Epidemiology Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health McGill University (Montréal, Québec, Canada) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Concerns have been raised about the potential for increases in impaired driving following the legalization of recreational cannabis use in Canada in October 2018. Data from Statistics Canada suggest that cannabis use in the previous three months increased among adults (15 and older) from 14% before legalization in 2018 to 17% in 2019. Among those users with a driver’s license, 13% reported driving within two hours of cannabis use. While this proportion remained the same before and after legalization, this indicates that the absolute number of individuals who reported driving within two hours of use has increased following legalization (due to an increase in the number of users). (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael S. Pollard Ph.D Senior Sociologist; Professor Pardee RAND Graduate School MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has traditionally been a highly trusted source of public health information, and conveying information to the public about the vaccine and broader pandemic response is critical.  This study examines changes in levels of public trust in the CDC between May and October, 2020, in light of the numerous challenges the CDC initially faced during the COVID-19 pandemic: technical problems with their COVID-19 testing kits, mixed messaging about the pandemic and mitigation strategies, and public commentary and interference by people in the Trump administration, for example. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Stroke / 06.04.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Thanh Nguyen MD Director of Interventional Neurology/ Neuroradiology Boston Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, there were many regional and sometimes national reports of declines in stroke and myocardial infarction volumes. Our goal was to understand whether these declines were also seen for other neurological emergencies such as subarachnoid hemorrhage hospitalizations and ruptured aneurysm endovascular treatments. (more…)
Author Interviews / 31.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Arch G. Mainous III, PhD Professor Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy Professor and Vice Chair for Research Department of Community Health and Family Medicine University of Florida MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We are always concerned about infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria. When the bacteria are resistant to our current treatments this lengthens the time and severity of the illness. Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of community and healthcare associated infections. These range from skin infections to invasive infections and even death. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is of particular concern and is a burden on the health care system. Importantly, patients colonized, not infected, with MRSA are more likely to develop MRSA infections and patients with MRSA infections have increased risk of hospital length of stay and even death. We are always concerned about infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria. When the bacteria are resistant to our current treatments this lengthens the time and severity of the illness. Staphylococcus aureus is a major cause of community and healthcare associated infections. These range from skin infections to invasive infections and even death. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is of particular concern and is a burden on the health care system. Importantly, patients colonized, not infected, with MRSA are more likely to develop MRSA infections and patients with MRSA infections have increased risk of hospital length of stay and even death. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education, Mental Health Research, PLoS / 23.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David C. Rettew, MD Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our group, the Wellness Environment Scientific Team at the University of Vermont, hadn’t planned to look at COVID at the outset of this study and instead were going to look at mental health and engagement in wellness activities in college students across a semester. The pandemic disrupted that plan when students were abruptly sent home but fortunately, they continued to do their daily app-based ratings of their mood, stress levels, and engagement in healthy activities.  We then realized we had some interesting pre-COVID to COVID data that was worth exploring.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CMAJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus, OBGYNE / 19.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Nathalie Auger Professeure agrégée de clinique École de santé publique - Département de médecine sociale et preventive University of Montreal MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been a major public health concern. The number of infected pregnant women continues to increase. Pregnant women and infants are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 because the physiologic changes of pregnancy involve cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune changes that may alter the response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Fetuses may be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 during critical periods of development. The nature of the association between COVID-19 and pregnancy outcomes remains unclear and meta-analyses of pregnant women with COVID-19 are lacking. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 17.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Benjamin E. Gewurz MD, PhD Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Department of Microbiology, Harvard Medical School Boston, MABenjamin E. Gewurz MD, PhD Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Department of Microbiology, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When the Covid-19 virus infects cells, it takes over and redirects our cells resources towards the projection of virus building blocks and new viruses.  Building blocks include large amounts of RNAs that encode for the viral proteins, much as the mRNA vaccines direct our bodies to make the spike protein. We wondered how the virus changes cell metabolism in order to support the synthesis of vast amounts of viral RNAs within hours of infection. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Menopause, Urology / 15.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lin Yang, PhD Research Scientist/Epidemiologist Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Cancer Care Alberta | Alberta Health Services | Canada Adjunct Assistant Professor Departments of Oncology and Community Health Sciences University of Calgary | Canada  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Urinary incontinence disproportionately affects women. Urinary incontinence results in significant physical, social, and psychological adverse consequences that impair women’s quality of life and contribute to considerable healthcare costs. At the moment, the contemporary prevalence and recent trends in urinary incontinence in US women are unknown. More importantly, there is a growing awareness that urinary incontinence is not part of normal aging, but very little information is available to inform prevention strategies. Therefore, we were also interested in exploring correlates of urinary incontinence in a population-based sample of US women. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Infections, UCSD / 13.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Abhishek Saha, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering University of California San Diego MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: At a very early stage of COVID 19 pandemic, the scientific community identified that respiratory droplet is the primary mode of transmission of the SARS-CoV2 virus. Naturally, the health agencies have encouraged facemasks to restrict these droplets from spreading during respiratory events, like coughing, sneezing, talking, etc. While WHO recommended using either N95 masks or other types of three-layer masks, due to a sharp increase in demand and scarcity in supplies, a variety of either home-made or locally purchased masks became popular. Naturally, one wonders if these single- and double-layer masks provide enough protection. To provide some insight into this critical question, our team, which also includes Professor Swetaprovo Chaudhuri from the University of Toronto, and Professor Saptarshi Basu of the Indian Institute of Science, experimentally analyzed what happens to the respiratory droplets when they impact single- and multi-layer masks.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Pediatrics / 12.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melanie Clark PhD candidate Murdoch Children's Research Institute The Royal Children's Hospital  blood-pressure-children-hypertensionMedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hypertension in children is a growing problem around the world, but when diagnosing hypertension, most of the time blood pressure is only measured in one arm. Our study showed that children can have a blood pressure difference between arms that may be considered significant in a clinical setting. One in four children had a difference between left and right arms that could mean that blood pressure appears normal in one arm, but in the other arm it would be classified as a high blood pressure. This means that if a doctor measures blood pressure in one arm only, a diagnosis of high blood pressure could be missed. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Emory, JAMA, Occupational Health / 12.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jesse T. Jacob, MD School of Medicine Director, Antibiotic Stewardship Program Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Since coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was recognized in the United States in January 2020, the risk of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) attributed to exposures in the health care workplace has been studied with conflicting results, and the role of job functions (such as nurse) or specific workplace activities, including care for individuals with known and unknown SARS-CoV-2 positivity, increase the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We assessed more than 24,000 healthcare providers between April and August 2020 across four large academic medical systems (Emory, Johns Hopkins, Rush University Medical Center, and University of Maryland) which collaborate in the CDC’s Prevention Epicenter Program and conduct innovative infection prevention research. Each site conducted voluntary COVID-19 antibody testing on its health care workers, as well as offered a questionnaire/survey on the employees’ occupational activities and possible exposures to individuals with COVID-19 infection both inside and outside the workplace. We also looked at three-digit residential zip-code prefixes to determine COVID-19 prevalence in communities.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Chocolate, Heart Disease / 09.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anne Yuk-Lam Ho, MPH Million Veteran Program (MVP) Data Core MVP Coordinating Center VA Boston Healthcare SystemAnne Yuk-Lam Ho, MPH Million Veteran Program (MVP) Data Core MVP Coordinating Center VA Boston Healthcare System MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been the leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally. Prevalence of CVD among US population is approximately 7% which places huge burden on our healthcare systems. And prevalence of CVD is as high as 28% among veterans at the VA healthcare system as veteran users are primarily older male with more histories of comorbidities.  Most CVD risk factors including lipids and blood pressure can be controlled by lifestyle modifications, such as diet. Chocolate is among dietary factors that play a role in modulating CVD risk factors is widely consumed in the US (~2.8 billion pounds annually. Although previous studies have reported beneficial effects of chocolate and/or cacao products (rich in flavonoids) on lipids, glucose metabolism and risk of diabetes, and lipids, little is known about the association of chocolate intake with coronary artery disease (CAD) among US veterans. Thus, sought to test the hypothesis that chocolate consumption is associated with a lower risk of CAD among xxx US veterans enrolled in the Million Veteran Program.  (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Tobacco, Tobacco Research, UCLA / 09.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian P. Lee, MD, MAS Assistant Professor Clinical Medicine University of Southern Californi Keck School of Medicine Los Angeles, California MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with mental health stressors, including anxiety, loneliness, and social instability. We hypothesized the pandemic may have led to increased alcohol and tobacco use as a coping mechanism for these stressors. National retrospective questionnaires had suggested higher reports of substance use, but these are limited by selection and recall biases, in addition to subjective report – we sought to address this knowledge gap by using a nationally-representative longitudinal cohort (Nielsen National Consumer Panel) tracking real-time purchases of households across the US.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Toxin Research, Weight Research / 08.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alison P. Sanders, PhD Pronouns:  She/Her Assistant Professor Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health Department of Pediatrics Director, Interdisciplinary Environmental Health Postdoctoral Fellowship MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: My research group is dedicated to understanding environmental and early life risk factors that contribute to kidney function declineWhile some of the pathobiology leading to chronic kidney disease remains unclear, we understand that the process is complex and, like many chronic diseases, begins long before clinical diagnosis. My research investigates how the environment and mixtures of environmental chemicals/toxicants interact with traditional risk factors such as obesity, preterm birth, and nutritional status to hasten or prevent chronic kidney disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, FDA, JAMA / 07.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marie C. Bradley, PhD, MPharm, MScPH Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology Center for Drug Evaluation and Research US Food and Drug Administration Silver Spring, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Long-acting insulin analogs, insulin glargine (glargine) and insulin detemir (detemir) are increasingly used in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).  In recent years the price of long-acting insulin analogs has increased substantially2 Higher costs for these insulin analogs may limit patient access.1 Clinical trials showed the risk of severe hypoglycemia did not differ between long-acting insulin analogs and neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). An observational study examining severe hypoglycemia in T2DM patients found similar results. However, these previous studies did not focus on patients aged ≥65 years, who are at an increased risk for hypoglycemia, or did not include patients with concomitant prandial insulin use. Therefore, to investigate this further we used Medicare data to assess the risk of severe hypoglycemia among older T2DM patients who initiated a long acting analog ( glargine or detemir) compared to NPH in real-world settings. (more…)