Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Radiology / 27.04.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leticia NogueiraPhDMPH Senior Principal Scientist, Health Services Research American Cancer Society, Inc. Kennesaw, GA 30144 MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) can deliver higher dose of radiation to the tumor with less damage to surrounding healthy cells. Therefore, PBT is potentially superior to photon-based radiation therapy to treat tumors with complex anatomy, surrounded by sensitive tissues, or for treating childhood cancer (where long-term side effects of radiation therapy are a main concern). However, PBT can cost twice as much as photon-based radiation therapy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 17.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jiawen Liu, PhD student Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering University of Washington  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: As previous literature has documented, racial/ethnic minority populations and lower-income populations in the US often experience higher-than-average burdens of air pollution and its associated health impacts. The disparities vary by pollutant, location, and time. In 2014, Clark et al. found higher average NO2 exposure for nonwhites than for whites and for below-poverty-level than for above-poverty-level. Clark et al. (2017) expanded research for NO2 exposure by race-ethnicity and socioeconomic status to 2000 and 2010 and found that absolute racial-ethnic disparities decreased over time while relative racial-ethnic disparities persisted.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Lyme, Race/Ethnic Diversity, UCLA / 18.10.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dan P. Ly M.D., Ph.D., M.P.P. Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Los Angeles, CA  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Lyme disease presents first on the skin with the classic “bull’s-eye” rash. But such rashes in Black patients aren’t well-represented in medical textbooks. This may lead to physicians not recognizing such rashes in Black patients. As a result, Black patients are more likely to present with later complications of Lyme disease when first diagnosed such as neurologic complications.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, Emergency Care, JAMA, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Yale / 17.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Destiny Tolliver, MD National Clinician Scholars Program Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT 06510-8088 Katherine Nash MD, MHS Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Columbia University Irving Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: This study was motivated by work from our colleagues in the adult Emergency Medicine world. Earlier this year Dr. Ambrose Wong and colleagues published work describing racial disparities in the physical restraint of adults in the ED. This prompted our group to consider whether these disparities were also present for children. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, COVID -19 Coronavirus, JAMA, Prostate Cancer, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 23.07.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Andres F. Correa, MD Assistant Professor Department of Surgical Oncology, and Adrien Bernstein, MD Second Year Urologic Oncology Fellow Fox Chase Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Unfortunately, it has been well-established that historically Black Americans experience increased cancer specific mortality compared to white patients. In prostate cancer specifically studies have shown that when access to care is equitable this gap resolves. This suggests that biological factors are not driving these differences but rather the result of the complex interplay of social determinants and systemic inequities in our healthcare system. Early in the pandemic, multiple studies demonstrated that minority communities disproportionately shouldered poor COVID-19 outcomes.  On March 13th 2020, the American College of Surgeons recommended against elective procedures; however, the definition of an elective oncologic case was left to the discretion of the provider. As prostate cancer treatment can be safely deferred up to a year follow diagnosis, management of prostate cancer during the initial lockdown period of the COVID-19 Pandemic provided a useful analysis of the differential restrictions placed on non-emergent health care during the Pandemic. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Journal Clinical Oncology, Metabolic Syndrome, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 08.06.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giampaolo Greco PhD MPH Assistant Professor Department of Population Health Science and Policy Icahn School of Medicine  at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The motivation for our study was to understand why mortality rate from breast cancer is much higher in African American women than in White women, despite the fact that these groups have similar incidence rate of breast cancer. Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of metabolic abnormalities that includes abdominal obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, is more prevalent among African American women and may be a risk factor for breast cancer. Subjective social status (SSS) is the perception of individuals of their own ranking in the social hierarchy and complements other parameters of socioeconomic status, such as income and education, that are considered more objective. Socioeconomic status is associated with cardiovascular and mental health. Although objective measures of social status are associated with worse breast cancer outcomes, the relationship of SSS to breast cancer is uncertain. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 17.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ying Liu, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Washington University School of Medicine Department of Surgery, Division of Public Health Sciences St. Louis, MO MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Non-Hispanic African American women experience a disproportional burden of poor breast cancer outcomes than non-Hispanic White women, which is associated with a higher incidence of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), more advanced stages at diagnosis, and lower treatment adherence. However, the differences in clinical treatment and outcomes between African American women with TNBC and their White counterparts have not been well defined. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Heart Disease, JACC, Social Issues / 12.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kobina Hagan MBBS, MPH Postdoctoral Fellow Center for Outcomes Research, Houston Methodist Research Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Before the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, risk mitigation guidelines including respiratory hygiene, social distancing, and job flexibility, were the most effective preventive measures against coronavirus transmission. Social determinants of health scholarships had identified social circumstances to limit adherence to these mitigation guidelines. Individuals with underlying cardiovascular disease are identified as high-risk phenotypes for severe COVID-19 outcomes. In addition, research efforts during the early and middle waves of the pandemic had identified coronavirus exposure risk as a greater mediator of the observed COVID-19 disparities, compared to clinical susceptibility from comorbidities. Yet, population-based evidence on the practice of these mitigation guidelines in this high-risk group were lacking. Consequently, we believed there was a need to robustly characterize COVID-19 risk mitigation practices among adults with cardiovascular disease in the nation. The COVID-19 Household Impact Survey was a survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, to provide statistics about health, economic security, and social dynamics of the US adult household population nationwide and for 18 geographic areas (10 states, 8 metropolitan statistical areas) between April and June 2020. This survey complemented the Household Pulse Survey by the Census Bureau. In this study we described the COVID-19 risk mitigation practices among patients with CVD and evaluated the association between cumulative social determinants of health burden (a measure of social adversity) and adherence these measures.  (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 09.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Justin Salciccioli, MBBS, MA Research Fellow in Medicine Elliot Israel, MD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Pulmonary and Critical CareRheumatologyMedicine Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Asthma attacks account for almost 50% of the cost of asthma care, which costs $80 billion each year in the United States. Asthma is more severe in African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latinx patients, with these groups having double the rates of attacks and hospitalizations as the general population. The PREPARE study is an ongoing national clinical trial for African American/Black and Hispanic/Latinx adults with moderate-to-severe asthma from different U.S. cities in which reporting of asthma control and asthma exacerbations was monitored entirely remotely. With the arrival of the Covid19 pandemic, several studies suggested that asthma exacerbations may have decreased during the pandemic. However, multiple reports have suggested people were avoiding health services because of the pandemic, making it difficult to tell whether exacerbations truly decreased or whether people were simply avoiding their doctors. This is the first study done to assess asthma exacerbations before and during the pandemic that is unlikely to be impacted by patient healthcare avoidance. (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…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Vaccine Studies / 03.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Laura M. Bogart, PhD Senior Behavioral Scientist RAND Corporation Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recent media polls continue to show that Black Americans are less likely to intend to get the COVID-19 vaccine than White Americans, and initial state data show a similar racial/ethnic disparity in vaccination rates. Initial uptake of the vaccine has been significantly affected by inequities in vaccine access and supply. In addition to these challenges, other factors contribute to hesitancy around vaccination, including self-perceived risk of infection, trust in the vaccine itself, trust in healthcare systems, healthcare providers, and policymakers who support the vaccine, and trust in the pharmaceutical industry and clinical research. In this study, we conducted a survey of a nationally representative sample of 207 Black Americans in late 2020, after initial COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and safety data were released to the public. We also did in-depth interviews with a subsample of those surveyed who said that they would not get vaccinated. In addition, we engaged with a stakeholder advisory committee comprised of individuals who represent different subgroups and organizations in Black communities in the U.S., in order to discuss the results and make recommendations for policies to increase COVID-19 vaccination among Black Americans. (more…)