Research Roundup: Research Papers; Obesity; Brain Damage; ALS; Vaping; HPV
Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs.
The Pandemic Is Pushing Scientists To Rethink How They Read Research Papers
The coronavirus pandemic has posed a special challenge for scientists: Figuring out how to make sense of a flood of scientific papers from labs and scientists unfamiliar to them. More than 6,000 coronavirus-related preprints from researchers around the world have been posted since the pandemic began, without the usual peer review as a quality check. Some are poor quality, while others, including papers from China from early in the course of the epidemic, contain vital information. The beauty of science is the facts are supposed to speak for themselves. (Harris, 7/7)
Women Researchers Are Publishing Less Since The Pandemic Hit
As Covid-19 has shuttered schools across the globe, leaving parents to pick up childcare responsibilities, a handful of studies have converged on the same grim picture: Women in academic science and medicine are publishing far less since the pandemic hit. Two studies published in May looked at preprint servers and found that women in life and medical sciences aren’t seeing the same gains in publishing compared to their male peers since the pandemic started. (Isselbacher, 7/9)
Obese COVID-19 Patients At Risk For Respiratory Failure But Not Hospital Death
A retrospective cohort study of 1,687 COVID-19 patients at two New York City hospitals published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that 31% were obese, and obese patients were at higher risk of respiratory failure. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine studied the electronic medical record data of adults hospitalized with the novel coronavirus from Mar 3 to May 15 for outpatient body mass index (BMI) measurements recorded within 3 months after hospitalization. They defined obesity as a BMI of 30 or higher, and 31.1% of patients fit that category, with 5.4% of all patients being morbidly obese. (7/7)
New Clues To ALS And Alzheimer's From Physics
The same process that causes dew drops to form on a blade of grass appears to play an important role in Alzheimer's and other brain diseases. The process, known as phase transition, is what allows water vapor to condense into liquid water, or even freeze into solid ice. That same sort of process allows brain cells to constantly reorganize their inner machinery. (Hamilton, 7/8)
American Academy of Pediatrics:
Clinical Features Of E-Cigarette, Or Vaping, Product Use–Associated Lung Injury In Teenagers
Diagnosis of EVALI (electronic cigarette, or vaping, product use–associated lung injury) should be suspected on the basis of vaping history and clinical presentation. Glucocorticoid treatment led to an improvement in symptoms and lung function. The 6-minute walk test may help determine oxygen needs at discharge.
American Academy Of Pediatrics:
Improving HPV Vaccination Rates: A Stepped-Wedge Randomized Trial
Multilevel interventions that include provider education, data feedback, tailored systems changes, and early initiation of the human papillomavirus vaccine series may improve vaccine series initiation and completion beyond the conclusion of the intervention period. (Perkins et al, 7/1)