In the News
In the News
“I didn’t have to ration my healthcare or make a call to ask a family member for money,” writes Meenakshi Bewtra, MD, MPH, PhD, about a “miracle” in the course of her IBS treatment. The explanation: Massuchusetts had implemented a precursor of the Affordable Care Act.
Typically underserved groups are underrepresented in therapeutic clinical trials—so the findings may be less applicable for them. Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD, describes how experimental treatment has benefited his wife and argues Congress must pass the Clinical Treatment Act.
Researchers at Penn Medicine, Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s found that a third of Black patients in their study, more than 700 people, would have been placed into a more severe category of kidney disease if their kidney function had been estimated using the same formula as for white patients. Study author Nwamaka Eneanya, MD, MPH, comments.
Joel Gelfand, MD, MSCE, discussed the value of having dermatologists talk to patients with psoriasis about how they are emotionally handling their condition.
Michael Levy, PhD, explained how the end of the CDC’s eviction moratorium on January 1 could lead to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Historically, he said, most people have been able to “double up” when they are evicted, which creates larger households and more opportunities for disease spread.
Not only did the good news about the vaccine trial arrive close to the national election. A planned external review was on a collision course with the surge in coronavirus cases that hit the nation over the last month, Susan Ellenberg, PhD, commented.
The vaccine trials are based on population samples, commented Susan Ellenberg, PhD. “You have to have a number of cases that’s big enough so you can have confidence in your estimate,” she said.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning can help us fight COVID-19, Jason Moore, PhD, told The Washington Post. But if you study only populations that are primarily Caucasian, that may not apply as well nationally, in a more diverse population, he added.
We can make COVID-19 vaccines rapidly available only if we have rigorous evidence—which is threatened if we allow emerging data from candidate trials to be disclosed in ways that might influence trial design or conduct and potentially bias the results, write Susan Ellenberg, PhD, and colleagues.
Modeling the public health risks associated with evictions, research by Michael Levy, PhD, predicted that a 1 percent eviction rate would raise the incidence of COVID-19 infection by 5 to 10 percent.
To understand health and disease today, we need new thinking and novel science —the kind we create when multiple disciplines work together from the ground up. That is why this department has put forward a bold vision in population-health science: a single academic home for biostatistics, epidemiology and informatics.