In the News

Fall 2014 Edition

Ethan Cumbler, MD, associate professor of medicine, discussed setting up the only hospital unit in Colorado specializing in the care of the elderly in a June article in The Wall Street Journal. He stresses that treating elderly patients requires a holistic approach that takes into consideration all of their physiological, psychological, economic and social issues.

Fred Hirsch, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, discussed his research on a device that could test patients’ breath to reveal whether they have lung cancer and how advanced it is. “This could totally revolutionize lung cancer screening and diagnosis,” he told The Huffington Post in June. “The perspective here is the development of a nontraumatic, easy, cheap approach to early detection and differentiation of lung cancer.”

James O. Hill, PhD, executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and professor of pediatrics and medicine, outlined the results of his research study that found drinking diet beverages can help people lose weight. “This study clearly demonstrates diet beverages can in fact help people lose weight, directly countering myths in recent years that suggest the opposite effect—weight gain,” he told 9News in Denver in May.

Catherine Lozupone, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, talked with Scientific American in April about probiotic supplements. “I think probiotics have a ton of potential, but different bacteria are going to do different things in different contexts,” she said. “This notion [of] ‘oh just reseed the good bacteria … they’re good for you’ is definitely very oversimplified.”

Cordelia Robinson, PhD, RN, director of JFK Partners and professor of pediatrics and psychiatry, in an April report in La Voz debunked claims that vaccines are a cause of autism. “They are absolutely not connected,” she said. “Reports from the Centers for Disease Control have laid that issue to rest.”

Paula Riggs, MD, professor of psychiatry, told the Los Angeles Times in April that the delayed reaction to edible marijuana has led some users to keep eating, looking for a buzz. “A half-hour later they are on their back,” she said.

Michael J. Kosnett, MD, MPH, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology, in a report that appeared in March on News4 in Jacksonville, Fla., commented on packaging for edible marijuana products following a spike in accidental poisonings. “It would be our advice that all jurisdictions that sell these candies and other edible products be sold with child resistant packaging,” he said.

John R. Corboy, MD, professor of neurology, discussed a Supreme Court case about generic drugs in The New York Times in March, explaining that a brand name drug for multiple sclerosis patients had significantly higher costs. “The prices would go up 10, 20, 30 percent at a time for no apparent reason,” he said. “We spend a quarter, some days half our time talking to patients about insurance and figuring out how we are going to get them medications.”

Ben Honigman, MD, professor of emergency medicine, in April remarked in Time magazine about a 16-year-old who stowed away in the wheel well of a Boeing 767 on a five-hour flight from California to Hawaii. “The brains of young people are more adaptable, and recoveries of kids who were comatose for a long period of time are more likely than recoveries among older patients,” he said.

Iñigo San Millán, PhDprofessor of family medicine, was interviewed by Ivanhoe Newswire, a national news syndicate, about how training programs at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center can help recreational athletes improve their performance in biking, running and swimming. “The majority of people that are entering these sports, they don’t know how to train,” he said in a report that ran on WWSB-TV in Sarasota, Fla. “They don’t know how to eat, how to recover. They are all over the map.”

Greg Everson, MD, professor of medicine, said that more people with hepatitis C should be treated with Sovaldi, even though the treatment costs about $1,000 per pill. “The focus on the price per pill is pretty short-sighted because we’re losing touch with really big issues,” he told KUNC public radio in June. “Before this drug came out, we were spending a lot of money on hep C and not getting anywhere near these results.”

Amneet Sandhu, MD, cardiology fellow, reported a 25 percent jump in the number of heart attacks occurring the Monday after switching to daylight saving time compared to other Mondays during the year. The study, presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in March, was widely covered by the media, including by Reuters and Fox News. “Our study suggests that sudden, even small changes in sleep could have detrimental effects,” he said.

Omer Mei-Dan, MD, assistant professor of orthopedics, described the purpose of the first International Extreme Sports Medicine Congress, held in June in Boulder, in an interview with Colorado Public Radio. “These athletes often return to their sports before completing rehabilitation, jeopardizing their recovery and sometimes even their lives,” he said. “So we need to understand that and we need to know how to approach these people.”

Jason Rhodes, MD, MS, assistant professor of orthopedics, was quoted in Orthopedics Today in June discussing the skiing injuries among professional skiers. “If you are trying to race and go as fast as possible, obviously, you have a much higher risk of falling and getting significantly injured,” he said.

Robert Eckel, MD, professor of medicine, told USA Today in July that medicating people to reach a target number for cholesterol, triglyceride and blood pressure doesn’t necessarily prevent strokes and heart attacks. “It’s important to realize that HDL has not proven to be a target for therapy,” he said.

Edwin Liu, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, talked with Colorado Public Radio in July about his study on the genetics behind celiac disease and the promise of early detection and treatment, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. “If [celiac disease] is left untreated, individuals can develop thin bones like osteoporosis,” Liu said. “They can have iron deficiency anemia, it can lead to infertility or miscarriages, and there’s actually a slightly increased risk of certain cancers of the small intestine.”

Amy Brooks-Kayal, MD, professor of pediatrics and neurology, warned that the use of cannabis oil to treat children with epilepsy shouldn’t be considered medicine. “It is not a medication per se,” she said in a report that aired on KSHB-TV in Kansas City, Mo., in May. “The products are artisanal. The products aren’t consistent in their properties.”

George Wang, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times in June regarding a surge in emergency room visits by children who had accidentally ingested marijuana. “Before the marijuana boom these kinds of edibles were not mass-produced and the amount of THC ingested was somewhat limited,” he said “But now we are seeing much higher strength marijuana.”

L. Michael Glode, MD, professor of medicine, in a July article in The Gazette, a Colorado Springs publication, discussed flying in Colorado State Patrol planes to provide care to cancer patients in Montrose and Alamosa. “Although we try to provide expertise and care for the whole state, it’s very hard to take three days off and drive to Montrose,” he said. “When you can go to the airport at 5 in the morning and get back at 6 at night, it’s a lot easier.”

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