BIDMC’s Research & Health News Digest: December 2019

Newswise — Welcome to the December 2019 edition of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s (BIDMC) Research & Health News Digest.

This edition’s update includes:

  • Sensible eating in the new year: Tips from a dietitian (Nutrition)
  • Vaping and your health: Here’s what you need to know (Chest Disease)
  • Managing the holidays with a long-term illness (Cancer)
  • Tips for running outside this winter (Sports Medicine)
  • Can getting a dog help you live longer? (Cardiovascular)
  • Cardiologists answer frequently asked questions about common medications (Cardiovascular)
  • 3 tips to help manage multiple medications (Cardiovascular)
  • Trying to quit smoking? Experts provide helpful hints (Chest Disease)
  • Study sheds light on differences in care and outcomes for homeless individuals with urgent cardiovascular conditions (Cardiovascular)
  • Using AI to find a less-invasive alternative to liver biopsy (AI & Liver Disease)
  • High doses of vitamin D for critically ill patients yield minimal benefit (General Medicine)
  • Predicting vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease and delirium (Alzheimer’s Disease)

If any of these briefs pique your interest and you’d like to speak with one of our experts, please contact us at or at 617-667-7300. You can also reach the BIDMC communications team member on call through the BIDMC page operator at (617) 667-4700 by asking for pager ID #33880.

The BIDMC Media Relations Team

BIDMC Research & Health News Digest: December 2019


Sensible Eating in the New Year: Tips from a Dietitian

Monica Garvey, RD, LDN, CNSC, a clinical dietitian at BIDMC, shares tips for setting yourself up for lifelong sensible eating habits – in the new year and beyond.


Vaping and Your Health: Here’s What You Need to Know

BIDMC pulmonologist Sean Levy, MD, shares what you need to know about vaping.


Managing the Holidays with a Long-Term Illness

Leora Lowenthal, LICSW-OSW-C, manager of the oncology social work program at BIDMC, and Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C, provide advice on rethinking holiday traditions and celebrations to capture more peace in the face of a long-term illness.


Tips for Running Outside this Winter

Julie Ruane, NP, a nurse practitioner in the Division of Sports Medicine at BIDMC, shares tips for staying safe while running outside in the winter weather.


Can Getting a Dog Help You Live Longer?

Much has been written about the effect of dog ownership on mental well-being, but can it impact your physical health as well? Two studies published last month aimed to answer this challenging question. Dhruv S. Kazi, MD, MSc, MS, Associate Director of the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology and Director of the Cardiac Critical Care Unit at BIDMC, weighed in on the conversation in an editorial accompanying those two studies in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.


Cardiologists Answer Frequently Asked Questions about Common Medications

Eli Gelfand, MD, Section Chief of General Cardiology at BIDMC, Mark Benson, MD, Director of Preventive Cardiology at BIDMC, and Michael Gavin, MD, MPH, Director of BIDMC's Cardiac Direct Access (CDAC) Unit at BIDMC, answers some frequently asked questions about common medications like aspirin, statins and blood pressure medications.


3 Tips to Help Manage Multiple Medications

Sonia Kothari, PharmD, a pharmacist in BIDMC’s Advanced Heart Failure Program, shares insight on tools and reminders to help patients keep track of their daily medications.


Trying to Quit Smoking? Experts Provide Helpful Hints

Sidhu Gangadharan, MD, Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Interventional Pulmonology at BIDMC, shares helpful tips for those trying to quit smoking.


Study Sheds Light on Differences in Care and Outcomes for Homeless Individuals with Urgent Cardiovascular Conditions

In a new retrospective study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a team of researchers led by Rishi Wadhera, MD, MPP, MPhil, an investigator in the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at BIDMC, found that there are striking disparities in in-hospital care and mortality between homeless and non-homeless adults hospitalized for cardiovascular conditions.


Using AI to Find a Less-Invasive Alternative to Liver Biopsy

Using machine learning technology, endocrinologists led by Christos Mantzoros, MD, DSc, Director of the Human Nutrition Unit at BIDMC, developed a non-invasive test that can help physicians monitor their patients’ liver health. The team reported its findings in Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental, along with an accompanying editorial emphasizing the model’s potential impact.


High Doses of Vitamin D for Critically Ill Patients Yield Minimal Benefit

A study published in NEJM and conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL) Network has concluded that supplements such as vitamin D do not improve health outcomes for critically ill patients. Daniel Talmor, MD, MPH, Chair of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care & Pain Medicine at BIDMC, served as co-chair of the study protocol committee.


Predicting Vulnerability to Alzheimer’s Disease and Delirium

In a paper published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, a team of researchers led by Sarinnapha M. Vasunilashorn, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine at BIDMC, shed new light on a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease that may indirectly influence patients’ risk of postoperative delirium.