Featured Research

Scans of legs showing disease

The inflammation we see in psoriasis is similar to what we see in atherosclerosis—a type of heart disease that involves the build-up of fats, cholesterol and inflammatory cells in the artery walls. Could a drug used to treat psoriasis patients also help people with aortic vascular inflammation? A team led by Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE, tested that idea.

Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE; Nehal N. Mehta, MD, MSCE

M. Kit Delgado, MD, MS

When patients who've never used opioids before are prescribed large numbers of tablets for acute pain, they're more prone to becoming long-term users and more likely to have leftover tablets that could be diverted for misuse and abuse. Setting low opioid prescription default quantities in electronic medical record orders can help, showed a study led by M. Kit Delgado, MD, MS (pictured).

M. Kit Delgado, Frances S. Shofer, Mitesh S. Patel, Scott Halpern, Christopher Edwards, Zachary F. Meisel, Jeanmarie Perrone

Dermatologist checking a patient's hair

Psoriasis is less common among members of racial minorities—but when it does occur, it can be more burdensome. This study team showed that minorities are less likely than white Americans to see a doctor for psoriasis treatment—and brought to public attention a disparity that should be addressed.

Alexander H. Fischer, MD, MPH; Daniel B. Shin, PhD; Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE; Junko Takeshita, MD, PhD, MSCE

Alexis Ogdie Beatty

Patients with psoriasis and with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are often treated with similar drugs, but those with psoriatic skin or joint disease—particularly patients with more severe skin psoriasis—are higher risk for serious liver disease, reports a team led by Alexis Ogdie-Beatty, MD, MSCE.

Alexis Ogdie-Beatty,  Sungat K. Grewal, Megan H. Noe, Daniel B. Shin, Junko Takeshita, Zelma C. Chiesa Fuxench,  Rotonya M. Carr, Joel M. Gelfand

Man hailing ride

Studies that have examined ride-hailing's impact on motor vehicle crashes by using data averaged across cities have provided some clues about public safety. However the way drivers use a city’s roadway networks and the spatial structure of the cities themselves can vary widely. This team looked at the specific effects of ride-hailing within four particular cities.

Girl drinking meds

Adherence to HIV treatment regimens strongly predicts treatment outcomes; but part of the recommended first-line HIV treatment regimen for children under the age of three is difficult for many of them to take. And while some children strongly reject the drug, others readily accept its taste. Seeking clues about individual differences in the palatability of pediatric drug formulations, the authors used a panel of adults whose taste-receptor genotypes had previously been defined.

Julie Mennella, Phoebe Matthew, Elizabeth Lowenthal.

Magnifying glass examining skin

We know that psoriasis, which affects about 7.5 million Americans, is associated with an increased risk for conditions such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease; but what about patients' future risk for major health problems? This study is the first to link psoriasis to an increased risk of death using an objective measure of disease severity, Body Surface Area, rather than by looking at treatment patterns.

Authors: Megan H. Noe, Daniel B. Shin, Marilyn T. Wan, Joel M. Gelfand

Patient in hospital bed talking to nurses

Cases of recurrent of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), the most common healthcare-linked infection in the U.S., are now cropping up at much higher rates, a Penn study team discovered. The findings underscore the demand for effective new treatment options and the crucial need to make sure they are safe for patients.

Gene K. Ma, MD; Colleen M. Brensinger, MS; Qufei Wu, MS; James D. Lewis, MD, MSCE

Hands holding meds

Why do some teens living with HIV adhere well to their medication regimens, and others do not? The authors conducted focus group discussions and interviewed adolescents at both ends of that spectrum in Botswana, seeking to determine which factors most commonly pose barriers and which most often facilitate good adherence.

Elizabeth Yang, Seipone Mphele, Neo Moshashane, et al; Elizabeth Lowenthal

family sitting in kitchen talking

Kiran Shelat (shown with wife and daughter) used to be one of the more than 97,000 patients in the U.S. who are waiting for kidney transplants—often for five years or more. Then he became part of a groundbreaking clinical trial that asks: Can we substantially increase the supply of transplant kidneys by using some of the many donated but previously discarded organs infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), then destroying the disease in the recipient?

David S. Goldberg, MD, MSCE, and Peter Reese, MD, MSCE, study co-leaders. For the full list of authors, see the correspondence.

sad middle aged woman

Depression is common during the transition to menopause, but which women are most at risk for major depressive disorder (MDD)? This team was the first to examine how early adversity influences the onset of MDD during the menopause transition, and how the timing of a traumatic event might affect that onset.

C. Neill Epperson, MD; Mary D. Sammel, ScD; Tracy L. Bale, PhD; Deborah R. Kim, MD; Sarah Conlin, BA; Stephanie Scalice, MA; Katharine Freeman, BA; and Ellen W. Freeman, PhD

Older man and woman walking in park

People over the age of 65 are least likely to be physically active. Can incentive programs help, and which kinds would be most effective? The authors engaged in one of the first few studies aimed at finding out.

Authors: Kristin A. Harkins, BA; Jeffrey T. Kullgren, MD, MS, MPH; Scarlett L. Bellamy, ScD; Jason Karlawish, MD; Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Percentage based graph with red green and blue lines

When patients don’t follow their regimen for immunosuppression, they’re at more risk after kidney transplantation; this study investigated new ways to meet that challenge.

Peter P. Reese, MD, MSCE; Roy D. Bloom, MD; Jennifer Trofe-Clark, PharmD; Adam Mussell, MA; Daniel Leidy, BA; Simona Levsky, BS; Jingsan Zhu, MS, MBA; Lin Yang, MS; Wenli Wang, MS; Andrea Troxel, ScD; Harold I. Feldman, MD, MSCE; Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD

pregnant woman giving in labor

Labor is induced in about one million women each year who deliver babies in the U.S. The authors investigated four different methods of inducing labor to see which would reduce the amount of time it takes until delivery.

Lisa D. Levine, MD, MSCE; Katheryne L. Downes, PhD, MPH; Michal A. Elovitz, MD; Samuel Parry, MD; Mary D. Sammel, ScD; Sindhu K. Srinivas, MD, MSCE

Pane of glass with bullet hole in it

After the “stand your ground” law was implemented, Florida firearm homicides jumped about 30%. Douglas Wiebe, senior author of this widely reported study, comments, “We know of no other event abrupt or gradual that happened around the same time that could help explain why we see such an abrupt and sustained increase.”

David K. Humphreys, PhD; Antonio Gasparrini, PhD; Douglas J. Wiebe, PhD

About the CCEB

How can we answer and anticipate the pressing health issues we face together as a society? At the CCEB we rise to that challenge through research and training in epidemiology and in biostatistics. We solve problems facing patients and populations. READ MORE ABOUT CCEB

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