News in brief: Treprostinil benefit in IPF; Trucks bring sleep clinics to the bush; Gender disparity in citations a career barrier for female academics in medicine


5 Jul 2021

Treprostinil benefit in IPF

When used in patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) and associated pulmonary hypertension, inhaled treprostinil  has most benefit in patients with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia and especially idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a study show.

Sub-group analysis of  a phase 3 trial of treprostinil  compared to placebo in 326 patients  showed FVC differences of 46·5 mL at week 8 and 108·2 mL  at week 16 in patients with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia.

Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis showed FVC differences of 84·5 mL at week 8 and 168·5 mL at week 16.

The promising results warrant further prospective studies said the study authors in Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Trucks bring sleep clinics to the bush

The Heart of Australia’s mobile clinic has arrived by truck in northern Queensland, bringing specialist sleep medicine services to a number of remote and regional communities for the first time.

A $12 million funding boost from the federal government has allowed expansion of the program to four trucks and enabled the inaugural trip that brings city-based medical specialists to towns stretching from Cooktown to the Mackay Region, according to Heart of Australia Founder Dr Rolf Gomes.

“Heart of Australia will bring specialists in cardiology, sonography, and sleep diagnostics to residents in Cooktown, Ayr, Sarina, and Proserpine,” he said.

HEART 4 is a 34-wheel custom-built, B-Double road train, one of four that service 29 towns across Queensland, as well as two static clinics in Weipa and Palm Island.

“We’ll do ECGs, blood pressure monitors, Holter monitors, sleep studies, CPAPs, a whole range of supporting services and supporting diagnostics,” said Chris Wilson, Heart of Australia Medical Aide.

Gender disparity in citations a career barrier for female academics in medicine

Women face an additional barrier to advancement in academic medicine because their articles published in medical journals have fewer citations than those written by men, a US study shows

An analysis of 5,554 articles published in 5 high-impact journals showed that, 36% had a female primary author, and 26% had a female senior author.

However, articles with women as primary author were cited a median of 36 times in other journals, compared to 54 citations of articles with male primary authors.

As senior authors, women were cited a median of 37 times, while male counterparts received a median of 51 citations.

The disparity is likely putting female academics at a disadvantage compared to their male peers because the number of citations of peer-reviewed articles is commonly used as a metric for academic recognition, influence, and in professional evaluations and promotion, the study authors said.

“This imbalance will not be solved through hiring and mentoring more women alone,” said senior author, Dr Rachel Werner of the University of Pennsylvania.

“We must also work to ensure that women already in academic medicine are equally valued and promoted for their contributions and their successes. From the journals publishing this work, to academic institutions promoting articles once published, everyone should be invested in bridging this gender divide.”


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