Homepage Round-Up: Women Have Less Twitter Influence than Men in Health Care, Bipolar Disorder Linked to Parkinson’s Disease, and More

Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this week in the Homepage section. In this week’s edition of the round-up: females in academic medicine have less influence on Twitter than their male counterparts; taste-focused labeling may encourage people to make healthier eating choices; people with bipolar disorder have a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease; and the accuracy of screening children for autism spectrum disorder is lacking.

New research published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that among health policy and health care researchers, women, on average, have half as many followers on Twitter compared to their male counterparts. To conduct this study, researchers used data presented at AcademyHealth’s 2018 Annual Research Meeting to identify 6,442 speakers and co-authors, searching each attendee’s degree(s), title/position, and gender. Twitter users were pinpointed by searching for each attendee’s Twitter profile and handle. They focused on US citizens with an MD, PhD, or equivalent degree that worked as independent non-trainee–level researchers. The authors wrote of the results that: “Twitter is used frequently among health policy and health services researchers. Although it may be an effective way to gain professional visibility and career advancement opportunities, in this study, men had a greater Twitter audience compared with their female peers.”

Taste-focused labeling might be the key to getting people to select and eat more vegetables, according to a study published in the journal Psychological Science. Researchers conducted a preregistered intervention study at five schools and tested tailored to provide expectations of a positive dining experience using terms suggesting taste, excitement, indulgence, tradition, preparation, or geographic location (e.g. “creamy”, “sizzling”, “mouthwatering”, “homestyle”). Following data analysis, the findings of the study showed over the duration of 185 days, 137,842 diner decisions, and 24 vegetable types, taste-focused labels increased vegetable selection by 29% juxtaposed to only 14% with basic labels.

There exists a link between bipolar disorder (BD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), according to a new study. Patients with BD have a significantly higher chance of developing PD than others in the general population. The findings appeared in JAMA Neurology. To conduct this study, researchers performed a literature search of the following online databases from inception until May 2019: Cochrane Controlled Register of Trials; MEDLINE, Embase; and PsycINFO, using the terms Parkinson’s diseasebipolar disorder, and mania. “The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis suggest that people with BD have a significantly increased likelihood of later developing PD. When placed in the context of other systematic reviews looking at risk factors for PD, our statistical evidence is highly suggestive,” the authors wrote in their conclusion.

The accuracy of standard screening for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is lacking, particularly among minority children from lower-income households, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. In this study, researchers conducted primary care-based screenings on 25,999 children at a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) site using the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers with Follow-Up (M-CHAT/F), following the initiation of universal electronic health record (EHR) screening. The patients of interest were between 16 and 26 months and underwent a well-child visit between January 2011, and July 2015. “Universal screening in primary care is possible when supported by electronic administration,” the authors further wrote.