Einstein/Montefiore Department of Medicine

In The Media

The Washington Post's "The Checkup" blog features new research by Nir Barzilai, M.D., that finds centenarians are no more virtuous than the general population in terms of their diet, exercise routine or smoking and drinking habits (includes video). Dr. Barzilai is the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research and director of the Institute for Aging Research. (Wednesday, August 03, 2011)

Dr. Barzilai's Profile
The Los Angeles Times's "Booster Shots" blog features new research by Rajat Singh, M.D., M.B.B.S., that show dieting causes certain brain cells to start eating small portions of themselves — triggering a hunger response. Dr. Singh is assistant professor of medicine and of molecular pharmacology. (Wednesday, August 03, 2011)

Dr. Singh's Profile
NBC's The Today Show interviews Gil Atzmon, Ph.D., about the science of aging and whether measuring the length of a person's telomeres can be used to predict life span.  Dr. Atzmon notes that not enough research has been done on telomeres, so currently available consumer tests cannot provide accurate results. Dr. Atzmon is assistant professor of medicine and of genetics. (Wednesday, July 13, 2011)

Dr. Atzmon's Profile
WSJ.com interviews Nir Barzilai, M.D., about his ongoing research with more than 500 centenarians, some whose unhealthy habits – including smoking and overeating – seem to have no impact on their longevity. Dr. Barzilai is the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research and director of both the Institute for Aging Research and the Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging. For more on Dr. Barzilai's research, visit www.SuperAgers.com. (Wednesday, July 13, 2011)

Dr. Barzilai's Profile
U.S. News & World Report (via Healthday) interviews Joel Zonszein, M.D., on a new study linking type 1 diabetes to risk factors for cardiovascular disease in teenage girls. Researchers found that among those in their study with diabetes, females had higher blood sugar and cholesterol levels and were more overweight — all of which boost the risk of cardiovascular disease — than males. Dr. Zonszein notes that type 1 diabetes may reduce or eliminate the protection women normally demonstrate in their pre-menopausal years. Dr. Joel Zonszein is professor of clinical medicine at Einstein and director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center. (Monday, June 27, 2011)

Dr. Zonszein's Profile
The Wall Street Journal interviews Nir Barzilai, M.D., for an article on financial planning for individuals expected to live into their 90s. While the article details some investment and insurance options designed to cover the increased costs of living longer, Dr. Barzilai notes that the final healthcare costs for centenarians are typically about one-third of those costs for someone who dies at 67. Dr. Barzilai is the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research and director of the Institute for Aging Research. (Monday, June 20, 2011)

Dr. Barzilai's Profile
WABC-TV interviews Adam Friedman, M.D., about the importance of applying sun block frequently - and before going outside - to protect skin from sun exposure. Dr. Friedman notes that while many people think a tan looks “healthy,” it is actually an indicator of too much sun exposure. Dr. Friedman is instructor of medicine at Einstein and director of dermatologic research at Montefiore Medical Center. (Tuesday, May 31, 2011)

Dr. Friedman's profile
WNYC Radio interviews David Rosenstreich, M.D., about why allergy sufferers believe they are experiencing worse than normal symptoms this year. Dr. Rosenstreich notes that if the pollen count rises gradually, people grow accustomed to their worsening symptoms. But when the pollen count rises quickly, as it has this season, people suddenly get very sick, leading them to believe that their symptoms are worse than usual. Dr. Rosenstreich is the Joseph and Sadie Danciger Distinguished Scholar in Microbiology and Immunology at Einstein and chief of allergy and immunology at Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center. (Monday, May 16, 2011)

Dr. Rosenstreich's Profile
USA Today interviews Michael Alderman, M.D., regarding growing concerns about the influence of the money provided by makers of drugs and medical devices on medical societies. Dr. Alderman objects strongly to some of the industry-funded practices occurring at the American Hypertension Society (AHS), a physicians group for which he was once president. Two years ago, the AHS teamed with its biggest donor, Daiichi Sankyo, the maker of hypertension drugs, to create a training program for drug company sales representatives. Graduating from the class, which costs $1,990 per person, allows them to put the AHS accreditation symbol on their business cards. Dr. Alderman calls the program “obscene.” Dr. Alderman is professor of epidemiology & population health and of medicine and the Atran Foundation Chair in Social Medicine. (Friday, May 06, 2011)

Dr. Alderman's Profile
Seattle NPR station KUOW interviews Nir Barzilai, M.D., and Ana Maria Cuervo, M.D., Ph.D., about the biology of aging and the genetics of longevity. Dr. Cuervo discussed autophagy, the process of cell regulation, and the role it plays in keeping organs young, potentially leading to longer life spans. Dr. Barzilai discussed his genetic research with centenarians and the importance of discovering the key to healthy aging. Dr. Cuervo is professor of developmental and molecular biology. Dr. Barzilai is the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research and director of the Institute for Aging Research. (Friday, April 08, 2011)

Dr. Barzilai's Profile | Dr. Cuervo's Profile
U.S. News & World Report (via HealthDay) features new research by Joanna Starrels, M.D., M.S., that found patients on painkillers, such as oxycodone, are frequently not closely monitored by the primary care doctors who prescribed the drugs. The study found that only 24 percent of those patients considered high-risk for drug abuse underwent drug testing and were more likely to get frequent refills than patients without a history of drug abuse. Dr. Starrels says the finding that doctors did not increase precautions for patients at highest risk for opioid misuse should bring attention to an important safety concern and be a call for a standardized approach to monitoring. Dr. Starrels is an assistant professor of medicine. (Thursday, March 10, 2011)

Dr. Starrels' Profile
The Los Angeles Times interviews Joseph Sparano, M.D., in an article on the growing evidence linking obesity with increased risk of cancer and mortality.  Researchers estimate that approximately 14% of cancer deaths in men and 20% in women are due to individuals being overweight or obese. Dr. Sparano comments on the results of the Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study, which found that the risk of breast cancer recurrence dropped by 25% in patients who stuck to a low-fat diet. He notes that if those results were due to a drug rather than a diet, it would be considered an effective treatment. Dr. Sparano is professor of medicine and of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health and associate chair of oncology at Montefiore Medical Center. (Monday, March 07, 2011)

Dr. Sporano's Profile
Bloomberg BusinessWeek (via HealthDay) interviews Mario Garcia, M.D., about a new study that shows blood pressure medication can reduce the risk of congestive heart failure, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases in people without high blood pressure. Research found that the risk of stroke was reduced by 23 percent and the risk of cardiovascular mortality by 17 percent in those taking the medications as compared to those who were not. Dr. Garcia notes that findings are not unexpected since these drugs have already been shown to prevent cardiac events in patients who have previously had heart attacks or heart failure. Dr. Garcia is professor and chief of cardiology at Einstein and co-director of the Montefiore-Einstein Heart Center. (Friday, March 04, 2011)

Dr. Garcia's Profile
WebMD features new research by Michal Melamed, M.D., that found low levels of vitamin D is linked to allergies in children and adolescents. Although no such link was found in adults, children and adolescents who had vitamin D deficiencies exhibited an increased risk of sensitivity to food and environmental allergens like peanuts and ragweed. The study did not demonstrate that vitamin D deficiencies actually cause allergies. Dr. Melamed notes that the latest dietary recommendations for children (600 IU a day) should keep them from becoming deficient. Dr. Melamed is assistant professor of medicine and of epidemiology & population health. (Friday, February 25, 2011)

Dr. Melamed's Profile
PBS NewsHour's The Rundown blog interviews Nir Barzilai, M.D., about a new study indicating that a dwarfism gene may provide protection against diabetes, cancer and other age-related diseases. The study focuses on a family in Ecuador whose members carry a gene that prevents the body from using growth hormone, a condition that leads to dwarfism. Dr. Barzilai notes that in nature, dwarf models live longer — small dogs live longer than large dogs, ponies longer than horses — and that this study represents an important finding in aging research. Dr. Barzilai is the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research and director of the Institute for Aging Research and the Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging. (Thursday, February 17, 2011)

Dr. Barzilai's Profile
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