Dr. Ashwin  Kotwal  Md image

Dr. Ashwin Kotwal Md

75 Francis St
Boston MA 02115
617 325-5500
Medical School: Other - Unknown
Accepts Medicare: No
Participates In eRX: No
Participates In PQRS: No
Participates In EHR: No
License #: 259452
NPI: 1891108130
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Evaluation of a Brief Survey Instrument for Assessing Subtle Differences in Cognitive Function Among Older Adults. - Alzheimer disease and associated disorders
Most measures of cognitive function used in large-scale surveys of older adults have limited ability to detect subtle differences across cognitive domains, and standard clinical instruments are impractical to administer in general surveys. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) can address this need, but has limitations in a survey context. Therefore, we developed a survey adaptation of the MoCA, called the MoCA-SA, and describe its psychometric properties in a large national survey. Using a pretest sample of older adults (n=120), we reduced MoCA administration time by 26%, developed a model to accurately estimate full MoCA scores from the MoCA-SA, and tested the model in an independent clinical sample (n=93). The validated 18-item MoCA-SA was then administered to community-dwelling adults aged 62 to 91 as part of the National Social life Health and Aging Project Wave 2 sample (n=3196). In National Social life Health and Aging Project Wave 2, the MoCA-SA had good internal reliability (Cronbach α=0.76). Using item-response models, survey-adapted items captured a broad range of cognitive abilities and functioned similarly across sex, education, and ethnic groups. Results demonstrate that the MoCA-SA can be administered reliably in a survey setting while preserving sensitivity to a broad range of cognitive abilities and similar performance across demographic subgroups.
Measuring cognition: the Chicago Cognitive Function Measure in the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, Wave 2. - The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
To describe the development of a multidimensional test of cognition for the National Social life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), the Chicago Cognitive Function Measure (CCFM).CCFM development included 3 steps: (a) A pilot test of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) to create a standard protocol, choose specific items, reorder items, and improve clarity; (b) integration into a CAPI-based format; and (c) evaluation of the performance of the CCFM in the field. The CCFM was subsequently incorporated into NSHAP, Wave 2 (n = 3,377).The pre-test (n = 120) mean age was 71.35 (SD 8.40); 53% were female, 69% white, and 70% with college or greater education. The MoCA took an average of 15.6min; the time for the CCFM was 12.0 min. CCFM scores (0-20) can be used as a continuous outcome or to adjust for cognition in a multivariable analysis. CCFM scores were highly correlated with MoCA scores (r = .973). Modeling projects MoCA scores from CCFM scores using the equation: MoCA = (1.14 × CCFM) + 6.83. In Wave 2, the overall weighted mean CCFM score was 13.9 (SE 0.13).A survey-based adaptation of the MoCA was successfully integrated into a nationally representative sample of older adults, NSHAP Wave 2.© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Comorbidity and chronic conditions in the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), Wave 2. - The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
The goals of this paper were: (a) to promote research using the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP) Wave 2 data by providing relevant background information for a broad range of chronic conditions and (b) to provide a framework for combining these chronic conditions into informative comorbidity indices.The chronic conditions measured in NSHAP Wave 2 were grouped across several health domains: cardiovascular, endocrine and metabolic, cancer, lung, inflammatory and bone, neurological, and sensorimotor. Prevalences for each condition were reported as percentages and were also estimated separately by age group and gender. Additionally, 2 comorbidity indices were created: a Modified Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) that included conditions associated with mortality risk and the NSHAP Comorbidity Index (NCI) that included conditions from the Modified CCI as well as additional conditions related to overall health and function.Hypertension, incontinence, arthritis, heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes were the most prevalent conditions. In general, prevalences of most chronic conditions increased with age. Additionally, there were several notable gender differences in chronic condition prevalence. Due to the inclusion of highly prevalent conditions, such as hypertension and incontinence, the mean comorbidity index score of the NCI was higher than that of the Modified CCI.Wave 2 of NSHAP included a variety of measures assessing the chronic conditions that are the most prevalent in older adults. These data are a valuable resource for the study of the impact of chronic conditions on overall health and aging.© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Relationship between persistent pain and 5-year mortality: a population-based prospective cohort study. - Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
To assess the association between self-reported noncancer pain and 5-year mortality.Cohort.Community-dwelling older adults.Canadian Study of Health and Aging 1996 wave.Registrar of Vital Statistics-established 5-year mortality. Noncancer pain was assessed using the 5-point verbal descriptor scale, dichotomized into no or very mild versus moderate, severe, or very severe pain. Frailty was the accumulation of health deficits. Cognitive status (Modified Mini-Mental State Examination) and depressed mood (five-item mental health screening questionnaire) were also assessed. Multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards were used to analyze the relationship between pain and 5-year mortality.Of 5,703 participants, 4,694 (82.3%) had complete data for analysis; 1,663 of these (35.4%) reported moderate, severe, or very severe pain, and 1,343 (28.6%) had died at 5-year follow-up. Four hundred ninety-six of those who died (29.8%) reported moderate, severe, or very severe pain and 847 (27.9%) no or very mild pain. Multivariate logistic analysis found that individuals with moderate, severe, or very severe pain had lower odds of 5-year mortality than those with no or very mild pain (odds ratio=0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.66-0.92; P<.001). The risk of death was lower in persons reporting moderate or greater pain than in those with no or very mild pain (HR=0.85, 95% CI=0.75-0.96; P=.01). An interaction between pain and sex explained this effect. Men with pain were not significantly more likely than men without pain to die (HR=1.00, 95% CI=0.84-1.19; P=.99), whereas women without pain (HR=0.54, 95% CI=0.47-0.63; P<0.01) and women with pain (HR=0.40; CI=0.33-0.47; P<.01) had less risk of death than men without and with pain, respectively.Older women with pain were less likely to die within 5 years than older women without pain, men in pain, or men without pain.© 2013, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2013, The American Geriatrics Society.
The influence of stress, depression, and anxiety on PSA screening rates in a nationally representative sample. - Medical care
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer is controversial, with concerning rates of both overscreening and underscreening. The reasons for the observed rates of screening are unknown, and few studies have examined the relationship of psychological health to PSA screening rates. Understanding this relationship can help guide interventions to improve informed decision-making for screening.A nationally representative sample of men 57-85 years old without prostate cancer (N = 1169) from the National Social life, Health and Aging Project was analyzed. The independent relationship of validated psychological health scales measuring stress, anxiety, and depression to PSA testing rates was assessed using multivariable logistic regression analyses.PSA screening rates were significantly lower for men with higher perceived stress [odds ratio (OR) = 0.76, P = 0.006], but not for higher depressive symptoms (OR = 0.89, P = 0.22) when accounting for stress. Anxiety influences PSA screening through an interaction with number of doctor visits (P = 0.02). Among the men who visited the doctor once those with higher anxiety were less likely to be screened (OR = 0.65, P = 0.04). Conversely, those who visited the doctor 10+ times with higher anxiety were more likely to be screened (OR = 1.71, P = 0.04).Perceived stress significantly lowers PSA screening likelihood, and it seems to partly mediate the negative relationship of depression with screening likelihood. Anxiety affects PSA screening rates differently for men with different numbers of doctor visits. Interventions to influence PSA screening rates should recognize the role of the patients' psychological state to improve their likelihood of making informed decisions and improve screening appropriateness.
Interventions to improve decision making and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the management of prostate cancer: a systematic review. - Journal of general internal medicine
Ethnic minorities are disproportionately impacted by prostate cancer (PCa) and are at risk for not receiving informed decision making (IDM). We conducted a systematic literature review on interventions to improve: (1) IDM about PCa in screening-eligible minority men, and (2) quality of life (QOL) in minority PCa survivors.MeSH headings for PCa, ethnic minorities, and interventions were searched in MEDLINE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL, and PsycINFO. SUBJECT ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: We identified U.S.-based, English-language articles (1985 - 2010) on interventions to improve PCa IDM and QOL that included 50% or more minority patients or analyses stratified by race/ethnicity.Articles (n = 19) were evaluated and scored for quality using a Downs and Black (DB) system. Interventions were organized by those enhancing 1) IDM about PCa screening and 2) improving QOL and symptom among PCa survivors. Outcomes were reported by intervention type (educational seminar, printed material, telephone-based, video and web-based).Fourteen studies evaluated interventions for enhancing IDM about PCa screening and five evaluated programs to improve outcomes for PCa survivors. Knowledge scores were statistically significantly increased in 12 of 13 screening studies that measured knowledge, with ranges of effect varying across intervention types: educational programs (13% - 48% increase), print (11% - 18%), videotape/DVD (16%), and web-based (7% - 20%). In the final screening study, an intervention to improve decision-making about screening increased decisional self-efficacy by 9%. Five cognitive-behavioral interventions improved QOL among minority men being treated for localized PCa through enhancing problem solving and coping skills.Weak study designs, small sample sizes, selection biases, and variation in follow-up intervals across studies.Educational programs were the most effective intervention for improving knowledge among screening-eligible minority men. Cognitive behavioral strategies improved QOL for minority men treated for localized PCa.
Remaining Life Expectancy Measurement and PSA Screening of Older Men. - Journal of geriatric oncology
BACKGROUND: Guidelines recommend informed decision-making regarding prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening for men with at least 10 years of remaining life expectancy (RLE). Comorbidity measures have been used to judge RLE in previous studies, but assessments based on other common RLE measures are unknown. We assessed whether screening rates varied based on four clinically relevant RLE measures, including comorbidities, in a nationally-representative, community-based sample. METHODS: Using the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), we selected men over 65 without prostate cancer (n=709). They were stratified into three RLE categories (0-7 years, 8-12 years, and 13+ years) based on validated measures of comorbidities, self-rated health status, functional status, and physical performance. The independent relationship of each RLE measure and a combined measure to screening was determined using multivariable logistic regressions. RESULTS: Self-rated health (OR = 6.82; p < 0.01) most closely correlated with RLE-based screening, while the comorbidity index correlated the least (OR = 1.50; p = 0.09). The relationship of RLE to PSA screening significantly strengthened when controlling for the number of doctor visits, particularly for comorbidities (OR= 43.6; p < 0.001). Men who had consistent estimates of less than 7 years RLE by all four measures had an adjusted PSA screening rate of 43.3%. CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of the RLE measure used, men who were estimated to have limited RLE had significant PSA screening rates. However, different RLE measures have different correlations with PSA screening. Specific estimates of over-screening should therefore carefully consider the RLE measure used.
Physical and psychological health of first and second generation Turkish immigrants in Germany. - American journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council
Recent studies in Germany suggest that first generation Turkish immigrants have lower mortality rates compared to native Germans. Conversely, studies examining morbidity, though not national in scope, have demonstrated that first generation Turks may have poorer health than native Germans. Additionally, little is known about the health of the emerging second generation Turkish population in Germany. To evaluate the discrepancy between mortality and morbidity trends and contribute to a better understanding of second generation Turkish immigrant health, this paper uses a nationally-representative dataset, including the 2005 German Gender and Generations Study (GGS) (n = 10,017) and the 2006 GGS Turkish supplement (n = 4,045), to assess three health outcomes: chronic illness, self-assessed health, and feelings of emptiness. The paper investigates whether sex, age, socioeconomic status, emotional support, or duration of residence in Germany predict these dimensions of health. Results establish clear health status differences between Turks and native Germans. Surprisingly, both first and second generation Turks tend to have lower chronic illness rates and rate their health as better than Germans at younger ages, but the advantage diminishes among higher age strata for the first generation. Feelings of emptiness results generally indicate an increased susceptibility to psychological problems for both generations of Turks. Controlling for socioeconomic status and age reduces these health differences modestly, pointing to their likely role as mediators. The relatively higher risks for all three health outcomes among Turkish females of both generations compared to their German counterparts suggest that female Turkish immigrants and their female offspring may be particularly vulnerable.
Unique microRNA profile in end-stage heart failure indicates alterations in specific cardiovascular signaling networks. - The Journal of biological chemistry
It is well established that gene expression patterns are substantially altered in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, but the reasons for such differences are not clear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that provide a novel mechanism for gene regulation. The goal of this study was to comprehensively test for alterations in miRNA expression using human heart failure samples with an aim to build signaling pathway networks using predicted targets for the miRNAs and to identify nodal molecules that control these networks. Genome-wide profiling of miRNAs was performed using custom-designed miRNA microarray followed by validation on an independent set of samples. Eight miRNAs are significantly altered in heart failure of which we have identified two novel miRNAs that are yet to be implicated in cardiac pathophysiology. To gain an unbiased global perspective on regulation by altered miRNAs, predicted targets of eight miRNAs were analyzed using the Ingenuity Pathways Analysis network algorithm to build signaling networks and identify nodal molecules. The majority of nodal molecules identified in our analysis are targets of altered miRNAs and are known regulators of cardiovascular signaling. A heart failure gene expression data base was used to analyze changes in expression patterns for these target nodal molecules. Indeed, expression of nodal molecules was altered in heart failure and inversely correlated to miRNA changes validating our analysis. Importantly, using network analysis we have identified a limited number of key functional targets that may regulate expression of the myriad proteins in heart failure and could be potential therapeutic targets.
Preoperative breast magnetic resonance imaging in early breast cancer: implications for partial breast irradiation. - Cancer
Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) of patients with early breast cancer is being investigated on a multi-institutional protocol National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) B-39/RTOG 0413. Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is more sensitive than mammography (MG) and may aid in selection of patients appropriate for PBI.Patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) routinely undergo contrast-enhanced, bilateral breast MRI at the Cleveland Clinic. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all early-stage breast cancer patients who had a breast MRI, MG, and surgical pathology data at our institution between June of 2005 and December of 2006. Any suspicious lesions identified on MRI were further evaluated by targeted ultrasound +/- biopsy.A total of 260 patients met eligibility criteria for NSABP B-39/RTOG 0413 by MG, physical exam, and surgical pathology. The median age was 57 years. DCIS was present in 63 patients, and invasive breast cancer was found in 197 patients. MRI identified suspicious lesions in 35 ipsilateral breasts (13%) and in 16 contralateral breasts (6%). Mammographically occult, synchronous ipsilateral foci were found by MRI in 11 patients (4.2%), and in the contralateral breast in 4 patients (1.5%). By univariate analysis, lobular histology (infiltrating lobular carcinoma [ILC]), pathologic T2, and American Joint Committee on Cancer stage II were significantly associated with additional ipsilateral disease. Of patients with ILC histology, 18% had ipsilateral secondary cancers or DCIS, compared with 3% in the remainder of histologic subtypes (P = .004). No patient older than 70 years had synchronous cancers or DCIS detected by MRI.Breast MRI identified synchronous mammographically occult foci in 5.8% of early breast cancer patients who would otherwise be candidates for APBI.

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