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28 lug 2014 04:00

Sunlight exposure during leisure activities and risk of prostate cancer in Montreal, Canada, 2005-2009

Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) is the leading cause of cancer in men in many developed countries, but no modifiable risk factors have been identified. A handful of analytical studies have suggested a possible etiological role for sunlight exposure. We report here on the association between leisure-time sunlight exposure during adulthood and PCa risk in the context of a population-based case-control study. Methods: In all, 1,904 PCa cases were ascertained across Montreal French hospitals between 2005 and 2009. Concurrently, 1,962 population controls, frequency matched to cases by age (+/-5 years), were selected from the electoral list for French-speakers in Greater Montreal. Interviews elicited the frequency of engagement in any leisure activity during adulthood. This was used to derive cumulative sunlight exposure indices: a cumulative number of leisure activities events entailing sunlight exposure and a cumulative duration of sunlight exposure during leisure activities. Unconditional logistic regression was conducted to yield odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for estimating the association between sunlight exposure indices and PCa risk, adjusting for age, ancestry, family history of PCa, PCa screening, education, solar protection, body mass index and physical activity. Results: Compared with men in the upper quartile category for the number of sunlight exposure events, men never exposed during leisure time had an OR of 1.32 (95% CI: 0.82-2.14). ORs were 1.11, 0.91 and 1.00 for the first to the third quartiles of exposure, respectively. Similar results were observed for cumulative duration of exposure to sunlight, and by PCa aggressiveness. Conclusion: These findings provide little evidence of an association between sunlight exposure during leisure-time and PCa risk. Men with no sunlight exposure appeared at somewhat higher risks but none of the estimates achieved statistical significance.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

28 lug 2014 04:00

Alpha-lipoic acid as a pleiotropic compound with potential therapeutic use in diabetes and other chronic diseases

Alpha-lipoic acid is a naturally occurring substance, essential for the function of different enzymes that take part in mitochondria's oxidative metabolism. It is believed that alpha-lipoic acid or its reduced form, dihydrolipoic acid have many biochemical functions acting as biological antioxidants, as metal chelators, reducers of the oxidized forms of other antioxidant agents such as vitamin C and E, and modulator of the signaling transduction of several pathways. These above-mentioned actions have been shown in experimental studies emphasizing the use of alpha-lipoic acid as a potential therapeutic agent for many chronic diseases with great epidemiological as well economic and social impact such as brain diseases and cognitive dysfunctions like Alzheimer disease, obesity, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, burning mouth syndrome, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, some types of cancer, glaucoma and osteoporosis. Many conflicting data have been found concerning the clinical use of alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetes and of diabetes-related chronic complications such as retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, wound healing and diabetic cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy. The most frequent clinical condition in which alpha-lipoic acid has been studied was in the management of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in patients with type 1 as well type 2 diabetes. Considering that oxidative stress, a imbalance between pro and antioxidants with excessive production of reactive oxygen species, is a factor in the development of many diseases and that alpha-lipoic acid, a natural thiol antioxidant, has been shown to have beneficial effects on oxidative stress parameters in various tissues we wrote this article in order to make an up-to-date review of current thinking regarding alpha-lipoic acid and its use as an antioxidant drug therapy for a myriad of diseases that could have potential benefits from its use.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

28 lug 2014 04:00

Background: In the general population, the epidemiological relationships between delirium and adverse outcomes are not well defined. The aims of this study were to: (1) construct an algorithm for the diagnosis of delirium using the Geriatric Mental State (GMS) examination; (2) test the criterion validity of this algorithm against mortality and dementia risk; (3) report the age-specific prevalence of delirium as determined by this algorithm. Methods: Participant and informant data in a randomly weighted subsample of the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study were taken from a standardized assessment battery. The algorithmic definition of delirium was based on the DSM-IV classification. Outcomes were: proportional hazard ratios for death; odds ratios of dementia at 2-year follow-up. Results: Data from 2197 persons (representative of 13,004) were used, median age 77 years, 64% women. Study-defined delirium was associated with a new dementia diagnosis at two years (OR 8.82, 95% CI 2.76 to 28.2) and death (HR 1.28, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.60), even after adjustment for acute illness severity. Similar associations were seen for study-defined subsyndromal delirium. Age-specific prevalence as determined by the algorithm increased with age from 1.8% in the 65-69 year age group to 10.1% in the >=85 age group (p =85 years). Conclusions: These results demonstrate the possibility of constructing an algorithmic diagnosis for study-defined delirium using data from the GMS schedule, with predictive criterion validity for mortality and dementia risk. These are the first population-based analyses able to account prospectively for both illness severity and an earlier study diagnosis of dementia.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

28 lug 2014 04:00

Background: Low back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Evidence pointing towards a more efficacious model of care using a biopsychosocial approach for LBP management highlights the need to understand the pain-related beliefs of patients and those who treat them. The beliefs held by healthcare professionals (HCPs) are known to influence the treatment advice given to patients and consequently management outcomes. Back pain beliefs are known to be influenced by factors such as culture, education, health literacy, place of work, personal experience of LBP and the sequelae of LBP such as disability. There is currently a knowledge gap among these relationships in non-western countries. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between LBP-related beliefs among Chinese HCPs and characteristics of these HCPs. Methods: A convenience sample of 432 HCPs working in various health settings in Shanghai, China, completed a series of questionnaires assessing their demographic characteristics, LBP status, pain-related disability and their beliefs about their own LBP experience, using the Back beliefs Questionnaire (BBQ) and the Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ). Results: Younger Chinese HCPs (20-29 years) held more negative beliefs and attitudes related to LBP compared to older HCPs (>40years; BBQ mean difference [95% CI]: 2.4 [0.9 - 3.9], p = 0.001). HCPs working outside tertiary hospitals had poorer beliefs concerning the inevitable consequences of LBP (BBQ mean difference [95% CI]: -2.4 [-3.8 - -1.0], p = 0.001). HCPs who experienced LBP had higher level of fear avoidance beliefs when experiencing high LBP-related disability (FABQ-physical mean difference [95% CI]: 2.8 [1.5 - 4.1], p < 0.001; FABQ-work mean difference [95% CI]: 6.2 [4.0 - 8.4], p < 0.001)) and had lower level of fear avoidance beliefs if they had completed postgraduate study (FABQ-physical mean difference [95% CI]: 2.9 [-5.8 - 0.0], p = 0.049). Conclusion: This study suggests that LBP-related beliefs and attitudes among Chinese HCPs are influenced by age, location of work, level of LBP-related disability and education level. Understanding back pain beliefs of Chinese HCPs forms an important foundation for future studies into the condition and its management in China.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

28 lug 2014 04:00

Hemolysis as a rare but potentially life-threatening complication of hemodialysis: a case report

Background: The burden of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States has increased dramatically over the past 30 years with almost 613,000 patients receiving renal replacement therapy in 2011. That same year, more than 112,000 new patients initiated dialysis with 92% of them receiving hemodialysis (HD). These patients experience significant morbidity and mortality with very frequent emergency room visits. Acute hemolysis associated with HD is a rare complication; however, if it's not recognized early and managed adequately, it can be associated with life-threatening complications such as hyperkalemia and even myocardial infarction.Case presentation66-year-old African-American female with a history of ESRD secondary to hypertension developed a blood infiltration on the arterial side of her arteriovenous fistula followed by sudden onset of diffuse abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting during her regular HD treatment. She was referred to the emergency department where she was found to have shortness of breath with improved gastrointestinal symptoms. Her initial work-up revealed a severe anemia with a hematocrit of 10%. Further work-up revealed massive hemolysis, likely mechanical in nature and believed to be induced by malpositioning of her HD needle in the fistula. Her hospital course was complicated by rhabdomyolysis and acute myocardial infarction thought to be secondary to supply-demand ischemia in the setting of her profound anemia. Within a week, she eventually had a full recovery. Conclusion: It is extremely important for physicians and particularly emergency department physicians to be aware of this potentially life-threatening complication of HD and have a high index of suspicion in the setting of acute anemia with hemolysis in this population.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

28 lug 2014 04:00

Background: The rate of decline of antibody titers to influenza following infection can affect results of serological surveys, and may explain re-infection and recurrent epidemics by the same strain. Methods: We followed up a cohort who seroconverted on hemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibody titers (>=4-fold increase) to pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 during a seroincidence study in 2009. Along with the pre-epidemic sample, and the sample from 2009 with the highest HI titer between August and October 2009 (A), two additional blood samples obtained in April 2010 and September 2010 (B and C) were assayed for antibodies to A(H1N1)pdm09 by both HI and virus microneutralization (MN) assays. We analyzed pair-wise mean-fold change in titers and the proportion with HI titers >= 40 and MN >= 160 (which correlated with a HI titer of 40 in our assays) at the 3 time-points following seroconversion. Results: A total of 67 participants contributed 3 samples each. From the highest HI titer in 2009 to the last sample in 2010, 2 participants showed increase in titers (by HI and MN), while 63 (94%) and 49 (73%) had reduction in HI and MN titers, respectively. Titers by both assays decreased significantly; while 70.8% and 72.3% of subjects had titers of >= 40 and >= 160 by HI and MN in 2009, these percentages decreased to 13.9% and 36.9% by September 2010. In 6 participants aged 55 years and older, the decrease was significantly greater than in those aged below 55, so that none of the elderly had HI titers >= 40 nor MN titers >= 160 by the final sample. Due to this decline in titers, only 23 (35%) of the 65 participants who seroconverted on HI in sample A were found to seroconvert between the pre-epidemic sample and sample C, compared to 53 (90%) of the 59 who seroconverted on MN on Sample A. Conclusions: We observed marked reduction in titers 1 year after seroconversion by HI, and to a lesser extent by MN. Our findings have implications for re-infections, recurrent epidemics, vaccination strategies, and for cohort studies measuring infection rates by seroconversion.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

28 lug 2014 04:00

Prevalence of cardiovascular health risk behaviors in a remote rural community of Sindhuli district, Nepal

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is emerging as a public health menace among low and middle income countries. It has particularly affected the poorest. However, there is paucity of information about CVD risk factors profile among Nepalese rural communities where the majority of people live in poverty. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the prevalence of cardiovascular health risk behaviors in an outback community of Nepal. Methods: We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study in Tinkanya Village Development Committee (VDC), Sindhuli between January and March, 2014. Total 406 participants of age 20 to 50 years were selected randomly. Data were collected using WHO-NCD STEPwise approach questionnaires and analyzed with SPSS V.16.0 and R i386 2.15.3 software.Result: The mean age of participants was 36.2 +/- 9 years. Majority of participants (76.3%) were from lower socio-economic class, Adibasi/Janajati (63.1%), and without formal schooling (46.3%). Smoking was present in 28.6%, alcohol consumption in 47.8%, insufficient fruits and vegetables intake in 96.6%, insufficient physical activity in 48.8%; 25.6% had high waist circumference, 37.4% had overweight and obesity. Average daily salt intake per capita was 14.4 grams +/-4.89 grams. Hypertension was detected in 12.3%. It had an inverse relationship with education and socio-economic status. In binary logistic regression analysis, age, smoking, body mass index (BMI) and daily salt intake were identified as significant predictors of hypertension. Conclusion: Present study showed high prevalence of smoking, alcohol consumption, insufficient fruit and vegetable intake, daily salt intake, overweight and obesity and hypertension among remote rural population suggesting higher risk for developing CVD in future. Nepalese rural communities, therefore, are in need of population-wide comprehensive intervention approaches for reducing CVD health risk behaviors.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

28 lug 2014 04:00

The role of betel-quid chewing in smoking cessation among workers in Taiwan

Background: Current smokers exhibit a higher rate of betel-quid chewing than non-smokers. However, little is known regarding the extent to which betel-quid chewing may affect attempts to quit smoking and smoking cessation. The aim of the present study is to examine the association between betel-quid chewing and patterns of quitting smoking. Specifically, we explore whether betel-quid chewing is associated with (1) current smokers who have never attempted to quit versus those who have attempted to quit and have failed, those who are in the process of quitting, and successful cessation smokers, and (2) current smokers who have attempted to quit and have failed versus those who have successfully quit smoking. Methods: A telephone survey of 7,215 workers was conducted and obtained an 88.6% response rate. In the survey, the respondents' smoking and betel-quid chewing statuses were recorded and a list of covariates was assessed. Results: After controlling for the effect of the covariates, betel-quid chewing was found to be more highly associated with current smokers who have never attempted to quit, compared to current smokers who are in the process of quitting (OR = 12.72; 95% CI = 1.05-154.26), successful cessation smokers (OR = 3.62; 95% CI = 2.32-5.65), and smokers who have attempted to quit and have failed (OR = 1.37; 95% CI = 1.06-1.77), respectively. In addition, betel-quid chewing is more highly associated with a failure to quit smoking than with successfully quitting smoking (OR = 3.46; 95% CI = 2.17-5.51). Conclusion: The findings support four plausible reasons why betel-quid chewing may dissuade smokers from quitting. These reasons highlight additional avenues for potentially reducing the smoking population in workplaces, such as considering work contexts and social norms, and product sales in smoking-cessation campaigns.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

28 lug 2014 04:00

Background: Genetic and environmental factors are critical elements influencing the etiology of major depression. It is now accepted that neuroinflammatory processes play a major role in neuropsychological disorders. Neuroinflammation results from the dysregulation of the synthesis and/or release of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines with central or peripheral origin after various insults. Systemic bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge is commonly used to study inflammation-induced depressive-like behaviors in rodents. In the present study, we investigated immune-to-brain communication in mice by examining the effects of peripheral LPS injection on neuroinflammation encompassing cytokine and chemokine production, microglia and central nervous system (CNS)-associated phagocyte activation, immune cell infiltration and serotonergic neuronal function. Methods: LPS was administered to C57BL/6 J mice by intraperitoneal injection; brains were collected and pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA and proteins were measured. To examine the relative contribution of the different populations of brain immune cells to the occurrence of neuroinflammation after acute systemic inflammation, we precisely characterized them by flow cytometry, studied changes in their proportions and level of activation, and measured the amount of cytokines they released by Cytometric Bead ArrayTM after cell sorting and ex vivo culture. Because of the central role that the chemokine CCL2 seems to play in our paradigm, we studied the effect of CCL2 on the activity of serotonergic neurons of the raphe nucleus using electrophysiological recordings. Results: We report that systemic LPS administration in mice caused a marked increase in pro-inflammatory IL-1beta, IL-6, TNFalpha and CCL2 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) mRNA and protein levels in the brain. Moreover, we found that LPS caused microglia and CNS-associated phagocyte activation characterized by upregulation of CCR2, TLR4/CD14, CD80 and IL-4Ralpha, associated with overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, especially CCL2. LPS also induced a marked and selective increase of CCR2+ inflammatory monocytes within the brain. Finally, we showed that CCL2 hyperpolarized serotonergic raphe neurons in mouse midbrain slices, thus probably reducing the serotonin tone in projection areas. Conclusion: Together, we provide a detailed characterization of the molecular and cellular players involved in the establishment of neuroinflammation after systemic injection of LPS. This highlights the importance of the CCL2/CCR2 signaling and suggests a possible link with depressive disorders.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

28 lug 2014 04:00

A translational approach to ventilator associated pneumonia

The management of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) presents many difficulties because of the heterogeneity of the disease; the way the immunocompromised host and the aggressive ICU environment interact is only partially discovered, the available biomarkers for diagnosis are not sufficient to ensure prompt differentiation between sick patients and patients at risk, the microbiological cultures require invasive techniques and time consuming methods. A translational medicine and bio-informatics approach can enable the identification of the main players of pathology, which may represent novel therapeutic targets or biomarker candidates. Analysis of proteome i.e. allows to individuate proteins that act as biomarkers, for patient-centered research strategies. Similarly, the genomic approach has proved useful to individuate those patients who are prone to develop VAP, and, in the future, we could be able to immunomodulate their responses to save them from nosocomial infections.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles