235 research outputs found

    Optimising the management of vaginal discharge syndrome in Bulgaria: cost effectiveness of four clinical algorithms with risk assessment

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    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the performance and cost effectiveness of the WHO recommendations of incorporating risk-assessment scores and population prevalence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) into vaginal discharge syndrome (VDS) algorithms. METHODS: Non-pregnant women presenting with VDS were recruited at a non-governmental sexual health clinic in Sofia, Bulgaria. NG and CT were diagnosed by PCR and vaginal infections by microscopy. Risk factors for NG/CT were identified in multivariable analysis. Four algorithms based on different combinations of behavioural factors, clinical findings and vaginal microscopy were developed. Performance of each algorithm was evaluated for detecting vaginal and cervical infections separately. Cost effectiveness was based on cost per patient treated and cost per case correctly treated. Sensitivity analysis explored the influence of NG/CT prevalence on cost effectiveness. RESULTS: 60% (252/420) of women had genital infections, with 9.5% (40/423) having NG/CT. Factors associated with NG/CT included new and multiple sexual partners in the past 3 months, symptomatic partner, childlessness and >or=10 polymorphonuclear cells per field on vaginal microscopy. For NG/CT detection, the algorithm that relied solely on behavioural risk factors was less sensitive but more specific than those that included speculum examination or microscopy but had higher correct-treatment rate and lower over-treatment rates. The cost per true case treated using a combination of risk factors, speculum examination and microscopy was euro 24.08. A halving and tripling of NG/CT prevalence would have approximately the inverse impact on the cost-effectiveness estimates. CONCLUSIONS: Management of NG/CT in Bulgaria was improved by the use of a syndromic approach that included risk scores. Approaches that did not rely on microscopy lost sensitivity but were more cost effective

    Structure of the icosahedral Ti-Zr-Ni quasicrystal

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    The atomic structure of the icosahedral Ti-Zr-Ni quasicrystal is determined by invoking similarities to periodic crystalline phases, diffraction data and the results from ab initio calculations. The structure is modeled by decorations of the canonical cell tiling geometry. The initial decoration model is based on the structure of the Frank-Kasper phase W-TiZrNi, the 1/1 approximant structure of the quasicrystal. The decoration model is optimized using a new method of structural analysis combining a least-squares refinement of diffraction data with results from ab initio calculations. The resulting structural model of icosahedral Ti-Zr-Ni is interpreted as a simple decoration rule and structural details are discussed.Comment: 12 pages, 8 figure

    Obese patients after gastric bypass surgery have lower brain-hedonic responses to food than after gastric banding

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    Objectives Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) has greater efficacy for weight loss in obese patients than gastric banding (BAND) surgery. We hypothesise that this may result from different effects on food hedonics via physiological changes secondary to distinct gut anatomy manipulations. Design We used functional MRI, eating behaviour and hormonal phenotyping to compare body mass index (BMI)-matched unoperated controls and patients after RYGB and BAND surgery for obesity. Results Obese patients after RYGB had lower brain-hedonic responses to food than patients after BAND surgery. RYGB patients had lower activation than BAND patients in brain reward systems, particularly to high-calorie foods, including the orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala, caudate nucleus, nucleus accumbens and hippocampus. This was associated with lower palatability and appeal of high-calorie foods and healthier eating behaviour, including less fat intake, in RYGB compared with BAND patients and/or BMI-matched unoperated controls. These differences were not explicable by differences in hunger or psychological traits between the surgical groups, but anorexigenic plasma gut hormones (GLP-1 and PYY), plasma bile acids and symptoms of dumping syndrome were increased in RYGB patients. Conclusions The identification of these differences in food hedonic responses as a result of altered gut anatomy/physiology provides a novel explanation for the more favourable long-term weight loss seen after RYGB than after BAND surgery, highlighting the importance of the gut–brain axis in the control of reward-based eating behaviour

    Does Habitual Physical Activity Increase the Sensitivity of the Appetite Control System? A Systematic Review.

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    BACKGROUND: It has been proposed that habitual physical activity improves appetite control; however, the evidence has never been systematically reviewed. OBJECTIVE: To examine whether appetite control (e.g. subjective appetite, appetite-related peptides, food intake) differs according to levels of physical activity. DATA SOURCES: Medline, Embase and SPORTDiscus were searched for articles published between 1996 and 2015, using keywords pertaining to physical activity, appetite, food intake and appetite-related peptides. STUDY SELECTION: Articles were included if they involved healthy non-smoking adults (aged 18-64 years) participating in cross-sectional studies examining appetite control in active and inactive individuals; or before and after exercise training in previously inactive individuals. STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS: Of 77 full-text articles assessed, 28 studies (14 cross-sectional; 14 exercise training) met the inclusion criteria. RESULTS: Appetite sensations and absolute energy intake did not differ consistently across studies. Active individuals had a greater ability to compensate for high-energy preloads through reductions in energy intake, in comparison with inactive controls. When physical activity level was graded across cross-sectional studies (low, medium, high, very high), a significant curvilinear effect on energy intake (z-scores) was observed. LIMITATIONS: Methodological issues existed concerning the small number of studies, lack of objective quantification of food intake, and various definitions used to define active and inactive individuals. CONCLUSION: Habitually active individuals showed improved compensation for the energy density of foods, but no consistent differences in appetite or absolute energy intake, in comparison with inactive individuals. This review supports a J-shaped relationship between physical activity level and energy intake. Further studies are required to confirm these findings. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42015019696

    Cerebral activations during viewing of food stimuli in adult patients with acquired structural hypothalamic damage: A functional neuroimaging study

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    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Obesity is common following hypothalamic damage due to tumours. Homeostatic and non-homeostatic brain centres control appetite and energy balance but their interaction in the presence of hypothalamic damage remains unknown. We hypothesized that abnormal appetite in obese patients with hypothalamic damage results from aberrant brain processing of food stimuli. We sought to establish differences in activation of brain food motivation and reward neurocircuitry in patients with hypothalamic obesity (HO) compared with patients with hypothalamic damage whose weight had remained stable. SUBJECTS/METHODS: In a cross-sectional study at a University Clinical Research Centre, we studied 9 patients with HO, 10 age-matched obese controls, 7 patients who remained weight-stable following hypothalamic insult (HWS) and 10 non-obese controls. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in the fasted state, 1 h and 3 h after a test meal, while subjects were presented with images of high-calorie foods, low-calorie foods and non-food objects. Insulin, glucagon-like peptide-1, Peptide YY and ghrelin were measured throughout the experiment, and appetite ratings were recorded. RESULTS: Mean neural activation in the posterior insula and lingual gyrus (brain areas linked to food motivation and reward value of food) in HWS were significantly lower than in the other three groups (P=0.001). A significant negative correlation was found between insulin levels and posterior insula activation (P=0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Neural pathways associated with food motivation and reward-related behaviour, and the influence of insulin on their activation may be involved in the pathophysiology of HO.International Journal of Obesity advance online publicatio

    Association between physical activity and metabolic syndrome in middle-aged Japanese: a cross-sectional study

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Although many studies have reported an association between self-reported physical activity and metabolic syndrome (MetS), there is limited information on the optimal level of physical activity required to prevent MetS. This study aimed to determine the association between objectively measured physical activity and MetS in middle-aged Japanese individuals. We also determined the optimal cutoff value for physical activity required to decrease the risk of developing MetS.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A total of 179 men and 304 women, aged between 30 and 64 years, participated in this study. Participants were divided into two groups using the Japanese criteria for MetS as those with MetS or pre-MetS, and those without MetS. Participants were considered to be physically active if they achieved a physical activity level of 23 metabolic equivalents (METs) h/week, measured using a triaxial accelerometer. The association between physical activity and MetS was analyzed using logistic regression with the following covariates: sex, age, sedentary time, low intensity activity, calorie intake, smoking, menopause and body mass index. We also evaluated the factors that determined the association between the prevalence of MetS and pre-MetS and the physical activity cutoff value using classification and regression tree (CART) analysis.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The odds ratio for MetS and pre-MetS was 2.20 for physically inactive participants (< 23 METs h/week), compared with physically active participants (≄ 23 METs h/week). The corresponding odds ratios for men and women were 2.27 (<it>P </it>< 0.01) and 1.95 (not significant), respectively. CART analyses revealed that moderate-vigorous physical activity of > 26.5 METs h/week was sufficient to decrease the prevalence of MetS and pre-MetS in middle-aged Japanese men and women.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>The results of this cross-sectional study indicate that the Exercise and Physical Activity Reference for Health Promotion 2006 is inversely associated with the prevalence of MetS in men. Our results also suggest that moderate physical activity of > 26.5 METs h/week may decrease the risk of developing MetS and pre-MetS in middle-aged Japanese individuals.</p

    Seismic site characterization of the Kastelli (Kissamos) Basin in northwest Crete (Greece): Assessments using ambient noise recordings

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    Crete is actively seismic and site response studies are needed for estimating local site conditions subjected to seismic activity. In order to collect basic data, we performed ambient noise recordings to estimate the site response of the surface and near subsurface structure of the small-scale Kastelli Basin in northwest Crete. The spatial horizontal to vertical spectral ratios (HVSR) resonance pattern of the investigated sites in the centre of the Basin consists of either one or two peaks divided into low to high frequency range in different sites as follows: (a) in some sites only one amplified peak at low frequencies (0.6–1.2 Hz), (b) in other sites only one amplified peak at medium frequencies (2.9–8.5 Hz) and (c) in yet other sites two amplified peaks in the low to high frequency range (0.6–15.5 Hz). The investigated sites are amplified in the frequency range 0.6–15.5 Hz, while the amplitude reaches to a factor of 4 in the spectral ratios. The one HVSR amplified peak at low frequencies is related to locally soft or thick Quaternary deposits. Microtremors were measured in the coastal northwest part of the Basin in a well—lithified Cretaceous limestone site characterized by fractures and faults striking predominantly in a sector NNE to NNW. Sites of one amplified peak at medium frequencies are extended from coastal northwest to southwest delineating a structure striking to NNW. The two amplified peaks are attributed to shallow subsurface heterogeneities/irregularities, locally induced by fault zones and to the overlying Quaternary deposits. Spatial HVSR variations in the frequency and HVSR shape delineate four structures striking NNE, NNW and in a sector NW to WNW, crosscutting the dense populated Basin suggesting that microtremors could be a valuable tool for providing a first approximation of fault zone delineation at least for the Kastelli-Kissamos Basin. The Basin is classified into the X soil category of the Greek Seismic Code 2000.This work was implemented through the project entitled “Interdisciplinary Multi-Scale Research of Earth-quake Physics and Seismotectonics at the Front of the Hellenic Arc (IMPACT-ARC)” in the framework of action “ARCHIMEDES III—Support of Research Teams at TEI of Crete” (MIS380353) of the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” and is co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national fund

    Gut microbiome composition is linked to whole grain-induced immunological improvements

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    The involvement of the gut microbiota in metabolic disorders, and the ability of whole grains to affect both host metabolism and gut microbial ecology, suggest that some benefits of whole grains are mediated through their effects on the gut microbiome. Nutritional studies that assess the effect of whole grains on both the gut microbiome and human physiology are needed. We conducted a randomized cross-over trial with four-week treatments in which 28 healthy humans consumed a daily dose of 60 g of whole-grain barley (WGB), brown rice (BR), or an equal mixture of the two (BR+WGB), and characterized their impact on fecal microbial ecology and blood markers of inflammation, glucose and lipid metabolism. All treatments increased microbial diversity, the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio, and the abundance of the genus Blautia in fecal samples. The inclusion of WGB enriched the genera Roseburia, Bifidobacterium and Dialister, and the species Eubacterium rectale, Roseburia faecis and Roseburia intestinalis. Whole grains, and especially the BR+WGB treatment, reduced plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) and peak postprandial glucose. Shifts in the abundance of Eubacterium rectale were associated with changes in the glucose and insulin postprandial response. Interestingly, subjects with greater improvements in IL-6 levels harbored significantly higher proportions of Dialister and lower abundance of Coriobacteriaceae. In conclusion, this study revealed that a short-term intake of whole grains induced compositional alterations of the gut microbiota that coincided with improvements in host physiological measures related to metabolic dysfunctions in humans