31 research outputs found

    Correlation between olfactory function, age, sex, and cognitive reserve index in the Italian population

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    Purpose: Loss of smell decreases the quality of life and contributes to the failure in recognizing hazardous substances. Given the relevance of olfaction in daily life, it is important to recognize an undiagnosed olfactory dysfunction to prevent these possible complications. Up to now, the prevalence of smell disorders in Italy is unknown due to a lack of epidemiological studies. Hence, the primary aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of olfactory dysfunction in a sample of Italian adults. Methods: Six hundred and thirty-three participants (347 woman and 286 men; mean age 44.9 years, SD 17.3, age range 18-86) were recruited from 10 distinct Italian regions. Participants were recruited using a convenience sapling and were divided into six different age groups: 18-29 years (N = 157), 30-39 years (N = 129), 40-49 years (N = 99), 50-59 years (N = 106), > 60 years (N = 142). Olfactory function, cognitive abilities, cognitive reserve, and depression were assessed, respectively, with: Sniffin' Sticks 16-item Odor Identification Test, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Cognitive Reserve Index, and the Beck Depression Inventory. Additionally, socio-demographic data, medical history, and health-related lifestyle information were collected. Results: About 27% of participants showed an odor identification score < 12 indicating hyposmia. Multiple regression analysis revealed that OI was significantly correlated with age, sex, and cognitive reserve index, and young women with high cognitive reserve index showing the highest olfactory scores. Conclusion: This study provides data on the prevalence of olfactory dysfunction in different Italian regions

    Antiphospholipid Antibodies and Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction. The Multicenter ATHERO-APS Study

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    The prevalence of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) in patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is unknown. A prospective multicenter cohort study including 125 patients was conducted: 91 primary APS (PAPS), 18 APS-SLE, and 16 carriers. HFpEF was diagnosed according to the 2019 European Society of Cardiology criteria: patients with ≥5 points among major and minor functional and morphological criteria including NT-ProBNP > 220 pg/mL, left atrial (LA) enlargement, increased left ventricular filling pressure. Overall, 18 (14.4%) patients were diagnosed with HFpEF; this prevalence increased from 6.3% in carriers to 13.2% in PAPS and 27.8% in APS-SLE. Patients with HFpEF were older and with a higher prevalence of hypertension and previous arterial events. At logistic regression analysis, age, arterial hypertension, anticardiolipin antibodies IgG > 40 GPL (odds ratio (OR) 3.43, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09-10.77, p = 0.035), anti β-2-glycoprotein-I IgG > 40 GPL (OR 5.28, 1.53-18.27, p = 0.009), lupus anticoagulants DRVVT > 1.25 (OR 5.20, 95% CI 1.10-24.68, p = 0.038), and triple positivity (OR 3.56, 95% CI 1.11-11.47, p = 0.033) were associated with HFpEF after adjustment for age and sex. By multivariate analysis, hypertension (OR 19.49, 95% CI 2.21-171.94, p = 0.008), age (OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.00-1.14, p = 0.044), and aβ2GPI IgG > 40 GPL (OR 8.62, 95% CI 1.23-60.44, p = 0.030) were associated with HFpEF. HFpEF is detectable in a relevant proportion of APS patients. The role of aPL in the pathogenesis and prognosis of HFpEF needs further investigation

    A machine-learning based bio-psycho-social model for the prediction of non-obstructive and obstructive coronary artery disease

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    Background: Mechanisms of myocardial ischemia in obstructive and non-obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD), and the interplay between clinical, functional, biological and psycho-social features, are still far to be fully elucidated. Objectives: To develop a machine-learning (ML) model for the supervised prediction of obstructive versus non-obstructive CAD. Methods: From the EVA study, we analysed adults hospitalized for IHD undergoing conventional coronary angiography (CCA). Non-obstructive CAD was defined by a stenosis < 50% in one or more vessels. Baseline clinical and psycho-socio-cultural characteristics were used for computing a Rockwood and Mitnitski frailty index, and a gender score according to GENESIS-PRAXY methodology. Serum concentration of inflammatory cytokines was measured with a multiplex flow cytometry assay. Through an XGBoost classifier combined with an explainable artificial intelligence tool (SHAP), we identified the most influential features in discriminating obstructive versus non-obstructive CAD. Results: Among the overall EVA cohort (n = 509), 311 individuals (mean age 67 ± 11 years, 38% females; 67% obstructive CAD) with complete data were analysed. The ML-based model (83% accuracy and 87% precision) showed that while obstructive CAD was associated with higher frailty index, older age and a cytokine signature characterized by IL-1β, IL-12p70 and IL-33, non-obstructive CAD was associated with a higher gender score (i.e., social characteristics traditionally ascribed to women) and with a cytokine signature characterized by IL-18, IL-8, IL-23. Conclusions: Integrating clinical, biological, and psycho-social features, we have optimized a sex- and gender-unbiased model that discriminates obstructive and non-obstructive CAD. Further mechanistic studies will shed light on the biological plausibility of these associations. Clinical trial registration: NCT02737982

    Serum Albumin Is Inversely Associated With Portal Vein Thrombosis in Cirrhosis

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    We analyzed whether serum albumin is independently associated with portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in liver cirrhosis (LC) and if a biologic plausibility exists. This study was divided into three parts. In part 1 (retrospective analysis), 753 consecutive patients with LC with ultrasound-detected PVT were retrospectively analyzed. In part 2, 112 patients with LC and 56 matched controls were entered in the cross-sectional study. In part 3, 5 patients with cirrhosis were entered in the in vivo study and 4 healthy subjects (HSs) were entered in the in vitro study to explore if albumin may affect platelet activation by modulating oxidative stress. In the 753 patients with LC, the prevalence of PVT was 16.7%; logistic analysis showed that only age (odds ratio [OR], 1.024; P = 0.012) and serum albumin (OR, -0.422; P = 0.0001) significantly predicted patients with PVT. Analyzing the 112 patients with LC and controls, soluble clusters of differentiation (CD)40-ligand (P = 0.0238), soluble Nox2-derived peptide (sNox2-dp; P < 0.0001), and urinary excretion of isoprostanes (P = 0.0078) were higher in patients with LC. In LC, albumin was correlated with sCD4OL (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient [r(s)], -0.33; P < 0.001), sNox2-dp (r(s), -0.57; P < 0.0001), and urinary excretion of isoprostanes (r(s), -0.48; P < 0.0001) levels. The in vivo study showed a progressive decrease in platelet aggregation, sNox2-dp, and urinary 8-iso prostaglandin F2 alpha-III formation 2 hours and 3 days after albumin infusion. Finally, platelet aggregation, sNox2-dp, and isoprostane formation significantly decreased in platelets from HSs incubated with scalar concentrations of albumin. Conclusion: Low serum albumin in LC is associated with PVT, suggesting that albumin could be a modulator of the hemostatic system through interference with mechanisms regulating platelet activation

    The Sex-Specific Detrimental Effect of Diabetes and Gender-Related Factors on Pre-admission Medication Adherence Among Patients Hospitalized for Ischemic Heart Disease: Insights From EVA Study

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    Background: Sex and gender-related factors have been under-investigated as relevant determinants of health outcomes across non-communicable chronic diseases. Poor medication adherence results in adverse clinical outcomes and sex differences have been reported among patients at high cardiovascular risk, such as diabetics. The effect of diabetes and gender-related factors on medication adherence among women and men at high risk for ischemic heart disease (IHD) has not yet been fully investigated.Aim: To explore the role of sex, gender-related factors, and diabetes in pre-admission medication adherence among patients hospitalized for IHD.Materials and Methods: Data were obtained from the Endocrine Vascular disease Approach (EVA) (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02737982), a prospective cohort of patients admitted for IHD. We selected patients with baseline information regarding the presence of diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors, and gender-related variables (i.e., gender identity, gender role, gender relations, institutionalized gender). Our primary outcome was the proportion of pre-admission medication adherence defined through a self-reported questionnaire. We performed a sex-stratified analysis of clinical and gender-related factors associated with pre-admission medication adherence.Results: Two-hundred eighty patients admitted for IHD (35% women, mean age 70), were included. Around one-fourth of the patients were low-adherent to therapy before hospitalization, regardless of sex. Low-adherent patients were more likely diabetic (40%) and employed (40%). Sex-stratified analysis showed that low-adherent men were more likely to be employed (58 vs. 33%) and not primary earners (73 vs. 54%), with more masculine traits of personality, as compared with medium-high adherent men. Interestingly, women reporting medication low-adherence were similar for clinical and gender-related factors to those with medium-high adherence, except for diabetes (42 vs. 20%, p = 0.004). In a multivariate adjusted model only employed status was associated with poor medication adherence (OR 0.55, 95%CI 0.31–0.97). However, in the sex-stratified analysis, diabetes was independently associated with medication adherence only in women (OR 0.36; 95%CI 0.13–0.96), whereas a higher masculine BSRI was the only factor associated with medication adherence in men (OR 0.59, 95%CI 0.35–0.99).Conclusion: Pre-admission medication adherence is common in patients hospitalized for IHD, regardless of sex. However, patient-related factors such as diabetes, employment, and personality traits are associated with adherence in a sex-specific manner

    Tests on catalytic wall flow filters for PM abatement from biomass boilers

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    Wall flow catalytic filters may represent an efficient solution for PM emission control of biomass-fired boilers and stoves, as they combine physical filtration processes with catalytic oxidative reactions. Moreover, such solution may be applied both in new equipment and in retrofit of existing appliances, and may be easily scaled according to the size of the boiler. The presented results were obtained from experimental tests carried out on filters with a silicon carbide matrix loaded with 20%wt of copper ferrite, and they aimed at evaluating the filter performance on fine PM abatement and the regeneration efficacy. The filters were tested in a customised sampling line at the exhaust of a 30 kW pellets boiler, and regeneration was specifically obtained by a high-temperature electrical heater. PM concentration in the flue gas was monitored by means of a real-time continuous detector and a cascade impactor. Tests showed high efficiency, over 90%, in PM reduction, and allowed to investigate in details the dynamics of regeneration and the effect of successive cycles, providing useful information in order to improve the service life and the performance of the catalytic filters. © 2016 ETA-Florence Renewable Energies

    Direct oral anticoagulants and advanced liver disease. a systematic review and meta-analysis

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    Background: Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are recommended for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) or for treatment of deep vein thrombosis, although some concerns about safety and efficacy were raised on the use of these drugs in patients with advanced liver disease (ALD). We want to investigate the association of DOACs use with the bleeding and ischaemic risk. Material and methods: We performed a systematic review and metanalysis of clinical studies retrieved from PubMed (via MEDLINE) and Cochrane (CENTRAL) databases addressing the impact of DOACs therapy on bleeding events including intracranial haemorrhage (ICH), gastrointestinal and major bleeding. Secondary end points were all-cause death, ischaemic stroke/systemic embolism (IS/SE) and recurrence/progression of vein thrombosis (rDVT). Results: 12 studies were included in the meta-analysis: a total of 43 532 patients with ALD or cirrhosis, of whom 27 574 (63.3%) were on treatment with DOACs and 15 958 were in warfarin/low molecular weight heparin. DOACs reduced the incidence of major bleeding by 61% (pooled Hazard Ratio [HR] 0.39, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 0.21-0.70), ICH by 52% (HR 0.48, 95% CI 0.40-0.59), while no difference in the reduction of any and gastrointestinal bleeding were observed. DOACs reduced also rDVT by 82% (HR 0.18, 95%CI 0.06-0.57), but did not reduce death and IS/SE. No difference was shown according to oesophageal varices and Child Pugh score in the meta-regression analysis between warfarin/heparin and DOACs performed on each outcome. Conclusions: DOACs are associated with a lower incidence of bleeding and may be an attractive therapeutic option in patients with cirrhosi

    Morphological and Functional Abnormalities in the Inner Retina of the rd/rd mouse.

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    We investigated the effects of photoreceptor degeneration on the anatomy and physiology of inner retinal neurons in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa, the retinal degeneration (rd) mutant mouse. Although there is a general assumption that the inner retinal cells do not suffer from photoreceptor death, we confirmed major changes both accompanying and after this process. Changes include sprouting of horizontal cells, lack of development of dendrites of rod bipolar cells, and progressive atrophy of dendrites in cone bipolar cells. Electrophysiological recordings demonstrate a selective impairment of second-order neurons that is not predictable on the basis of a pure photoreceptor dysfunction. Our data point out the necessity to prove integrity of the inner retina before attempting restoring visual function through photoreceptor intervention. This is even more important when considering that although intervention can be performed before the onset of any symptoms in animals carrying inherited retinopathies, this is obviously not true for human subjects

    Behavioural relevance of polarization sensitivity as a target detection mechanism in cephalopods and fishes

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    Aquatic habitats are rich in polarized patterns that could provide valuable information about the environment to an animal with a visual system sensitive to polarization of light. Both cephalopods and fishes have been shown to behaviourally respond to polarized light cues, suggesting that polarization sensitivity (PS) may play a role in improving target detection and/or navigation/orientation. However, while there is general agreement concerning the presence of PS in cephalopods and some fish species, its functional significance remains uncertain. Testing the role of PS in predator or prey detection seems an excellent paradigm with which to study the contribution of PS to the sensory assets of both groups, because such behaviours are critical to survival. We developed a novel experimental set-up to deliver computer-generated, controllable, polarized stimuli to free-swimming cephalopods and fishes with which we tested the behavioural relevance of PS using stimuli that evoke innate responses (such as an escape response from a looming stimulus and a pursuing behaviour of a small prey-like stimulus). We report consistent responses of cephalopods to looming stimuli presented in polarization and luminance contrast; however, none of the fishes tested responded to either the looming or the prey-like stimuli when presented in polarization contrast
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