111 research outputs found

    Refracture risk and all-cause mortality after vertebral fragility fractures: Anti-osteoporotic medications matter

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    Background: Osteoporotic vertebral fractures may predict the future occurrence of fractures and increase mortality. Treating underlying osteoporosis may prevent second fractures. However, whether anti-osteoporotic treatment can reduce the mortality rate is not clear. The aim of this population study was to identify the degree of decreased mortality following the use of anti-osteoporotic medication after vertebral fractures. Methods: We identified patients who had newly diagnosed osteoporosis and vertebral fractures from 2009 to 2019 using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). We used national death registration data to determine the overall mortality rate. Results: There were 59,926 patients with osteoporotic vertebral fractures included in this study. After excluding patients with short-term mortality, patients who had previously received anti-osteoporotic medications had a lower refracture rate as well as a lower mortality risk (hazard ratio (HR): 0.84, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.81–0.88). Patients receiving treatment for more than 3 years had a much lower mortality risk (HR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.50–0.57). Patients who used oral bisphosphonates (alendronate and risedronate, HR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.90–1.00), intravenous zoledronic acid (HR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.74–0.93), and subcutaneous denosumab injections (HR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.65–0.77) had lower mortality rates than patients without further treatment after vertebral fractures. Conclusion: In addition to fracture prevention, anti-osteoporotic treatments for patients with vertebral fractures were associated with a reduction in mortality. A longer duration of treatment and the use of long-acting drugs was also associated with lower mortality

    Insight into the Clonal Lineage and Antimicrobial Resistance of <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> from Vascular Access Infections before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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    Patients receiving hemodialysis are at risk of vascular access infections (VAIs) and are particularly vulnerable to the opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Hemodialysis patients were also at increased risk of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this study determined the change in the molecular and antibiotic resistance profiles of S. aureus isolates from VAIs during the pandemic compared with before. A total of 102 S. aureus isolates were collected from VAIs between November 2013 and December 2021. Before the pandemic, 69 isolates were collected, 58%, 39.1%, and 2.9% from arteriovenous grafts (AVGs), tunneled cuffed catheters (TCCs), and arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs), respectively. The prevalence of AVG and TCC isolates changed to 39.4% and 60.6%, respectively, of the 33 isolates during the pandemic. Sequence type (ST)59 was the predominant clone in TCC methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and AVG-MRSA before the pandemic, whereas the predominant clone was ST8 in AVG-MRSA during the pandemic. ST59 carrying the ermB gene was resistant to clindamycin and erythromycin. By contrast, ST8 carrying the msrA gene was exclusively resistant to erythromycin. The ST distribution for different VAIs changed from before to during the pandemic. The change in antibiotic resistance rate for different VAIs was closely related to the distribution of specific STs

    A Mac-2 Binding Protein Glycosylation Isomer-Based Risk Model Predicts Hepatocellular Carcinoma in HBV-Related Cirrhotic Patients on Antiviral Therapy

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    Mac-2 binding protein glycosylation isomer (M2BPGi) has not been used in a risk score to predict hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We enrolled 1003 patients with chronic hepatitis B and cirrhosis receiving entecavir or tenofovir therapy for more than12 months to construct an HCC risk score. In the development cohort, Cox regression analysis identified male gender, age, platelet count, AFP and M2BPGi levels at 12 months of treatment as independent risk factors of HCC. We developed the HCC risk prediction model, the ASPAM-B score, based on age, sex, platelet count, AFP and M2BPGi levels at 12 months of treatment, with the total scores ranging from 0 to 11.5. This risk model accurately classified patients into low (0&ndash;3.5), medium (4&ndash;7), and high (&gt;7) risk in the development and validation groups (p &lt; 0.001). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of 3-, 5- and 9-year risks of HCC were 0.742, 0.728 and 0.719, respectively, in the development cohort. All AUROC between the ASPAM-B and APA-B, PAGE-B, RWS-HCC and THRI scores at 3&ndash;9 years were significantly different. The M2BPGi-based risk model exhibited good discriminant function in predicting HCC in cirrhotic patients who received long-term antiviral treatment

    Risk of Mortality in Association with Pregnancy in Women Following Motor Vehicle Crashes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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    The aim of the study was to provide a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the association between mortality risk and motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) in pregnant women compared with nonpregnant women. We used relevant MeSH terms to identify epidemiological studies of mortality risk in relation to MVCs from PubMed, Embase, and MEDLINE databases. The Newcastle&ndash;Ottawa Scale (NOS) was used for quality assessment. For comparison of mortality from MVCs between pregnant and nonpregnant women, the pooled odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using a random effects model. The eight studies selected met all inclusion criteria. These studies included 14,120 injured victims who were pregnant at the time of the incident and 207,935 victims who were not pregnant. Compared with nonpregnant women, pregnant women had a moderate but insignificant decrease in mortality risk (pooled OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.38&ndash;1.22, I2 = 88.71%). Subgroup analysis revealed that the pooled OR significantly increased at 1.64 (95% CI = 1.16&ndash;2.33, I2 &lt; 0.01%) for two studies with a similar difference in the mean injury severity score (ISS) between pregnant and nonpregnant women. Future studies should further explore the risk factors associated with MVCs in pregnant women to reduce maternal mortality

    Association between Coronary Artery Plaque Progression and Liver Fibrosis Biomarkers in Population with Low Calcium Scores

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    Background: The severity of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been found to be associated with atherosclerosis burden. However, whether liver fibrosis scores can be used to predict atherosclerosis progression, especially for patients with low calcium scores, remains undetermined. Methods: A total of 165 subjects who underwent repeated coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) and had low calcium scores (&lt;100) were enrolled. The segment stenosis score (SSS) from the CCTA was measured, and the association between SSS progression and biochemical parameters was analyzed in addition to liver fibrosis scores, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease fibrosis score (NFS), fibrosis-4 index (FIB-4), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) to platelet ratio index (APRI), and Forns score. Results: When compared with those without plaque at baseline (SSS = 0), subjects with plaque had higher blood pressure, higher coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores, and higher liver fibrosis scores, including Forns score, Fib-4, and NFS. During the medium follow-up interval of 24.7 months, 60 (39.4%) patients displayed SSS progression, while the remaining 105 (63.6%) patients showed no CAD progression. In a multivariate analysis, being male having a high diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and having a high NFS liver fibrosis score were independently associated with the odds ratio for SSS progression. Conclusions: Higher baseline blood pressure and liver fibrosis markers are associated with the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD) plaques in subjects in early CAD stages. For disease progression, the male gender, DBP, and NFS appear to be independently associated with coronary atherosclerosis plaque progression in subjects with low calcium scores

    Association between visit‐to‐visit blood pressure variability and adverse events in coronary artery disease patients after coronary intervention

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    Abstract Blood pressure variability (BPV) is independently associated with higher cardiovascular risks. However, whether BPV is associated with poor outcomes for coronary artery disease (CAD) patients after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) remained undetermined. We aimed to investigate the relationship between BPV and the outcomes of CAD patients undergoing PCI. Two thousand seven hundred and sixty‐two CAD patients (1938 males, mean age 69.6 ± 12.9) who received PCI at Taipei Veterans General Hospital from 2006 to 2015 with multiple blood pressure measurements before and after the index PCI were enrolled. We calculated the standard deviation of systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and pulse pressure as parameters of BPV. The primary endpoint was the composite of major adverse cardiovascular events [MACE comprising of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), and non‐fatal stroke] and heart failure hospitalization (HHF). The key secondary endpoint was MACE. Both pre‐PCI and post‐PCI BPV were associated with CV events even after adjusting for co‐morbidities and mean blood pressure. In Cox analysis, for every 1 mmHg increase in systolic BPV, the hazard ratio for the MACE + HHF, MACE, HHF, and cardiovascular death was 1.04 (95%CI: 1.03–1.05), 1.04 (95%CI: 1.02–1.05), 1.05 (95%CI: 1.04–1.06), and 1.06 (95%CI: 1.03–1.09), respectively. The association between BPV and cardiovascular risk is independent of blood pressure control status. The prognostic value of BPV was superior to mean blood pressure in both pre‐PCI and post‐PCI period. BPV is independently associated with cardiovascular events after PCI and has a better prognostic value than mean blood pressure suggesting the importance of maintaining stable blood pressure for CAD patients

    Genetic Analysis Reveals the Prognostic Significance of the DNA Mismatch Repair Gene <i>MSH2</i> in Advanced Prostate Cancer

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    DNA damage repair is frequently dysregulated in advanced prostate cancer and has been linked to cancer susceptibility and survival outcomes. The aim of this study is to assess the influence of genetic variants in DNA damage repair pathways on the prognosis of prostate cancer. Specifically, 167 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 18 DNA damage repair pathway genes were assessed for association with cancer-specific survival (CSS), overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS) in a cohort of 630 patients with advanced prostate cancer receiving androgen deprivation therapy. Univariate analysis identified four SNPs associated with CSS, four with OS, and two with PFS. However, only MSH2 rs1400633 C > G showed a significant association upon multivariate analysis and multiple testing adjustments (hazard ratio = 0.75, 95% confidence interval = 0.63–0.90, p = 0.002). Furthermore, rs1400633 risk allele C increased MSH2 expression in the prostate and other tissues, which correlated with more aggressive prostate cancer characteristics. A meta-analysis of 31 gene expression datasets revealed significantly higher MSH2 expression in prostate cancer than in normal tissues (p p = 0.002). In summary, we identified MSH2 rs1400633 as an independent prognostic biomarker for prostate cancer survival, and the association of MSH2 with cancer progression lends relevance to our findings

    High Skin Sympathetic Nerve Activity in Patients with Recurrent Syncope

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    (1) Background: The autonomic imbalance plays a role in vasovagal syncope (VVS) diagnosed by head-up tilting test (HUT). neuECG is a new method of recording skin electrical signals to simultaneously analyze skin sympathetic nerve activity (SKNA) and electrocardiogram. We hypothesize that SKNA is higher in subjects with tilt-positive than tilt-negative and the SKNA surges before syncope. (2) Methods: We recorded neuECG in 41 subjects who received HUT (according to the “Italian protocol”), including rest, tilt-up, provocation and recovery phases. Data were analyzed to determine the average SKNA (aSKNA, μV) per digitized sample. Electrocardiogram was used to calculate standard deviation of normal-to-normal beat intervals (SDNN). The “SKNA-SDNN index” was calculated by rest aSKNA multiplied by the ratio of tilt-up to rest SDNN. (3) Results: 16 of 41 (39%) subjects developed syncope. The aSKNA at rest phase is significantly higher in the tilt-positive (1.21 ± 0.27 µV) than tilt-negative subjects (1.02 ± 0.29 µV) (p = 0.034). There are significant surges and withdraw of aSKNA 30 s before and after syncope (both p ≤ 0.006). SKNA-SDNN index is able to predict syncope (p &lt; 0.001). (4) Conclusion: Higher SKNA at rest phase is associated with positive HUT. The SKNA-SDNN index is a novel marker to predict syncope during HUT

    A Microvalve Module with High Chemical Inertness and Embedded Flow Heating for Microscale Gas Chromatography

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    This paper reports a multi-valve module with high chemical inertness and embedded flow heating for microscale gas chromatography (&micro;GC) systems. The multi-valve module incorporates a monolithically microfabricated die stack, polyimide valve membranes, and solenoid actuators. The design incorporates three valves within a single module of volume 30.2 cm3, which is suitable for the small form factor of &micro;GC systems. The die stack uses fused silica wafers and polyimide valve membranes that enhance chemical inertness. The monolithic die stack requires only three lithographic masks to pattern fluidic microchannels, valve seats, and thin-film metal heaters and thermistors. The performance of fabricated multi-valve modules is compared to a commercial valve in tests using multiple volatile organic compounds, including alkanes, alcohols, ketones, aromatic hydrocarbons, and phosphonates. The valves show almost no distortion of chromatographic peaks. The experimentally measured ratio of flow conductance is 3.46 &times; 103, with 4.15 sccm/kPa in the open state and 0.0012 sccm/kPa in the closed state. The response time is &lt;120 ms

    Diagnostic Delay in Patients with Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome: A Population-Based Cohort Study in Taiwan

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    The diagnosis of primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) can be challenging because the cardinal sicca syndromes may be subjective and subclinical. Diagnostic delay is common among patients with pSS. The aim of this study was to assess the time of lag between the onset of sicca symptoms and a subsequent diagnosis of pSS. We used population-based data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance (NHI) claims directory spanning up to 6 years between 2006 and 2011. All NHI-covered patients receiving a first-time approved catastrophic illness certificate (CIC) for pSS in 2011 were included; their sicca symptoms and utilization of medical resources were then traced retrospectively over five years to 2006. The time of lag was identified by observing the onset of sicca symptoms, a diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome, and the related claim for CIC. A total of 1970 pSS patients were included in this study. The median time of lag between the onset of sicca symptoms and pSS diagnosis was 115 weeks (interquartile range [IQR] 27–205), and between pSS diagnosis and approval of CIC, was 6 (IQR 2–37) weeks. During the time of lag between sicca symptoms, diagnosis, and approval of a CIC for pSS, the median numbers of outpatient visits were 3 (IQR 1–8) and 3 (IQR 2–7), respectively. These numbers were higher in female and elderly groups. Patients experience a significant diagnostic delay of pSS and in the initiation of regular follow-up care. Targeted guardian programs or public health interventions are required to inform symptom interpretation and reduce delays
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