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1.  Engagement and abstinence among users of a smoking cessation text message program for veterans 
Addictive behaviors  2016;62:47-53.
BACKGROUND
SmokefreeVET is a text messaging smoking cessation program available to veterans enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration. SmokefreeVET was developed in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute as part of the SmokefreeTXT initiative.
PURPOSE
To evaluate the real world use of and effectiveness of the SmokefreeVET program for SmokefreeVET users who enrolled between 2013 and 2014.
METHODS
Demographics and smoking behavior of 1,470 SmokefreeVET users who enrolled between 2013 and 2014 were analyzed. Latent growth mixture modeling was used to identify discrete classes of SmokefreeVET users based on engagement patterns. Multi-level modeling determined class differences in abstinence.
RESULTS
The average age of the SmokefreeVET user was 48, 75% of users were male, and 84% were daily smokers. After five weeks, 13% of all users reported abstinence from smoking. Five statistically distinct engagement classes of SmokefreeVET users were identified. Highly engaged classes were significantly less likely to opt-out and more likely to report abstinence. Over 60% of users who were classified as high engagers throughout the program reported abstinence 5 weeks after their quit date. Users were more likely to report abstinence after two weeks if they used smoking cessation medication than those that did not use medication (OR=9.01, p<.001).
CONCLUSIONS
SmokefreeVET may be effective at supporting abstinence among a real world group of highly engaged users. Smoking cessation medication use was also associated with abstinence in SmokefreeVET users. Engagement appears to be a critical component when assessing the efficacy of a text messaging smoking cessation intervention.
doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.06.016
PMCID: PMC5144826  PMID: 27318948
smoking; tobacco; cessation; mHealth; engagement; veteran
2.  Cigarette Smoking and Sociodemographic, Military, and Health Characteristics of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans 
Public Health Reports  2016;131(5):714-727.
Objective:
We examined the sociodemographic, military, and health characteristics of current cigarette smokers, former smokers, and nonsmokers among Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) / Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans and estimated smoking prevalence to better understand cigarette use in this population.
Methods:
We analyzed data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 2009-2011 National Health Study for a New Generation of US Veterans. On the basis of a stratified random sample of 60 000 OEF/OIF veterans, we sought responses to a 72-item questionnaire via mail, telephone, or Internet. Cigarette smoking status was based on self-reported cigarette use in the past year. We used multinomial logistic regression to evaluate associations between smoking status and sociodemographic, military, and health characteristics.
Results:
Among 19 911 veterans who provided information on cigarette smoking, 5581 were current smokers (weighted percentage: 32.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 31.7-33.2). Current smokers were more likely than nonsmokers or former smokers to be younger, to have less education or income, to be separated/divorced or never married/single, and to have served on active duty or in the army. Comparing current smokers and nonsmokers, some significant associations from adjusted analyses included the following: having a Mental Component Summary score (a measure of overall mental health) above the mean of the US population relative to below the mean (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.73-0.90); having physician-diagnosed depression (aOR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.33-1.74), respiratory conditions (aOR = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.04-1.30), or repeated seizures/blackouts/convulsions (aOR = 1.80, 95% CI: 1.22-2.67); heavy alcohol use vs never use (aOR = 5.49, 95% CI: 4.57-6.59); a poor vs excellent perception of overall health (aOR = 3.79, 95% CI: 2.60-5.52); and being deployed vs nondeployed (aOR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.78-0.96). Using health care services from the VA protected against current smoking.
Conclusion:
Mental and physical health, substance use, and military service characteristics shape cigarette-smoking patterns in OEF/OIF veterans.
doi:10.1177/0033354916664864
PMCID: PMC5230820  PMID: 28123213
veterans; cigarettes; smoking; OEF/OIF; Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operation Enduring Freedom; health; Afghanistan; Iraq
3.  Cyclophilin A release as a biomarker of necrotic cell death 
Cell death and differentiation  2010;17(12):1942-1943.
doi:10.1038/cdd.2010.123
PMCID: PMC2981659  PMID: 20930851
4.  Necroptosis as an alternative form of programmed cell death 
Current opinion in cell biology  2010;22(2):263-268.
Summary
The family of death receptors plays a critical role in regulating cell number and eliminating harmful or virally infected cells. Agonistic stimulation of death receptors is known to lead two alternative cell fates by either activating NF-κB to promote cell survival or inducing apoptosis to lead to cell death; and now a third pathway, termed necroptosis or programmed necrosis has been identified. Interestingly, a death-domain containing kinase, RIP1, is involved in mediating all 3 pathways, with its kinase activity specifically involved in regulating necroptosis. The availability of necrostatin-1, a specific inhibitor of RIP1 kinase, made it possible to dissect the distinct functional domains of RIP1. Recent genome-wide siRNA screens have identified multiple players of necroptosis that may interact with and/or regulate RIP1 kinase and mediate the signaling pathway and execution of necroptosis. Necroptosis and necrostatins provide an exciting new opportunity for developing new treatments for multiple human diseases involving necrosis and inflammation.
doi:10.1016/j.ceb.2009.12.003
PMCID: PMC2854308  PMID: 20045303
5.  Identification of a molecular signaling network that regulates a cellular necrotic cell death pathway by a genome wide siRNA screen 
Cell  2008;135(7):1311-1323.
Stimulation of death receptors by agonists such as FasL and TNFα activates apoptotic cell death in apoptotic competent conditions or a type of necrotic cell death dependent on RIP1 kinase, termed necroptosis, in apoptotic deficient conditions. In a genome-wide siRNA screen for regulators of necroptosis, we identify a set of 432 genes that regulate necroptosis, a subset of 32 genes that act downstream and/or as regulators of RIP1 kinase, 32 genes required for death receptor mediated apoptosis, and 7 genes involved in both necroptosis and apoptosis. We show that the expression of subsets of the 432 genes are enriched in the immune and nervous systems, and cellular sensitivity to necroptosis is regulated by an extensive signaling network mediating innate immunity. Interestingly, Bmf, a BH3-only Bcl-2 family member, is required for death receptor-induced necroptosis. Our study defines a cellular signaling network that regulates necroptosis and the molecular bifurcation that controls apoptosis and necroptosis.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2008.10.044
PMCID: PMC2621059  PMID: 19109899
6.  A genome-wide RNAi screen reveals multiple regulators of caspase activation 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;179(4):619-626.
Apoptosis is an evolutionally conserved cellular suicide mechanism that can be activated in response to a variety of stressful stimuli. Increasing evidence suggests that apoptotic regulation relies on specialized cell death signaling pathways and also integrates diverse signals from additional regulatory circuits, including those of cellular homeostasis. We present a genome-wide RNA interference screen to systematically identify regulators of apoptosis induced by DNA damage in Drosophila melanogaster cells. We identify 47 double- stranded RNA that target a functionally diverse set of genes, including several with a known function in promoting cell death. Further characterization uncovers 10 genes that influence caspase activation upon the removal of Drosophila inhibitor of apoptosis 1. This set includes the Drosophila initiator caspase Dronc and, surprisingly, several metabolic regulators, a candidate tumor suppressor, Charlatan, and an N-acetyltransferase, ARD1. Importantly, several of these genes show functional conservation in regulating apoptosis in mammalian cells. Our data suggest a previously unappreciated fundamental connection between various cellular processes and caspase-dependent cell death.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200708090
PMCID: PMC2080898  PMID: 17998402

Results 1-6 (6)