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26.  Antihyperglycaemic treatment patterns, observed glycaemic control and determinants of treatment change among patients with type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom primary care: a retrospective cohort study 
Background
The initial treatment strategy for patients with type 2 diabetes includes lifestyle change recommendations. When patients are not successful in controlling their blood glucose levels through healthier lifestyle pharmaceutical agents are recommended. The objective of this study is to identify determinants of initial treatment change following initiation of non-insulin antihyperglycaemic treatment (OAD) for UK patients with type 2 diabetes.
Methods
A retrospective cohort study using primary care data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink between January 2006 and February 2011. Each patient had an OAD prescription. The main treatment pattern outcomes were discontinuation, switching, augmentation and initiation of insulin. Glycaemic control was assessed using HbA1c.
Results
63,060 patients initiated OAD therapy 2006–2010 and 3.4% were prescribed insulin during follow-up. 26% with at least four years of follow-up remained on the initial treatment. Metformin dominated (90%) in UK primary care. Around 75% had a record of HbA1c testing prior to initiating therapy. On initiating OAD, half the patients had HbA1c values >65 mmol/mol and one quarter >80 mmol/mol. The initial values of HbA1c were reduced after 12 months and remained stable. There were 15%-18% of patients whose values increased since initiating OAD. Increased baseline HbA1c is associated with increased chance of augmentation and decreased chance of discontinuation. HbA1c values at 1 year were associated with a three-fold increase in the chance of augmentation, 130% increase in the chance of switching and 14% increase in the chance of discontinuation with each 10 mmol/mol increase. Following initiation of OAD, HbA1c was reduced by an average of 16 mmol/mol during the first year.
Conclusion
There are patients for whom glycaemic control worsens and a majority remained above the recommended level, suggesting an unmet need despite the availability of many OAD.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-73
PMCID: PMC4161267  PMID: 25163796
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Oral antidiabetics; Non-insulin antihyperglycaemic therapy; Treatment patterns; Population based; Cohort
27.  Anti-diabetic effect of a preparation of vitamins, minerals and trace elements in diabetic rats: a gender difference 
Background
Although multivitamin products are widely used as dietary supplements to maintain health or as special medical food in certain diseases, the effects of these products were not investigated in diabetes mellitus, a major cardiovascular risk factor. Therefore, here we investigated if a preparation of different minerals, vitamins, and trace elements (MVT) for human use affects the severity of experimental diabetes.
Methods
Two days old neonatal Wistar rats from both genders were injected with 100 mg/kg of streptozotocin or its vehicle to induce diabetes. At week 4, rats were fed with an MVT preparation or vehicle for 8 weeks. Well established diagnostic parameters of diabetes, i.e. fasting blood glucose and oral glucose tolerance test were performed at week 4, 8 and 12. Moreover, serum insulin and blood HbA1c were measured at week 12.
Results
An impaired glucose tolerance has been found in streptozotocin-treated rats in both genders at week 4. In males, fasting blood glucose and HbA1c were significantly increased and glucose tolerance and serum insulin was decreased at week 12 in the vehicle-treated diabetic group as compared to the vehicle-treated non-diabetic group. All of the diagnostic parameters of diabetes were significantly improved by MVT treatment in male rats. In females, streptozotocin treatment resulted in a less severe prediabetic-like phenotype as only glucose tolerance and HbA1c were altered by the end of the study in the vehicle-treated diabetic group as compared to the vehicle-treated non-diabetic group. MVT treatment failed to improve the diagnostic parameters of diabetes in female streptozotocin-treated rats.
Conclusion
This is the first demonstration that MVT significantly attenuates the progression of diabetes in male rats with chronic experimental diabetes. Moreover, we have confirmed that females are less sensitive to STZ-induced diabetes and MVT preparation did not show protection against prediabetic state. This may suggest a gender difference in the pathogenesis of diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-72
PMCID: PMC4170941  PMID: 25160946
Multivitamin; Minerals; Trace elements; Prevention; Streptozotocin; Diabetes; Gender difference
28.  Recent advances in the molecular mechanisms determining tissue sensitivity to glucocorticoids: novel mutations, circadian rhythm and ligand-induced repression of the human glucocorticoid receptor 
Glucocorticoids are pleiotropic hormones, which are involved in almost every cellular, molecular and physiologic network of the organism, and regulate a broad spectrum of physiologic functions essential for life. The cellular response to glucocorticoids displays profound variability both in magnitude and in specificity of action. Tissue sensitivity to glucocorticoids differs among individuals, within tissues of the same individual and within the same cell. The actions of glucocorticoids are mediated by the glucocorticoid receptor, a ubiquitously expressed intracellular, ligand-dependent transcription factor. Multiple mechanisms, such as pre-receptor ligand metabolism, receptor isoform expression, and receptor-, tissue-, and cell type-specific factors, exist to generate diversity as well as specificity in the response to glucocorticoids. Alterations in the molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoid receptor action impair glucocorticoid signal transduction and alter tissue sensitivity to glucocorticoids. This review summarizes the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms determining tissue sensitivity to glucocorticoids with particular emphasis on novel mutations and new information on the circadian rhythm and ligand-induced repression of the glucocorticoid receptor.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-71
PMCID: PMC4155765  PMID: 25155432
Glucocorticoid receptor; Glucocorticoid resistance; Glucocorticoid hypersensitivity; Glucocorticoid signal transduction
29.  Evolution in functionality of a metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour (pNET) causing Cushing’s syndrome: treatment response with chemotherapy 
Background
We report the case of a patient who had a non-functional metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour (pNET), which changed in functionality during the course of the disease. This case demonstrates the effectiveness of conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy in the management of select group of patients with this rare, challenging condition.
Case presentation
Our patient was a 34 year old man under oncology follow up, diagnosed with a non-functional metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour treated with a Whipple’s procedure two years ago. Despite treatment with somatostatin analogues and sunitinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, he had demonstrated radiological progression of his metastatic disease. He now presented with a short history of Cushing’s syndrome. A presumptive diagnosis of a rapidly progressive, metastatic, functional pNET with ectopic ACTH production was made, confirmed biochemically and with liver biopsy. The proliferative index, Ki-67 of 20% of the liver biopsy prompted us to treat him with conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy using streptozocin, 5-fluorouracil and doxorubicin. Prior to its administration clinical and biochemical control of the hypercortisolemic state was achieved with metyrapone. However the clinical, biochemical and radiological response to chemotherapy was so dramatic obviating the need for metyrapone therapy.
Conclusions
Non-functional pNETs may evolve in their clinical and biologic behaviour producing functional hormonal syndromes. Chemotherapy may be an effective therapeutic modality in such circumstances.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-70
PMCID: PMC4149042  PMID: 25151270
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour; Cushing’s syndrome; Chemotherapy
30.  Identification of a novel pax8 gene sequence variant in four members of the same family: from congenital hypothyroidism with thyroid hypoplasia to mild subclinical hypothyroidism 
Background
Congenital hypothyroidism is often secondary to thyroid dysgenesis, including thyroid agenesis, hypoplasia, ectopic thyroid tissue or cysts. Loss of function mutations in TSHR, PAX8, NKX2.1, NKX2.5 and FOXE1 genes are responsible for some forms of inherited congenital hypothyroidism, with or without hypoplastic thyroid. The aim of this study was to analyse the PAX8 gene sequence in several members of the same family in order to understand whether the variable phenotypic expression, ranging from congenital hypothyroidism with thyroid hypoplasia to mild subclinical hypothyroidism, could be associated to the genetic variant in the PAX8 gene, detected in the proband.
Methods
We screened a hypothyroid child with thyroid hypoplasia for mutations in PAX8, TSHR, NKX2.1, NKX2.5 and FOXE1 genes. We studied the inheritance of the new variant R133W detected in the PAX8 gene in the proband’s family, and we looked for the same substitution in 115 Caucasian European subjects and in 26 hypothyroid children. Functional studies were performed to assess the in vitro effect of the newly identified PAX8 gene variant.
Results
A new heterozygous nucleotide substitution was detected in the PAX8 DNA-binding motif (c.397C/T, R133W) in the proband, affected by congenital hypothyroidism with thyroid hypoplasia, in his older sister, displaying a subclinical hypothyroidism associated with thyroid hypoplasia and thyroid nodules, in his father, affected by hypothyroidism with thyroid hypoplasia and thyroid nodules, and his first cousin as well, who revealed only a subclinical hypothyroidism. Functional studies of R133W-PAX8 in the HEK293 cells showed activation of the TG promoter comparable to the wild-type PAX8.
Conclusions
In vitro data do not prove that R133W-PAX8 is directly involved in the development of the thyroid phenotypes reported for family members carrying the substitution. However, it is reasonable to conceive that, in the cases of transcriptions factors, such as Pax8, which establish several interactions in different protein complexes, genetic variants could have an impact in vivo.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-69
PMCID: PMC4142740  PMID: 25146893
PAX8 gene; Thyroid; Congenital hypothyroidism; Variable phenotypic expressivity; R133W-PAX8
31.  Impact of medical and psychiatric multi-morbidity on mortality in diabetes: emerging evidence 
Background
Multi-morbidity, or the presence of multiple chronic diseases, is a major problem in clinical care and is associated with worse outcomes. Additionally, the presence of mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, etc., has further negative impact on clinical outcomes. However, most health systems are generally configured for management of individual diseases instead of multi-morbidity. The study examined the prevalence and differential impact of medical and psychiatric multi-morbidity on risk of death in adults with diabetes.
Methods
A national cohort of 625,903 veterans with type 2 diabetes was created by linking multiple patient and administrative files from 2002 through 2006. The main outcome was time to death. Primary independent variables were numbers of medical and psychiatric comorbidities over the study period. Covariates included age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, area of residence, service connection, and geographic region. Cox regression was used to model the association between time to death and multi-morbidity adjusting for relevant covariates.
Results
Hypertension (78%) and depression (13%) were the most prevalent medical and psychiatric comorbidities, respectively; 23% had 3+ medical comorbidities, 3% had 2+ psychiatric comorbidities and 22% died. Among medical comorbidities, mortality risk was highest in those with congestive heart failure (hazard ratio, HR = 1.92; 95% CI 1.89-1.95), Lung disease (HR = 1.42; 95% CI 1.40-1.44) and cerebrovascular disease (HR = 1.39; 95% CI 1.37-1.40). Among psychiatric comorbidities, mortality risk was highest in those with substance abuse (HR = 1.50; 95% CI 1.46-1.54), psychoses (HR = 1.16; 95% CI 1.14-1.19) and depression (HR = 1.05; 95% CI 1.03-1.07). There was an interaction between medical and psychiatric comorbidity (p = 0.003) so stratified analyses were performed. HRs for effect of 3+ medical comorbidity (2.63, 2.66, 2.15) remained high across levels of psychiatric comorbidities (0, 1, 2+), respectively. HRs for effect of 2+ psychiatric comorbidity (1.69, 1.63, 1.42, 1.38) declined across levels of medical comorbidity (0, 1, 2, 3+), respectively.
Conclusions
Medical and psychiatric multi-morbidity are significant predictors of mortality among older adults (veterans) with type 2 diabetes with a graded response as multimorbidity increases.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-68
PMCID: PMC4144689  PMID: 25138206
Diabetes; Comorbidity; Mortality; Elderly; Veterans
32.  Sweet taste sensitivity in pre-diabetics, diabetics and normoglycemic controls: a comparative cross sectional study 
Background
Increasing prevalence of pre-diabetes is an emerging public health problem. Decrease in sweet taste sensitivity which can lead to an increase in sugar intake might be a factor driving them to overt diabetes. The aim of the present study was to assess the sweet taste sensitivity in pre-diabetics in comparison with diabetics and with normoglycemic controls.
Methods
Forty pre-diabetics, 40 diabetics and 34 normoglycemic controls were studied. The three groups were matched for age, sex and BMI. The division into groups was based on their glycated hemoglobin levels. The detection and recognition thresholds were determined by the multiple forced-choice method using sucrose solutions prepared in ¼ log dilutions. The intensities of perceived sensations for a series of suprathreshold concentrations of sucrose solutions prepared in ½ log dilution were determined by rating on a visual analogue scale. Statistical analyses were performed by SPSS version 21.
Results
The mean (SD) detection thresholds of diabetic, pre-diabetic and normoglycemic groups were 0.025 (0.01), 0.018 (0.01) and 0.015 (0.01) respectively with a significant increase in diabetic group compared to normoglycemic group (p = 0.03). The mean recognition thresholds were not different among the three groups. When the intensity ratings for suprathreshold concentrations of sucrose were compared between the three groups, for all suprathreshold concentrations tested, significant differences were observed across the four concentrations (p < 0.001) and between groups in suprathreshold ratings (p < 0.05). Further analysis showed that the diabetic group had significantly lower suprathreshold ratings than the normoglycemic group (p < 0.001). Although all mean suprathreshold intensity ratings of the pre-diabetic group were between the normoglycemic and diabetic groups, the differences were not significant.
Conclusions
This is the first study to demonstrate the sweet taste sensitivity in pre-diabetics. The findings of the present study do not support the hypothesis of decreased sweet taste sensitivity of pre-diabetics. However, the results confirm the previous findings of blunted taste response in diabetics. The observation of pre-diabetics having intermediate values for all taste thresholds and suprathreshold ratings warrants a future investigation with a larger pre-diabetic sample recruited with more specific screening criteria to test this hypothesis further.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-67
PMCID: PMC4146442  PMID: 25123551
Pre-diabetes; Diabetes mellitus; Sweet taste; Detection threshold; Recognition threshold; Suprathreshold ratings
33.  “Vitamin D supplementation and bone health in adults with diabetic nephropathy: the protocol for a randomized controlled trial” 
Background
Suboptimal vitamin D status is highly prevalent in Northern communities, particularly in those patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and chronic renal disease. Emerging literature suggests that adherence to daily vitamin D supplementation may be an important factor influencing vitamin D status and overall bone health, but compliance with therapies for bone health is a major challenge. It is unknown what level of vitamin D supplementation will ameliorate or improve suboptimal vitamin D status in patients with diabetic nephropathy or contribute to improved bone health, particularly for those living in northern climates.
Methods/Design
The study purpose was to examine two different strategies of vitamin D3 supplementation; daily dosing of 2000 IU per day verses monthly dosing of 40,000 IU per month on markers of vitamin D status, bone health and to examine whether adherence, quality of life and patient satisfaction with the supplementation strategy differs between the two vitamin D strategies in adults diagnosed with diabetic nephropathy.
Discussion
The need for RCTs assessing higher doses of vitamin D3 supplementation at varying frequencies of administration and its impact on bone health in adults with diabetes and chronic kidney disease are needed.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01476501.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-66
PMCID: PMC4146441  PMID: 25115438
Vitamin D supplementation; Bone health; Diabetes; Kidney disease
34.  Fasting insulin sensitivity indices are not better than routine clinical variables at predicting insulin sensitivity among Black Africans: a clamp study in sub-Saharan Africans 
Background
We aimed to evaluate the predictive utility of common fasting insulin sensitivity indices, and non-laboratory surrogates [BMI, waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR)] in sub-Saharan Africans without diabetes.
Methods
We measured fasting glucose and insulin, and glucose uptake during 80/mU/m2/min euglycemic clamp in 87 Cameroonians (51 men) aged (SD) 34.6 (11.4) years. We derived insulin sensitivity indices including HOMA-IR, quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI), fasting insulin resistance index (FIRI) and glucose-to-insulin ratio (GIR). Indices and clinical predictors were compared to clamp using correlation tests, robust linear regressions and agreement of classification by sex-specific thirds.
Results
The mean insulin sensitivity was M = 10.5 ± 3.2 mg/kg/min. Classification across thirds of insulin sensitivity by clamp matched with non-laboratory surrogates in 30-48% of participants, and with fasting indices in 27-51%, with kappa statistics ranging from −0.10 to 0.26. Fasting indices correlated significantly with clamp (/r/=0.23-0.30), with GIR performing less well than fasting insulin and HOMA-IR (both p < 0.02). BMI, WC and WHtR were equal or superior to fasting indices (/r/=0.38-0.43). Combinations of fasting indices and clinical predictors explained 25-27% of variation in clamp values.
Conclusion
Fasting insulin sensitivity indices are modest predictors of insulin sensitivity measured by euglycemic clamp, and do not perform better than clinical surrogates in this population.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-65
PMCID: PMC4130121  PMID: 25106496
35.  Chromogranin A is a reliable serum diagnostic biomarker for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors but not for insulinomas 
Background
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are a group of rare tumors. Chromogranin A (CgA) was considered as the most practical and useful serum tumor marker in PNET patients. But peripheral blood levels of CgA are not routinely tested in Chinese patients with PNETs. This study was to assess the diagnostic value of CgA in Chinese patients with PNETs especially in patients with insulinomas.
Methods
Eighty-nine patients with PNETs including 57 insulinomas and 32 non-insulinoma PNETs as well as 86 healthy participants were enrolled in this study between September 2003 and June 2013. Serum levels of CgA were measured by ELISA method. Expression of CgA protein was detected in 26 PNET tissues including 14 insulinomas by immunohistochemical staining.
Results
Serum levels of CgA in 89 PNET patients were significantly higher than that in healthy controls (P = 7.2 × 10−9). Serum levels of CgA in 57 patients with insulinomas (median 64.8 ng/ml, range 25–164) were slightly higher than the levels in healthy controls (median 53.4 ng/ml, range 39–94) but much lower than the levels in 32 patients with non-insulinoma PNETs (median 193 ng/ml, range 27–9021), P = 0.001. The serum CgA levels were reduced in 16 of 17 patients with insulinomas after tumor resection. ROC curve showed that CgA values at 60 ng/ml distinguished patients with insulinomas from healthy controls but its sensitivity and specificity were 66.7% and 73.3%, respectively. In contrast, CgA values at 74 ng/ml distinguished patients with non-insulinoma PNETs from healthy controls, and the sensitivity and specificity were 65.6% and 91.9%, respectively. Except for two insulinomas with negative staining of CgA, 12 insulinoma tissues showed positive staining of CgA.
Conclusion
CgA is a reliable serum diagnostic biomarker for PNETs but not for insulinomas.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-64
PMCID: PMC4130880  PMID: 25099181
36.  Suspected metastatic adrenocortical carcinoma revealing as pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma in adrenal Cushing’s syndrome 
Background
Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a malignant disease most commonly diagnosed in the setting of a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and in patients receiving immunosuppressive treatment. Pulmonary KS has never been reported in association with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome (CS).
Case presentation
A 60-year-old woman presented with symptoms and signs of CS. Adrenal CS was confirmed by standard biochemical evaluation. Imaging revealed a right adrenal lesion (diameter 3.5 cm) and multiple pulmonary nodules, suggesting a cortisol-secreting adrenal carcinoma with pulmonary metastases. The patient underwent right adrenalectomy with a pathohistological diagnosis of an adrenal adenoma. Subsequent thoracoscopic wedge resection of one lung lesion revealed pulmonary KS with positive immunostaining for human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8). HIV-serology was negative. Hydrocortisone replacement was initiated for secondary adrenal insufficiency after surgery. Post-operative follow up imaging showed complete remission of all KS-related pulmonary nodules solely after resolution of hypercortisolism.
Conclusion
KS may occur in the setting of endogenous CS and may go into remission after cure of hypercortisolism without further specific treatment.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-63
PMCID: PMC4128825  PMID: 25077599
Cushing’s syndrome; Kaposi sarcoma; Immunosuppression; Hypercortisolism
37.  Glucose control in intensive care: usability, efficacy and safety of Space GlucoseControl in two medical European intensive care units 
Background
The Space GlucoseControl system (SGC) is a nurse-driven, computer-assisted device for glycemic control combining infusion pumps with the enhanced Model Predictive Control algorithm (B. Braun, Melsungen, Germany). We aimed to investigate the performance of the SGC in medical critically ill patients.
Methods
Two open clinical investigations in tertiary centers in Graz, Austria and Zurich, Switzerland were performed. Efficacy was assessed by percentage of time within the target range (4.4-8.3 mmol/L; primary end point), mean blood glucose, and sampling interval. Safety was assessed by the number of hypoglycemic episodes (≤2.2 mmol/L) and the percentage of time spent below this cutoff level. Usability was analyzed with a standardized questionnaire given to involved nursing staff after the trial.
Results
Forty medical critically ill patients (age, 62 ± 15 years; body mass index, 30.0 ± 8.9 kg/m2; APACHE II score, 24.8 ± 5.4; 27 males; 8 with diabetes) were included for a period of 6.5 ± 3.7 days (n = 20 in each center). The primary endpoint (time in target range 4.4 to 8.3 mmol/l) was reached in 88.3% ± 9.3 of the time and mean arterial blood glucose was 6.7 ± 0.4 mmol/l. The sampling interval was 2.2 ± 0.4 hours. The mean daily insulin dose was 87.2 ± 64.6 IU. The adherence to the given insulin dose advice was high (98.2%). While the percentage of time spent in a moderately hypoglycemic range (2.2 to 3.3 mmol/L) was low (0.07 ± 0.26% of the time), one severe hypoglycemic episode (<2.2 mmol/L) occurred (2.5% of patients or 0.03% of glucose readings).
Conclusions
SGC is a safe and efficient method to control blood glucose in critically ill patients as assessed in two European medical intensive care units.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-62
PMCID: PMC4118658  PMID: 25074071
Tight glycemic control; Critical illness; Critically ill patients; Protocol; Computer-assisted glycemic control; Insulin infusion protocol; Glucose control in intensive care
38.  Lower risk of hypoglycaemia and greater odds for weight loss with initiation of insulin detemir compared with insulin glargine in Turkish patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: local results of a multinational observational study 
Background
The purpose of this analysis is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of insulin initiation with once-daily insulin detemir (IDet) or insulin glargine (IGlar) in real-life clinical practice in Turkish patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods
This was a 24-week multinational observational study of insulin initiation in patients with T2DM.
Results
The Turkish cohort (n = 2886) included 2395 patients treated with IDet and 491 with IGlar. The change in glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) from the pre-insulin levels was -2.21% [95% confidence interval (CI) -2.32, -2.09] in the IDet group and -1.88% [95% CI -2.17, -1.59] in the IGlar group at the final visit. The incidence rate of minor hypoglycaemia increased in both groups from the pre-insulin to the final visit (+0.66 and +2.23 events per patient year in the IDet and IGlar groups, respectively). Weight change in the IDet group was -0.23 kg [95% CI -0.49, 0.02 kg], and +1.55 kg [95% CI 1.11, 2.00 kg] in the IGlar group. Regression analysis with adjustment for previously identified confounders (age, gender, duration of diabetes, body mass index, previous history of hypoglycaemia, microvascular disease, number and change in oral anti-diabetic drug therapy, HbA1c at baseline and insulin dose) identified an independent effect of insulin type (IDet versus IGlar) with a risk of at least one episode of hypoglycaemia (odds ratio (OR): 0.33 [95% CI 0.21, 0.52], p <0.0001), and weight loss ≥1 kg (OR: 1.75 [95% CI 1.18, 2.59], p = 0.005), but not on HbA1c (+0.05% [95% CI -0.15, 0.25%], p = 0.6).
Conclusions
Initiation of basal insulin analogues, IDet and IGlar, were associated with clinically significant glycaemic improvements. A lower risk of minor hypoglycaemia and greater odds of weight loss ≥1 kg was observed with IDet compared with IGlar.
Trial registration
NCT00825643 and NCT00740519
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-61
PMCID: PMC4223563  PMID: 25048824
Insulin detemir; Insulin glargine; Basal insulin; Type 2 diabetes; Weight loss; Hypoglycaemia
39.  Characteristics and effectiveness of diabetes self-management educational programs targeted to racial/ethnic minority groups: a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression 
Background
It is not clear to what extent educational programs aimed at promoting diabetes self-management in ethnic minority groups are effective. The aim of this work was to systematically review the effectiveness of educational programs to promote the self-management of racial/ethnic minority groups with type 2 diabetes, and to identify programs’ characteristics associated with greater success.
Methods
We undertook a systematic literature review. Specific searches were designed and implemented for Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, ISI Web of Knowledge, Scirus, Current Contents and nine additional sources (from inception to October 2012). We included experimental and quasi-experimental studies assessing the impact of educational programs targeted to racial/ethnic minority groups with type 2 diabetes. We only included interventions conducted in countries members of the OECD. Two reviewers independently screened citations. Structured forms were used to extract information on intervention characteristics, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness. When possible, we conducted random-effects meta-analyses using standardized mean differences to obtain aggregate estimates of effect size with 95% confidence intervals. Two reviewers independently extracted all the information and critically appraised the studies.
Results
We identified thirty-seven studies reporting on thirty-nine educational programs. Most of them were conducted in the US, with African American or Latino participants. Most programs obtained some benefits over standard care in improving diabetes knowledge, self-management behaviors and clinical outcomes. A meta-analysis of 20 randomized controlled trials (3,094 patients) indicated that the programs produced a reduction in glycated hemoglobin of -0.31% (95% CI -0.48% to -0.14%). Diabetes knowledge and self-management measures were too heterogeneous to pool. Meta-regressions showed larger reduction in glycated hemoglobin in individual and face to face delivered interventions, as well as in those involving peer educators, including cognitive reframing techniques, and a lower number of teaching methods. The long-term effects remain unknown and cost-effectiveness was rarely estimated.
Conclusions
Diabetes self-management educational programs targeted to racial/ethnic minority groups can produce a positive effect on diabetes knowledge and on self-management behavior, ultimately improving glycemic control. Future programs should take into account the key characteristics identified in this review.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-60
PMCID: PMC4107728  PMID: 25037577
Diabetes type 2; Self-management; Educational interventions; Systematic literature review; Meta-analysis; Meta-regression
40.  Study protocol: a randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial to study the effect of vitamin D supplementation on glycaemic control in type 2 Diabetes Mellitus SUNNY trial 
Background
Besides the classical role of vitamin D on calcium and bone homeostasis, vitamin D deficiency has recently been identified as a contributing factor in the onset of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, it is uncertain whether vitamin D deficiency and poor glycaemic control are causally interrelated or that they constitute two independent features of type 2 diabetes mellitus. There are limited clinical trials carried out which measured the effect of vitamin D supplementation on glycaemic control.
The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of vitamin D supplementation on glycaemic control and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Methods/design
In a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial conducted in five general practices in the Netherlands three hundred patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with lifestyle advises or metformin or sulphonylurea-derivatives are randomised to receive either placebo or 50,000 IU Vitamin D3 at monthly intervals. The primary outcome measure is the change in glycated haemoglobin level between baseline and six months. Secondary outcome measures include blood pressure, anthropometric parameters, lipid profile, insulin resistance, quality of life, advanced glycation end products and safety profiles. Quality of life will be measured by The Short Form (SF-36) Health Survey questionnaire. Advanced glycation end products are measured by an AGE-reader.
Discussion
This trial will be the first study exploring the effect of vitamin D supplementation on both glycaemic control and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Our findings will contribute to the knowledge of the relationship between vitamin D status and insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Trial registration
The Netherlands trial register: NTR3154
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-59
PMCID: PMC4107614  PMID: 25033925
Vitamin D; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Quality of life; Advanced glycation end products; Insulin resistance
41.  Genetic determinants of amidating enzyme activity and its relationship with metal cofactors in human serum 
Background
α-amidation is a final, essential step in the biosynthesis of about half of all peptide hormones and neurotransmitters. Peptidylglycine α-amidating monooxygenase (PAM), with enzymatic domains that utilize Cu and Zn, is the only enzyme that catalyzes this reaction. PAM activity is detected in serum, but its significance and utility as a clinical biomarker remain unexplored.
Methods
We used well-established enzymatic assays specific for the peptidylglycine-α -hydroxylating monooxygenase (PHM) and peptidyl-α-hydroxyglycine α-amidating lyase (PAL) domains of PAM to quantify amidating activity in the sera of 144 elderly men. Relationships between PHM and PAL activity and serum levels of their respective active-site metals, Cu and Zn, were analyzed. Study participants were also genotyped for eight non-coding single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PAM, and relationships between genotype and serum enzyme activity and metal levels were analyzed.
Results
Serum PHM and PAL activities were normally distributed and correlated linearly with each other. Serum PAL activity, but not serum PHM activity, correlated with serum Cu; neither activity correlated with serum Zn. Study subjects possessing the minor alleles for rs32680 had lower PHM and PAL activities, and subjects with minor alleles for rs11952361 and rs10515341 had lower PHM activities.
Conclusions
Our results characterize large variation in serum amidating activity and provide unique insight into its potential origin and determinants. Common non-coding polymorphisms affect serum amidating activity and Cu levels. Serum amidating activity should be explored as a biomarker for functionality in the elderly and in additional study groups.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-58
PMCID: PMC4113131  PMID: 25022877
PAM; Neuropeptide; Copper; SNP
42.  Different associations between obesity and impaired fasting glucose depending on serum gamma-glutamyltransferase levels within normal range: a cross-sectional study 
Background
Despite the consistent relationship between serum γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), one unsolved issue is the role of serum GGT in the well-known association between obesity and T2D. This study was performed to investigate whether the association between body mass index (BMI) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) differed depending on serum GGT levels within the normal range.
Methods
Study subjects were 2,424 men and 3,652 women aged ≥ 40, participating in the Fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Serum GGT levels within the normal range were classified into gender-specific tertiles.
Results
Among men and women belonging to the lowest tertile of serum GGT, BMI showed statistically non-significant weak associations with the risk of IFG. However, among persons in the highest tertile of serum GGT, the risk of IFG was 3 − 4 times higher among persons with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 than those with BMI < 23 kg/m2 (Pinteraction = 0.032 in men and 0.059 in women).
Conclusions
The well-known strong association between BMI and IFG was observed mainly among persons with elevation of serum GGT to certain physiological levels, suggesting a critical role of serum GGT in the pathogenesis of IFG. This finding has an important clinical implication because serum GGT can be used to detect high-risk obese persons.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-57
PMCID: PMC4107621  PMID: 25015117
γ-Glutamyltransferase (GGT); Impaired fasting glucose; Obesity; Type 2 diabetes
43.  Effect of dietary prebiotic supplementation on advanced glycation, insulin resistance and inflammatory biomarkers in adults with pre-diabetes: a study protocol for a double-blind placebo-controlled randomised crossover clinical trial 
Background
Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) contribute to the development of vascular complications of diabetes and have been recently implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Since AGEs are generated within foodstuffs upon food processing, it is increasingly recognised that the modern diet is replete with AGEs. AGEs are thought to stimulate chronic low-grade inflammation and promote oxidative stress and have been linked to the development of insulin resistance. Simple therapeutic strategies targeted at attenuating the progression of chronic low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance are urgently required to prevent or slow the development of type 2 diabetes in susceptible individuals. Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota has been shown to confer a number of health benefits to the host, but its effect on advanced glycation is unknown. The aim of this article is to describe the methodology of a double-blind placebo-controlled randomised crossover trial designed to determine the effect of 12 week consumption of a prebiotic dietary supplement on the advanced glycation pathway, insulin sensitivity and chronic low-grade inflammation in adults with pre-diabetes.
Methods/Design
Thirty adults with pre-diabetes (Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Impaired Fasting Glucose) aged between 40–60 years will be randomly assigned to receive either 10 grams of prebiotic (inulin/oligofructose) daily or 10 grams placebo (maltodextrin) daily for 12 weeks. After a 2-week washout period, study subjects will crossover to receive the alternative dietary treatment for 12 weeks. The primary outcome is the difference in markers of the advanced glycation pathway carboxymethyllysine (CML) and methylglyoxal (MG) between experimental and control treatments. Secondary outcomes include HbA1c, insulin sensitivity, lipid levels, blood pressure, serum glutathione, adiponectin, IL-6, E-selectin, myeloperoxidase, C-reactive protein, Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4), soluble receptor for AGE (sRAGE), urinary 8-isoprostanes, faecal bacterial composition and short chain fatty acid profile. Anthropometric measures including BMI and waist circumference will be collected in addition to comprehensive dietary and lifestyle data.
Discussion
Prebiotics which selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the human colon might offer protection against AGE-related pathology in people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Trial registration
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): ACTRN12613000130763.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-55
PMCID: PMC4099169  PMID: 25011647
Advanced glycation end products; Maillard reaction; Prebiotics; Gut microbiota; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Insulin resistance; Inflammation
44.  Need and disparities in primary care management of patients with diabetes 
Background
An aging population means that chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, are becoming more prevalent and demands for care are rising. Members of primary care teams should organize and coordinate patient care with a view to improving quality of care and impartial adherence to evidence-based practices for all patients. The aims of the present study were: to ascertain the prevalence of diabetes in an Italian population, stratified by age, gender and citizenship; and to identify the rate of compliance with recommended guidelines for monitoring diabetes, to see whether disparities exist in the quality of diabetes patient management.
Methods
A population-based analysis was performed on a dataset obtained by processing public health administration databases. The presence of diabetes and compliance with standards of care were estimated using appropriate algorithms. A multilevel logistic regression analysis was applied to assess factors affecting compliance with standards of care.
Results
1,948,622 Italians aged 16+ were included in the study. In this population, 105,987 subjects were identified as having diabetes on January 1st, 2009. The prevalence of diabetes was 5.43% (95% CI 5.33-5.54) overall, 5.87% (95% CI 5.82-5.92) among males, and 5.05% (95% CI 5.00-5.09) among females. HbA1c levels had been tested in 60.50% of our diabetic subjects, LDL cholesterol levels in 57.50%, and creatinine levels in 63.27%, but only 44.19% of the diabetic individuals had undergone a comprehensive assessment during one year of care. Statistical differences in diabetes care management emerged relating to gender, age, diagnostic latency period, comorbidity and citizenship.
Conclusions
Process management indicators need to be used not only for the overall assessment of health care processes, but also to monitor disparities in the provision of health care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-56
PMCID: PMC4107618  PMID: 25011729
Health care research; Quality of care; Prevalence; Inequalities
45.  Clinical, pathological and prognostic characteristics of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms in China: a retrospective study 
Background
Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NENs) are rare neuroendocrine tumors, and lack of data in Asian populations especially in China. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the clinical, pathological and prognostic characteristics of GEP-NENs in China.
Methods
We collected clinical and pathological data of 168 patients diagnosed with GEP-NENs and treated at the First and Second Affiliated Hospitals of Dalian Medical University between January 2003 and December 2012. Kaplan-Meier method and log rank analysis was used to analyze the prognostic significance of clinical and pathological characteristics.
Results
Mean age was 51.83 ± 14.03 and the male-to-female ratio was 1.5:1. Primary sites were the rectum (58.93%), pancreas (13.69%), stomach (9.52%), duodenum (5.36%), colon (4.76%), appendix (4.76%), ileum (2.38%) and jejunum (0.60%). Most patients (95.83%) presented non-functional tumors with non-specific symptoms such as abdominal or back pain (29.17%) and gastrointestinal bleeding (25.60%). Based on the 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) classification, patients were diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumor (NET) (24.40%) or neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) (7.14%). The estimated mean survival was 8.94 ± 0.28 years (95% CI: 8.40-9.48). Male gender, young age, small tumor size and NET tumor type were favorable prognostic factors.
Conclusion
Chinese GEP-NENs patients present characteristics that are similar to American and European patients. However, there is an urgent need to establish a national database for understanding the clinical and epidemiological features of GEP-NENs in China.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-54
PMCID: PMC4107480  PMID: 25001493
Neuroendocrine neoplasms; Carcinoma; Epidemiology; China
46.  Improving the adherence of type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with pharmacy care: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials 
Background
Oral medication for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus plays an important role in diabetes care and is associated with a high level self-care behavior and self-management. However, poor adherence to diabetes treatment is common which causes severe health complications and increased mortality. Barriers to adherence may consist of complex treatment regimens often along with long-term multi-therapies, side effects due to the medication as well as insufficient, incomprehensible or confusing information or instructions provided by the health care provider. Multidisciplinary approaches can support adherence success and can enable a more effective management of diabetes care. One approach in diabetes care can be the involvement of a pharmacist. The aim was to analyze the effectiveness of adherence-enhancing pharmacist interventions for oral medication in type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Methods
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. The study quality was assessed with the Cochrane risk of bias tool.
Results
Of 491 hits, six publications were included. Two studies mainly examining educational interventions showed a significant improvement in adherence. Moreover, the quality of the included studies was deficient.
Conclusion
Although pharmacist interventions might potentially improve adherence to type 2 diabetes mellitus medication, high-quality studies are needed to assess effectiveness.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-53
PMCID: PMC4105396  PMID: 25001374
Adherence; Pharmacist intervention; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Systematic review
47.  Implication of intracellular localization of transcriptional repressor PLZF in thyroid neoplasms 
Background
Promyelocytic leukaemia zinc finger (PLZF) is a transcriptional repressor that was originally isolated from a patient with promyelocytic leukaemia. PLZF also affects key elements for cell cycle progression, such as cyclin A, and can affect the tumourigenicity of various cancers. Thus far, the behaviour of PLZF in thyroid carcinoma remains unclear.
Methods
We analysed the expression profile of PLZF in different types of benign and malignant thyroid lesions as well as in normal thyroid tissue. Specifically, we examined PLZF expression in normal thyroid (N; n = 4), adenomatous lesion (AL; n = 5), follicular adenoma (FA; n = 2), papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC; n = 20), and anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC; n = 3) samples. PLZF expression was estimated by western blotting and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining.
Results
PLZF was expressed in all samples of thyroid lesions examined. In N, AL, and FA, PLZF was mainly localized in the nucleus. In contrast, in PTC and ATC, PLZF was mainly expressed in the cytosol with high intensity. In more detail, the cytoplasmic IHC scores in PTC with capsular invasion (CI) and lymph node (LN) metastasis were higher than those in PTC without CI and LN metastasis.
Conclusions
PLZF shows different subcellular localizations among PTC, ATC, and other thyroid lesions. Furthermore, high cytoplasmic expression of PLZF may be correlated with CI and LN metastasis in thyroid carcinoma. The present report is the first to describe the implications of intracellular PLZF expression in thyroid carcinomas.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-52
PMCID: PMC4087200  PMID: 24990570
PLZF; Localization; Thyroid carcinoma; Tumourigenesis; Lymph node metastasis
48.  Case report: nocardia infection associated with ectopic cushings 
Background
Cushing’s syndrome results from exposure to excess glucocorticoids. Ectopic Cushings is endogenous ACTH dependant form of Cushing’s associated with markedly raised ACTH and cortisol levels. This leads to an impaired immune response, setting the stage for occurrence of opportunistic infections. Nocardiosis is a gram positive bacterial infection caused by aerobic actinomycetes in genus Nocardia. We report a series of patients diagnosed with ectopic Cushings, having pneumonia with Nocardia spp. In one of these cases, the manifestations of Cushing’s disappeared with treatment for Nocardia.
Case presentation
Two middle aged men of Asian descent presented to the Endocrine clinic: the first with history of exertional shortness of breath, and weight loss for 1 year, the other with facial swelling, disturbed sleep and lethargy for a month. The third case was a young Asian male who presented with progressive weakness & weight loss for 2 months. All three patients had uncontrolled hypertension, high blood sugars & were hypokalemic (K: 2.52, 2.9, 1.5 mmol/l); 24 hour urine cortisol was elevated at 2000, 27216 and 9088 (32-243 ug/24 hours); ACTH 68.5, 159, 255 [0–48 pg/ml), respectively. Their MRI pituitary was normal, inferior petrosal sinus sampling revealed no central peripheral gradient. CT chest of these subjects demonstrated cavitatory lung lesions; microscopic analysis of respiratory samples was suggestive of infection with Nocardia spp. Histopathology of bronchoscopic-guided biopsy revealed no malignancy. Antihypertensives, insulin, potassium replacement, ketoconazole & trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole (TS) were initiated. The patients’ symptomatology improved & cavitatory lesions resolved with treatment. The primary source for the ectopic cushings remained unknown. The first case required bilateral adrenalectomy. The second case followed a progressively downhill course leading to death. In the third case, we were able to completely taper off ketoconazole, potassium, insulin & antihypertensives, after starting TS.
Conclusion
Opportunistic infections are known to be associated with Cushing’s syndrome, and higher levels of glucocorticoid secretion are found in patients with ectopically produced ACTH. Pulmonary nocardiosis is important differential to consider. This series includes the first case reported in which signs and symptoms of cushings subsided after treatment of Nocardia.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-51
PMCID: PMC4079169  PMID: 24950706
ACTH Adrenocorticotrophin Hormone; TS trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole; IPSS inferior petrosal sinus sampling
49.  Hypoglycemia mediated by paraneoplastic production of Insulin like growth factor–2 from a malignant renal solitary fibrous tumor – clinical case and literature review 
Background
Hypoglycemic episodes are infrequent in individuals without a history of diabetes mellitus or bariatric surgery. When hypoglycemia does occur in such individuals, an uncommon but important diagnosis to consider is non-islet cell tumor hypoglycemia (NICTH). We report a case of NICTH associated with paraneoplastic insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF-2) production and review current relevant medical literature.
Case presentation
A 60 year old male with no relevant past medical history was referred to the endocrinology clinic with 18 month history of episodic hypoglycemic symptoms and, on one occasion was noted to have a fingerstick glucose of 36 mg/dL while having symptoms of hypoglycemia. Basic laboratory evaluation was unrevealing. Further evaluation however showed an elevated serum IGF-2 level at 2215 ng/mL (reference range 411–1248 ng/mL). Imaging demonstrated a large right suprarenal mass. A right nephrectomy with resection of the mass demonstrated a malignant solitary fibrous tumor. Post resection, the patient’s IGF-2 levels normalized and hypoglycemic symptoms resolved.
Conclusion
Due to the structural and biochemical homology between IGF-2 and insulin, elevated levels of IGF-2 can result in hypoglycemia. A posttranslational precursor to IGF-2 known as “big IGF” also possesses biologic activity. Review of recent reported cases of NICTH identified widespread anatomic locations and varied pathologic diagnoses of tumors associated with paraneoplastic production of IGF-2 causing hypoglycemia. Definitive management of hypoglycemia associated with paraneoplastic production of IGF-2 consists of resection of the tumor responsible for IGF-2 production. Accumulating literature provides a firm basis for routine IGF-2 laboratory evaluation in patients presenting with spontaneous hypoglycemia with no readily apparent cause.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-49
PMCID: PMC4067084  PMID: 24934576
Non islet cell tumor hypoglycemia (NICTH); Insulin like Growth Factor–2 (IGF-2); Big IGF-2; Hypoglycemia; Paraneoplastic production; Insulinoma; Solitary fibrous tumor
50.  Contrasting effects of preexisting hyperglycemia and higher body size on hospital mortality in critically ill patients: a prospective cohort study 
Background
Obesity and diabetes mellitus are well-defined risk factors for cardiovascular mortality. The impact of antecedent hyperglycemia and body size on mortality in critical ill patients in intensive care units (ICUs) may vary across their range of values. Therefore, we prospectively analyzed the relationship between in-hospital mortality and preexisting hyperglycemia and body size in critically ill ICU patients to understand how mortality varied among normal, overweight, and obese patients and those with low, intermediate, and high glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels.
Methods
Medical history, weight, height, physiologic variables, and HbA1c were obtained during the first 24 h for patients who were consecutively admitted to the high complexity ICU of Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Brazil, from April to August 2011. The relationships between mortality and obesity and antecedent hyperglycemia were prospectively analyzed by cubic spline analysis and a Cox proportional hazards model.
Results
The study comprised 199 patients. The overall hospital mortality rate was 43.2% during a median 16 (8–28) days of follow-up. There was a progressive risk of in-hospital mortality with higher HbA1c levels, with the relationship becoming significant at HbA1c >9.3% compared with lower levels (hazard ratio 1.74; 95% confidence interval with Bonferroni correction 1.49–2.80). In contrast, mean body mass index (BMI) was higher in survivors than in nonsurvivors (27.2 kg/m2 ± 7.3 vs. 24.7 kg/m2 ± 5.0 P = 0.031, respectively). Cubic spline analysis showed that these relationships differed nonlinearly through the spectrum of BMI values. In a Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score and HbA1c, the risk of in-hospital mortality progressively decreased with increasing BMI (BMI <20 vs. 20–23.9 kg/m2, P = 0.032; BMI <20 vs. 24–34.9 kg/m2, P = 0.010; BMI <20 vs. ≥35 kg/m2, P = 0.032).
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that significant hyperglycemia prior to ICU admission is a risk factor for in-hospital mortality. Conversely, increasing BMI may confer an advantageous effect against mortality in critical illness independently of previous glycemic control.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-50
PMCID: PMC4072488  PMID: 24941997
Diabetes mellitus; Glycated hemoglobin; Obesity; Intensive care unit; Mortality

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