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1.  The role, mechanism and potentially novel biomarker of microRNA-17-92 cluster in macrosomia 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:17212.
Macrosomia is one of the most common perinatal complications of pregnancy and has life-long health implications for the infant. microRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified to regulate placental development, yet the role of miRNAs in macrosomia remains poorly understood. Here we investigated the role of miR-17-92 cluster in macrosomia. The expression levels of five miRNAs in miR-17-92 cluster were significantly elevated in placentas of macrosomia, which may due to the up-regulation of miRNA-processing enzyme Drosha and Dicer. Cell cycle pathway was identified to be the most relevant pathways regulated by miR-17-92 cluster miRNAs. Importantly, miR-17-92 cluster increased proliferation, attenuated cell apoptosis and accelerated cells entering S phase by targeting SMAD4 and RB1 in HTR8/SVneo cells. Furthermore, we found that expression of miR-17-92 cluster in serum had a high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for macrosomia (AUC: 80.53%; sensitivity: 82.61%; specificity: 69.57%). Our results suggested that miR-17-92 cluster contribute to macrosomia development by targeting regulators of cell cycle pathway. Our findings not only provide a novel insight into the molecular mechanisms of macrosomia, but also the clinical value of miR-17-92 cluster as a predictive biomarker for macrosomia.
PMCID: PMC4657041  PMID: 26598317
2.  Emotional Social Support and Access to Care among Elderly Living with HIV in Rural China 
Globally, the number of elderly people living with HIV (PLH) is growing. Additionally, elderly PLH are facing particular challenges related to accessing health care. The objective of this study is to investigate the elderly PLH’s access to care, and its relationship to emotional and tangible social support.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 225 PLH who were 50 years of age or older in Anhui, China. A Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) was used to collect the participants’ demographic characteristics, perceived health status, and access to care. The following two dimensions of social support were measured: emotional support and tangible support. The association between emotional/tangible support and access to care was calculated using Pearson’s/Point-Biserial correlations and with multiple linear regression.
Higher tangible support was reported by the participants who were married or living with a partner, those who had higher annual income levels, and those with better perceived health status. Emotional support was correlated with higher education, higher income, and better perceived health status. Multiple regression analyses showed that access to care was significantly associated with emotional support (β=0.2807, p<0.0001), but not tangible support (β=−0.0183, p=0.7922).
The study findings point to the importance of providing emotional support for elderly PLH. It is suggested that emotional support should be provided for elderly PLH in addition to tangible assistance, in order to engage them in treatment and care.
PMCID: PMC4527961  PMID: 25663571
HIV; elderly; access to care; social support
3.  A Qualitative Exploration of Barriers to Condom Use among Female Sex Workers in China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46786.
Sex workers in China continue to engage in unprotected sex acts that put them at risk for contracting HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and other STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). The purpose of this study was to explore women’s work history, the context of sex work, condom use, HIV testing services, and potential barriers to condom use in a sample of FSWs (female sex workers) in Guangzhou, China.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In-depth, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with 24 FSWs in Guangzhou, China. Informants were recruited using a purposive sampling technique. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed using NVivo 8.0. The majority of respondents were internal economic migrants who had entered the sex industry in pursuit of greater financial reward. Most women in the study were married or had steady boyfriends, and were young, with secondary education and limited knowledge about HIV and STIs. Most were not satisfied with their current living conditions and expressed a desire to leave the sex industry. Women reported that they were more likely to use condoms during sex acts with commercial partners than with non-commercial partners. The potential stigma of being seen as a sex worker prevented many from accessing HIV testing. Three key factors put these FSWs at risk for HIV and STIs: unreasonable trust toward clients, stereotypes and assumptions about customers, and financial incentives.
These findings suggest that social and economic factors play an important role in shaping sexual decision-making among female sex workers in Guangzhou. We argue that greater insight into and attention to these factors could enhance the success of HIV prevention efforts.
PMCID: PMC3466319  PMID: 23056452
4.  A Syndemic of Psychosocial Problems Places the MSM (Men Who Have Sex with Men) Population at Greater Risk of HIV Infection 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32312.
The MSM (Men who have sex with men) population suffers from very high rates of concurrent psychosocial problems. Together, these problems comprise a syndemic that increases the risk of HIV infection for this community. The precise mechanisms through which this syndemic can raise the likelihood of HIV infection warrant further exploration.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A total of 522 MSM were enrolled via a multiframe sampling approach and were asked to report psychosocial problems, risky sexual behaviors and HIV test results. A count of psychosocial health problems was calculated to test the additive relationship of these factors on HIV risk. Adjusting analysis and restriction analysis were used to determine a proposed intermediate pathway. Psychosocial health problems are highly concurrent and intercorrelated among urban MSM. Greater numbers of health problems are significantly and positively associated with HIV infection, which is mediated, at least partially, by risky sexual behaviors.
MSM experience concurrent psychosocial health problems that correlate with HIV infection in this community. We recommend the development of coping strategies for this population to deal with these psychosocial problems, both in prevention research and health policy.
PMCID: PMC3316524  PMID: 22479319
5.  Era of Vaccination Heralds a Decline in Incidence of Hepatitis A in High-Risk Groups in China 
Hepatitis Monthly  2012;12(2):100-105.
Hepatitis A was ranked first among all of the different types of viral hepatitis in China, which occurred an average of 500,000 cases annually during the 1980’s. A live attenuated hepatitis A vaccine was applied in preventing of the disease in 1992, large scale used in vaccination program in 1995, and incorporated in the Expanded Program of Immunization in 2008 in China.
The objective of this study was to determine whether, and to what extent, the decline in the incidence of hepatitis A in China was the result of hepatitis A (HA) vaccination.
Materials and Methods
Official documents and longitudinal serological follow-up studies were reviewed to compare the incidence of HA before and after the introduction of the vaccine.
National trends in the incidence of HA in China saw rates decrease by 92.7% in 2009, compared to the levels seen in 1992. A mass vaccination program was carried out in 3-18 year old children (Wuhan City, China), and its protective efficacy was 85.4%. In a mass vaccination program of an entire population (Shenshi County, China), the annual HA incidence decreased from 359.7/100,000 to 17.7/100,000 (almost 20.3 times). There was a significant relationship found between vaccine coverage and the incidence of HA, the correlation of the negative regression was significant at the 1% (Kendall rank correlation, significant level P < 0.05).
In summary, this study highlights the important role of implementing a vaccination program in decreasing the incidence of HA, and the large protective efficacy of such a strategy, as demonstrated in China
PMCID: PMC3321316  PMID: 22509186
Hepatitis A; Vaccination; China

Results 1-5 (5)