Two models including age, self-rated health (SRH) and prior sickness absence (SA) were found to predict high SA in health care workers. The present study externally validated these prediction models in a population of office workers and investigated the effect of adding gender as a predictor.
SRH was assessed at baseline in a convenience sample of office workers. Age, gender and prior SA were retrieved from an occupational health service register. Two pre-defined prediction models were externally validated: a model identifying employees with high (i.e. ≥30) SA days and a model identifying employees with high (i.e. ≥3) SA episodes during 1-year follow-up. Calibration was investigated by plotting the predicted and observed probabilities and calculating the calibration slope. Discrimination was examined by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and the area under the ROC-curve (AUC).
A total of 593 office workers had complete data and were eligible for analysis. Although the SA days model showed acceptable calibration (slope = 0.89), it poorly discriminated office workers with high SA days from those without high SA days (AUC = 0.65; 95% CI 0.58–0.71). The SA episodes model showed acceptable discrimination (AUC = 0.76, 95% CI 0.70–0.82) and calibration (slope = 0.96). The prognostic performance of the prediction models did not improve in the population of office workers after adding gender.
The SA episodes model accurately predicted the risk of high SA episodes in office workers, but needs further multisite validation and requires a simpler presentation format before it can be used to select high-risk employees for interventions to prevent or reduce SA.
Absenteeism; Forecasting; Generalization; Office workers; Regression prognostics; Sick leave; Transportability
In 2012, in The Netherlands a multidisciplinary practice guideline for the assessment and treatment of suicidal behavior was issued. The release of guidelines often fails to change professional behavior due to multiple barriers. Structured implementation may improve adherence to guidelines. This article describes the design of a study measuring the effect of an e-learning supported Train-the-Trainer program aiming at the training of the full staff of departments in the application of the guideline. We hypothesize that both professionals and departments will benefit from the program.
In a multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial, 43 psychiatric departments spread over 10 regional mental health institutions throughout The Netherlands will be clustered in pairs with respect to the most prevalent diagnostic category of patients and average duration of treatment. Pair members are randomly allocated to either the experimental or the control condition. In the experimental condition, the full staff of departments, that is, all registered nurses, psychologists, physicians and psychiatrists (n = 532, 21 departments) will be trained in the application of the guideline, in a one-day small interactive group Train-the-Trainer program. The program is supported by a 60-minute e-learning module with video vignettes of suicidal patients and additional instruction. In the control condition (22 departments, 404 professionals), the guideline shall be disseminated in the traditional way: through manuals, books, conferences, internet, reviews and so on. The effectiveness of the program will be assessed at the level of both health care professionals and departments.
We aim to demonstrate the effect of training of the full staff of departments with an e-learning supported Train-the-Trainer program in the application of a new clinical guideline. Strengths of the study are the natural setting, the training of full staff, the random allocation to the conditions, the large scale of the study and the willingness of both staff and management to participate in the study.
Dutch trial register: NTR3092
Guideline; Implementation; Suicide prevention; Train-the-trainer; E-learning; Healthcare professionals
The high burden of diabetes for healthcare costs and their impact on quality of life and management of the disease have triggered the design and introduction of disease management programmes (DMPs) in many countries. The extent to which diabetes patients vary with regard to their healthcare utilisation and costs is largely unknown and could impact on the design of DMPs. The objectives of this study are to develop profiles based on both the diabetes-related healthcare utilisation and total healthcare utilisation in primary care, to investigate which patient and disease characteristics determine ‘membership’ of each profile, and to investigate the association between these profiles.
Data were used from electronic medical records of 6721 known type II diabetes patients listed in 48 Dutch general practices. Latent Class Analyses were conducted to identify profiles of healthcare and regression analyses were used to analyse the characteristics of the profiles.
For both diabetes-related healthcare utilisation and total healthcare utilisation three profiles could be distinguished: for the diabetes-related healthcare utilisation these were characterised as ‘high utilisation and frequent home visits’ (n=393), ‘low utilisation, GP only’ (n=3231) and ‘high utilisation, GP and nurse’ (n=3097). Profiles differed with respect to the patients’ age and type of medication; the oldest patients using insulin were dominant in the ‘high utilisation, GP and nurse’ profile. High total healthcare utilisation was not associated with high diabetes-related healthcare utilisation.
Healthcare utilisation of diabetes patients is heterogeneous. This challenges the development of distinguishable DMPs.
Type II diabetes mellitus; Healthcare utilisation profiles; Primary care; Latent Class Analyses
Children are especially vulnerable during periods of resource shortage such as economic embargoes. They are likely to suffer most from poor nutrition, infectious diseases, and other ensuing short-term threats. Moreover, early life circumstances can have important consequences for long-term health. We examined the relationship between early childhood exposure to the Cuban economic situation in the nineties and the occurrence of atopic diseases later in childhood.
A cross-sectional study of 1321 primary schoolchildren aged 4–14 was conducted in two Cuban municipalities. Asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic dermatitis were diagnosed using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire. Children were divided into three groups of exposure to the economic situation in the nineties according to birth date: (1) unexposed; (2) exposed during infancy; (3) exposed during infancy and early childhood. Associations were assessed using multiple logistic regression models. Exposure during infancy had a significant inverse association with the occurrence of asthma (OR 0.56, 95%CI 0.33–0.94) and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (OR 0.46, 95%CI 0.25–0.85). The associations were stronger after longer exposure, i.e. during infancy and early childhood, for asthma (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.17–0.95) and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (OR 0.29, 95%CI 0.11–0.77). No significant associations were found for atopic dermatitis.
Exposure to the economic situation in the nineties during infancy and early childhood was inversely associated with asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis occurrence later in childhood. We hypothesize that factors related to this period, such as infectious diseases and undernutrition, may have an attenuating effect on atopic disease development. The exact cause and underlying mechanisms need to be further elucidated.
Purpose Much research has been performed on physical exposures during work (e.g. lifting, trunk flexion or body vibrations) as risk factors for low back pain (LBP), however results are inconsistent. Information on the effect of doses (e.g. spinal force or low back moments) on LBP may be more reliable but is lacking yet. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prospective relationship of cumulative low back loads (CLBL) with LBP and to compare the association of this mechanical load measure to exposure measures used previously. Methods The current study was part of the Study on Musculoskeletal disorders, Absenteeism and Health (SMASH) study in which 1,745 workers completed questionnaires. Physical load at the workplace was assessed by video-observations and force measurements. These measures were used to calculate CLBL. Furthermore, a 3-year follow-up was conducted to assess the occurrence of LBP. Logistic regressions were performed to assess associations of CLBL and physical risk factors established earlier (i.e. lifting and working in a flexed posture) with LBP. Furthermore, CLBL and the risk factors combined were assessed as predictors in logistic regression analyses to assess the association with LBP. Results Results showed that CLBL is a significant risk factor for LBP (OR: 2.06 (1.32–3.20)). Furthermore, CLBL had a more consistent association with LBP than two of the three risk factors reported earlier. Conclusions From these results it can be concluded that CLBL is a risk factor for the occurrence of LBP, having a more consistent association with LBP compared to most risk factors reported earlier.
Low back loading; Ergonomics; Workers; Longitudinal studies; Observational studies
Little is known about the relationship between body composition and physical fitness in 14 year-old high school adolescents of South Africa. Baseline data from a longitudinal study on physical activity and health (PAHLS) may provide valuable information for future studies, hence to inform public health policy makers. The objectives of this study are to determine the prevalence of underweight, normal weight and overweight among adolescents aged 14 years in the Tlokwe Local Municipality of the North West Province of South Africa, and to assess the association between physical fitness and body composition separately for boys and girls, adjusted for race and locality.
Body weight, height and triceps, and subscapular skinfolds of 256 adolescents (100 boys and 156 girls) aged 14 years were measured, and percentage body fat and body mass index (BMI) were calculated. BMI was used to determine underweight, normal weight and overweight based on the standard criterion. Physical fitness was assessed by standing broad jump, bent arm hang and sit-ups according to the EUROFIT fitness standard procedures. Multinomial logistic regression analyses stratified for gender and adjusted for race (black or white), and the locality (urban or township) of the schools were used to analyze the data.
In the total group 35.9% were underweight and 13.7% overweight. Boys were more underweight (44%) than girls (30.7%). The prevalence of overweight was 8% in boys and 17.3% in girls. BMI was strongly (p = 0.01) related with percentage body fat. Strong and significant positive associations between physical fitness and BMI for the underweight girls with high physical fitness scores (OR, 10.69 [95%CI: 2.81-40.73], and overweight girls with high physical fitness scores (OR, 0.11 [95%CI: 0.03-0.50]) were found. Non-significant weaker positive relationship between physical fitness and BMI for the underweight boys with high physical fitness scores (OR, 1.80 [95%CI: 0.63-5.09]), and the overweight boys with high physical fitness scores (OR, 0.18 [95%CI: 0.02-1.78]) were found.
Both underweight and overweight among boys and girls in Tlokwe Local Municipality exist, and their effects on physical fitness performances were also noticed. As such, strategic physical activity, interventions or follow-up studies recognizing this relationship particularly in the overweight adolescents are needed. In addition, authorities in health and education departments dealing with adolescents should make use of this evidence base information in policies development.
Physical fitness; Body composition; Underweight; Overweight; Adolescents; PAHL study
Care for older adults is facing a number of challenges: health problems are not consistently identified at a timely stage, older adults report a lack of autonomy in their care process, and care systems are often confronted with the need for better coordination between health care professionals. We aim to address these challenges by introducing the geriatric care model, based on the chronic care model, and to evaluate its effects on the quality of life of community-dwelling frail older adults.
In a 2-year stepped-wedge cluster randomised clinical trial with 6-monthly measurements, the chronic care model will be compared with usual care. The trial will be carried out among 35 primary care practices in two regions in the Netherlands. Per region, practices will be randomly allocated to four allocation arms designating the starting point of the intervention. Participants: 1200 community-dwelling older adults aged 65 or over and their primary informal caregivers. Primary care physicians will identify frail individuals based on a composite definition of frailty and a polypharmacy criterion. Final inclusion criterion: scoring 3 or more on a disability case-finding tool. Intervention: Every 6 months patients will receive a geriatric in-home assessment by a practice nurse, followed by a tailored care plan. Expert teams will manage and train practice nurses. Patients with complex care needs will be reviewed in interdisciplinary consultations. Evaluation: We will perform an effect evaluation, an economic evaluation, and a process evaluation. Primary outcome is quality of life as measured with the Short Form-12 questionnaire. Effect analyses will be based on the “intention-to-treat” principle, using multilevel regression analysis. Cost measurements will be administered continually during the study period. A cost-effectiveness analysis and cost-utility analysis will be conducted comparing mean total costs to functional status, care needs and QALYs. We will investigate the level of implementation, barriers and facilitators to successful implementation and the extent to which the intervention manages to achieve the transition necessary to overcome challenges in elderly care.
This is one of the first studies assessing the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and implementation process of the chronic care model for frail community-dwelling older adults.
The Netherlands National Trial Register NTR2160.
Chronic care model; Frailty; Elderly; Primary care; Stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled clinical trial
Patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) not treated with primary or rescue percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are at risk for recurrent ischemia, especially when viability in the infarct-area is present. Therefore, an invasive strategy with PCI of the infarct-related coronary artery in patients with viability would reduce the occurrence of a composite end point of death, reinfarction, or unstable angina (UA).
Patients admitted with an (sub)acute myocardial infarction, who were not treated by primary or rescue PCI, and who were stable during the first 48 hours after the acute event, were screened for the study. Eventually, we randomly assigned 216 patients with viability (demonstrated with low-dose dobutamine echocardiography) to an invasive or a conservative strategy. In the invasive strategy stenting of the infarct-related coronary artery was intended with abciximab as adjunct treatment. Seventy-five (75) patients without viability served as registry group. The primary endpoint was the composite of death from any cause, recurrent myocardial infarction (MI) and unstable angina at one year. As secondary endpoint the need for (repeat) revascularization procedures and anginal status were recorded.
The primary combined endpoint of death, recurrent MI and unstable angina was 7.5% (8/106) in the invasive group and 17.3% (19/110) in the conservative group (Hazard ratio 0.42; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.18-0.96; p = 0.032). During follow up revascularization-procedures were performed in 6.6% (7/106) in the invasive group and 31.8% (35/110) in the conservative group (Hazard ratio 0.18; 95% CI 0.13-0.43; p < 0.0001). A low rate of recurrent ischemia was found in the non-viable group (5.4%) in comparison to the viable-conservative group (14.5%). (Hazard-ratio 0.35; 95% CI 0.17-1.00; p = 0.051).
We demonstrated that after acute MI (treated with thrombolysis or without reperfusion therapy) patients with viability in the infarct-area benefit from a strategy of early in-hospital stenting of the infarct-related coronary artery. This treatment results in a long-term uneventful clinical course. The study confirmed the low risk of recurrent ischemia in patients without viability.
Hepatic steatosis is common in type 2 diabetes. It is causally linked to the features of the metabolic syndrome, liver cirrhosis, and cardiovascular disease. Experimental data have indicated that increased liver fat may impair hepatic perfusion and metabolism. The aim of the current study was to assess hepatic parenchymal perfusion, together with glucose and fatty acid metabolism, in relation to hepatic triglyceride content.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Fifty-nine men with well controlled type 2 diabetes and 18 age-matched healthy normoglycemic men were studied using positron emission tomography to assess hepatic tissue perfusion, insulin-stimulated glucose, and fasting fatty acid metabolism, respectively, in relation to hepatic triglyceride content, quantified by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Patients were divided into two groups with hepatic triglyceride content below (type 2 diabetes-low) or above (type 2 diabetes-high) the median of 8.6%.
Type 2 diabetes-high patients had the highest BMI and A1C and lowest whole-body insulin sensitivity (ANOVA, all P < 0.001). Compared with control subjects and type 2 diabetes-low patients, type 2 diabetes-high patients had the lowest hepatic parenchymal perfusion (P = 0.004) and insulin-stimulated hepatic glucose uptake (P = 0.013). The observed decrease in hepatic fatty acid influx rate constant, however, only reached borderline significance (P = 0.088). In type 2 diabetic patients, hepatic parenchymal perfusion (r = −0.360, P = 0.007) and hepatic fatty acid influx rate constant (r = −0.407, P = 0.007) correlated inversely with hepatic triglyceride content. In a pooled analysis, hepatic fat correlated with hepatic glucose uptake (r = −0.329, P = 0.004).
In conclusion, type 2 diabetic patients with increased hepatic triglyceride content showed decreased hepatic parenchymal perfusion and hepatic insulin mediated glucose uptake, suggesting a potential modulating effect of hepatic fat on hepatic physiology.
The aim of this review was to systematically review the results and quality of studies investigating the moderators of school-based interventions aimed at energy balance-related behaviors. We systematically searched the electronic databases of Pubmed, EMBASE, Cochrane, PsycInfo, ERIC and Sportdiscus. In total 61 articles were included. Gender, ethnicity, age, baseline values of outcomes, initial weight status and socioeconomic status were the most frequently studied potential moderators. The moderator with the most convincing evidence was gender. School-based interventions appear to work better for girls than for boys. Due to the inconsistent results, many studies reporting non-significant moderating effects, and the moderate methodological quality of most studies, no further consistent results were found. Consequently, there is lack of insight into what interventions work for whom. Future studies should apply stronger methodology to test moderating effects of important potential target group segmentations.
Children; diet; intervention; moderator; overweight; physical activity
This study investigated the associations of physical characteristics and personality in adolescence with physical activity and sedentary behaviour in adulthood.
Physical characteristics (i.e. objectively measured BMI, sum of skin folds, MOPER test battery performance), and personality (i.e. self-reported inadequacy, social inadequacy, rigidity, self-sufficiency/recalcitrance, dominance, achievement motivation, facilitating anxiety, debilitating anxiety, and social desirability) were assessed in 217 adolescent boys (Mean 13.0, SD 0.6) and girls (Mean 12.9, SD 0.6). Twenty-nine years later, at the age of 42, their physical activity and sedentary behaviour were assessed by means of accelerometry. Boys who scored lower on self-sufficiency/recalcitrance and higher on facilitating anxiety spent more time sedentary in adulthood. Girls with a superior standing high jump performance, and a lower score on social desirability spent more time sedentary in adulthood. In contrast with sedentary behaviour, physical activity at age 42 year could not be predicted by physical characteristics or personality in adolescence.
Sedentary behaviour in adulthood was partly explained by physical characteristics and/or personality in adolescence. Thus, our results suggest that it may be possible to identify people who are at risk of becoming sedentary at a rather young age.
Accelerometry; Aerobic fitness; Longitudinal; Motor fitness; Personality
Family history is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and more so in the presence of overweight. This study aims to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a new lifestyle education programme 'DiAlert' targeted at 1st degree relatives of people with T2DM and overweight. In view of the high risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in immigrants from Turkish origin living in Western Europe, a culturally appropriate Turkish version of DiAlert will be developed and tested.
In this RCT, 268 (134 Dutch and 134 Turkish) overweight 1st degree relatives of patients with T2DM will be allocated to either the intervention or control group (leaflet). The intervention DiAlert aims to promote intrinsic motivation to change lifestyle, and sustain achieved behaviour changes during follow-up. Primary outcome is weight loss. Secondary outcomes include biological, behavioural and psychological indices, along with process indicators. Measurements will take place at baseline and after 3 and 9 months. Changes in outcomes are tested between intervention and control group at 3 months; effects over time are tested within and between both ethnic groups at 3 and 9 months.
The DiAlert intervention is expected to be more effective than the control condition in achieving significant weight loss at 3 months, in both Dutch and Turkish Dutch participants.
Netherlands National Trial Register (NTR): NTR2036
The traditional approach for identifying subjects at risk from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is to determine the extent of clustering of biological risk factors adjusted for lifestyle. Recently, markers of endothelial dysfunction and low grade inflammation, including high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), soluble intercellular adhesion molecules (sICAM), and soluble vascular adhesion molecules (sVCAM), have been included in the detection for high risk individuals. However, the relationship of these novel biomarkers with CVD risk in adolescents remains unclear. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to establish the association of hsCRP, sICAM, and sVCAM with CVD risk in an adolescent population.
Data from the Young Hearts 2000 cross-sectional cohort study, carried out in 1999–2001, were used. From a total of 2,017 male and female participants, 95 obese subjects were identified and matched according to age, sex, and cigarette smoking, with 95 overweight and 95 normal-weight adolescents. Clustered CVD risk was computed using a sum of Z-scores of biological risk factors. The relationship was described using multiple linear regression analyses.
hsCRP, sICAM, and sVCAM showed significant associations with CVD risk. hsCRP and sICAM had a positive relation with CVD risk, whereas sVCAM showed an inverse relationship. In this study, lifestyle factors showed no relation with CVD risk.
The results fit the hypothesized role of low grade inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in CVD risk in asymptomatic adolescents. The inverse relationship of VCAM, however, is hard to explain and indicates the complex mechanisms underlying CVD. Further research is needed to draw firm conclusions on the biomarkers used.
Cardiovascular diseases; Adolescence; hsCRP; sICAM; sVCAM
Low body mass index is a general measure of thinness. However, its measurement can be cumbersome in older persons and other simple anthropometric measures may be more strongly associated with mortality. Therefore, associations of low mid-upper arm circumference, calf circumference, and body mass index with mortality were examined in older persons.
Data of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, a population-based cohort study in the Netherlands, were used. The present study included community-dwelling persons 65 years and older in 1992–1993 (n = 1,667), who were followed until 2007 for their vital status. Associations between anthropometric measures and 15-year mortality were examined by spline regression models and, below the nadir, Cox regression models, transforming all measures to sex-specific Z scores.
Mortality rates were 599 of 826 (73%) in men and 479 of 841 (57%) in women. Below the nadir, the hazard ratio of mortality per 1 standard deviation lower mid-upper arm circumference was 1.79 (95% confidence interval, 1.48–2.16) in men and 2.26 (1.71–3.00) in women. For calf circumference, the hazard ratio was 1.45 (1.22–1.71) in men and 1.30 (1.15–1.48) in women and for body mass index 1.38 (1.17–1.61) in men and 1.56 (1.10–2.21) in women. Excluding deaths within the first 3 years after baseline did not change these associations. Excluding those with a smoking history, obstructive lung disease, or cancer attenuated the associations of calf circumference (men) and body mass index (women).
Based on the stronger association with mortality and given a more easy assessment in older persons, mid-upper arm circumference seems a more feasible and valid anthropometric measure of thinness than body mass index in older men and women.
Aged; Anthropometry; Body mass index; Mortality; Thinness
Background and objective
The haemodynamics of crystalloid and colloid fluid loading may depend on underlying disease, i.e. sepsis versus non-sepsis.
Design and setting
A single-centre, single-blinded, randomized clinical trial was carried out on 24 critically ill sepsis and 24 non-sepsis patients with clinical hypovolaemia, assigned to loading with normal saline, gelatin 4%, hydroxyethyl starch 6% or albumin 5% in a 90-min (delta) central venous pressure (CVP)-guided fluid loading protocol. Transpulmonary thermodilution was done each 30 min, yielding, among others, global end-diastolic volume and cardiac indices (GEDVI, CI).
Sepsis patients had hyperdynamic hypotension in spite of myocardial depression and dilatation, and greater inotropic/vasopressor requirements than non-sepsis patients. Independent of underlying disease, CVP and GEDVI increased more after colloid than saline loading (P < 0.018), so that CI increased by about 2% after saline and 12% after colloid loading (P = 0.029). The increase in preload-recruitable stroke work was also greater with colloids and did not differ among conditions.
Fluid loading with colloids results in a greater linear increase in cardiac filling, output and stroke work than does saline loading, in both septic and non-septic clinical hypovolaemia, in spite of myocardial depression and presumably increased vasopermeability potentially decreasing the effects of colloid fluid loading in the former.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00134-010-1776-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Colloids; Crystalloids; Sepsis; Preload-recruitable stroke work; Hypovolaemia; Global end-diastolic volume; Fluid challenge
To study whether the methods used to select participants in research on prevalence rates of the health effects of exposure to a disaster may cause bias. This study compared background characteristics, disaster exposure, and complaints reported by (1) police officers who participated in an epidemiological study and underwent a medical examination, and (2) police officers who only participated in an epidemiological study.
Design and Setting
In 2000, an epidemiological study was started to investigate the health status among police officers who were involved in assistance work related to the air disaster in Amsterdam: the epidemiological study air disaster Amsterdam (ESADA). These police officers were personally invited to participate in the epidemiological study and were additionally offered a medical examination, providing them with the opportunity to have their health checked by a medical doctor.
Of the total group of involved police officers who were invited, 834 (70%) participated in the ESADA: 224 (26.9%) only participated in the study, but 610 (73.1%) also underwent the medical examination.
Police officers who underwent a medical examination significantly more often reported one or more musculoskeletal complaints, skin complaints, general or non‐specific complaints, had more often experienced an event with potentially traumatic impact, or had performed one or more potentially traumatic tasks.
The methods of selection of participants are important in research on health effects after disasters and can result in an overestimation of some of the effects, on average, by a factor of 1.5 to 2.
selection bias; disaster research
The purpose of the study was to compare early changes in blood flow (BF) and glucose metabolism (MRglu) in metastatic breast cancer lesions of patients treated with chemotherapy.
Eleven women with stage IV cancer and lesions in breast, lymph nodes, liver, and bone were scanned before treatment and after the first course of chemotherapy. BF, distribution volume of water (Vd), MRglu/BF ratio, MRglu and its corresponding rate constants K1 and k3 were compared per tumor lesion before and during therapy.
At baseline, mean BF and MRglu varied among different tumor lesions, but mean Vd was comparable in all lesions. After one course of chemotherapy, mean MRglu decreased in all lesions. Mean BF decreased in breast and node lesions and increased in bone lesions. Vd decreased in breast and nodes, but did not change in bone lesions. The MRglu/BF ratio decreased in breast and bone lesions and increased in node lesions. In patients with multiple tumor lesions BF and MRglu response could be very heterogeneous, even within similar types of metastases. BF and MRglu increased in lesions of patients who experienced early disease progression or showed no response during clinical follow-up.
BF and MRglu changes separately give unique information on different aspects of tumor response to chemotherapy. Changes in BF and MRglu parameters can be remarkably heterogeneous in patients with multiple lesions.
Positron emission tomography; Blood flow; Glucose metabolism; Breast cancer; Metastases
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract disease is characterised by narrowing of the airways resulting in increased airway resistance, air-trapping and respiratory acidosis. These problems might be overcome using helium-oxygen gas mixture. However, the effect of mechanical ventilation with heliox in these patients is unclear. The objective of this prospective cross-over study was to determine the effects of mechanical ventilation with heliox 60/40 versus conventional gas on respiratory system resistance, air-trapping and CO2 removal.
Mechanically ventilated, sedated and paralyzed infants with proven RSV were enrolled within 24 hours after paediatric intensive care unit (PICU)admission. At T = 0, respiratory system mechanics including respiratory system compliance and resistance, and peak expiratory flow rate were measured with the AVEA ventilator. The measurements were repeated at each interval (after 30 minutes of ventilation with heliox, after 30 minutes of ventilation with nitrox and again after 30 minutes of ventilation with heliox). Indices of gas exchange (ventilation and oxygenation index) were calculated at each interval. Air-trapping (defined by relative change in end-expiratory lung volume) was determined by electrical impedance tomography (EIT) at each interval.
Thirteen infants were enrolled. In nine, EIT measurements were performed. Mechanical ventilation with heliox significantly decreased respiratory system resistance. This was not accompanied by an improved CO2 elimination, decreased peak expiratory flow rate or decreased end-expiratory lung volume. Importantly, oxygenation remained unaltered throughout the experimental protocol.
Respiratory system resistance is significantly decreased by mechanical ventilation with heliox (ISCRTN98152468).
Better breast cancer prognostication may improve selection of patients for adjuvant therapy. We conducted a retrospective follow-up study in which we investigated sera of high-risk primary breast cancer patients, to search for proteins predictive of recurrence free survival.
Two sample sets of high-risk primary breast cancer patients participating in a randomised national trial investigating the effectiveness of high-dose chemotherapy were analysed. Sera in set I (n = 63) were analysed by surface enhanced laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF MS) for biomarker finding. Initial results were validated by analysis of sample set II (n = 371), using one-dimensional gel-electrophoresis.
In sample set I, the expression of a peak at mass-to-charge ratio 9198 (relative intensity ≤ 20 or > 20), identified as haptoglobin (Hp) alpha-1 chain, was strongly associated with recurrence free survival (global Log-rank test; p = 0.0014). Haptoglobin is present in three distinct phenotypes (Hp 1-1, Hp 2-1, and Hp 2-2), of which only individuals with phenotype Hp 1-1 or Hp 2-1 express the haptoglobin alpha-1 chain. As the expression of the haptoglobin alpha-1 chain, determined by SELDI-TOF MS, corresponds to the phenotype, initial results were validated by haptoglobin phenotyping of the independent sample set II by native one-dimensional gel-electrophoresis. With the Hp 1-1 phenotype as the reference category, the univariate hazard ratio for recurrence was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.56 – 1.34, p = 0.5221) and 1.03 (95% CI: 0.65 – 1.64, p = 0.8966) for the Hp 2-1 and Hp 2-2 phenotypes, respectively, in sample set II.
In contrast to our initial results, the haptoglobin phenotype was not identified as a predictor of recurrence free survival in high-risk primary breast cancer in our validation set. Our initial observation in the discovery set was probably the result of a type I error (i.e. false positive). This study illustrates the importance of validation in obtaining the true clinical applicability of a potential biomarker.
AIM: To investigate the effects of an enteral supple-ment containing antioxidants on circulating levels of antioxidants and indicators of oxidative stress after major gastrointestinal surgery.
METHODS: Twenty-one patients undergoing major upper gastrointestinal tract surgery were randomised in a single centre, open label study on the effect of postoperative enteral nutrition supplemented with antioxidants. The effect on circulating levels of antioxidants and indicators of oxidative stress, such as F2-isoprostane, was studied.
RESULTS: The antioxidant enteral supplement showed no adverse effects and was well tolerated. After surgery a decrease in the circulating levels of antioxidant parameters was observed. Only selenium and glutamine levels were restored to pre-operative values one week after surgery. F2-isoprostane increased in the first three postoperative days only in the antioxidant supplemented group. Lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP) levels decreased faster in the antioxidant group after surgery.
CONCLUSION: Despite lower antioxidant levels there was no increase in the circulating markers of oxidative stress on the first day after major abdominal surgery. The rise in F2-isoprostane in patients receiving the antioxidant supplement may be related to the conversion of antioxidants to oxidants which raises questions on antioxidant supplementation. Module AOX restored the postoperative decrease in selenium levels. The rapid decrease in LBP levels in the antioxidant group suggests a possible protective effect on gut wall integrity. Further studies are needed on the role of oxidative stress on outcome and the use of antioxidants in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.
Antioxidants; Critical illness; Enteral nutrition; Oxidative stress; Surgery; Upper gastrointe-stinal tract
Many depressed people do not receive help for their symptoms, and there are various barriers that impede help-seeking. The Internet may offer interesting alternatives for reaching and helping people with depression. Depression can be treated effectively with Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but a short intervention based on problem solving therapy (PST) could constitute a worthwhile alternative to CBT.
In this study we evaluated the effectiveness of Internet-based CBT and Internet-based PST in comparison to a waiting list control group (WL), and we determined the differences between the two treatments.
We conducted a 3-arm randomized controlled trial to compare CBT, PST, and WL. The main inclusion criterion was presence of depressive symptoms (≥ 16 on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale). CBT and PST consisted of eight and five weekly lessons respectively. Participants were supported by email. Self-report measures of depression, anxiety, and quality of life were completed at pretest and after 5, 8, and 12 weeks.
A total of 263 participants were randomized to the three conditions (CBT: n=88; PST: n=88; WL: n=87). Of the 263 participants, 184 (70%) completed questionnaires after 5 weeks, 173 (66%) after 8 weeks, and 151 (57%) after 12 weeks. Between-group effect sizes for depressive symptoms were 0.54 for CBT after 8 weeks (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.25 - 0.84) and 0.47 for PST after 5 weeks (95% CI: 0.17 - 0.77). These effects were further improved at 12 weeks (CBT: 0.69, 95% CI: 0.41 - 0.98; PST: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.36 - 0.95). For anxiety, effect sizes were also at a medium level. Effect sizes for quality of life were low. The number of participants showing clinically significant change at 12 weeks was significantly higher for CBT (n = 34, 38.6%) and PST (n = 30, 34.1%), compared to WL (n = 0).
Both Internet-based treatments are effective in reducing depressive symptoms, although the effect of PST is realized more quickly.
International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 16823487; http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN16823487/16823487 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/5cQsOj7xf).
Internet; depression; self-help; cognitive therapy; problem solving; randomized trial
In population studies, body mass index (BMI) is generally calculated from self-reported body weight and height. The self-report of these anthropometrics is known to be biased, resulting in a misclassification of BMI status. The aim of our study is to evaluate the accuracy of self-reported weight, height and waist circumference among a Dutch overweight (Body Mass Index [BMI] ≥ 25 kg/m2) working population, and to determine to what extent the accuracy was moderated by sex, age, BMI, socio-economic status (SES) and health-related factors.
Both measured and self-reported body weight and body height were collected in 1298 healthy overweight employees (66.6% male; mean age 43.9 ± 8.6 years; mean BMI 29.5 ± 3.4 kg/m2), taking part in the ALIFE@Work project. Measured and self-reported waist circumferences (WC) were available for a sub-group of 250 overweight subjects (70.4% male; mean age 44.1 ± 9.2 years; mean BMI 29.6 ± 3.0 kg/m2). Intra Class Correlation (ICC), Cohen's kappa and Bland Altman plots were used for reliability analyses, while linear regression analyses were performed to assess the factors that were (independently) associated with the reliability.
Body weight was significantly (p < 0.001) under-reported on average by 1.4 kg and height significantly (p < 0.001) over-reported by 0.7 cm. Consequently, BMI was significantly (p < 0.001) under-reported by 0.7 kg/m2. WC was significantly (p < 0.001) over-reported by 1.1 cm. Although the self-reporting of anthropometrics was biased, ICC's showed high concordance between measured and self-reported values. Also, substantial agreement existed between the prevalences of BMI status and increased WC based on measured and self-reported data. The under-reporting of BMI and body weight was significantly (p < 0.05) affected by measured weight, height, SES and smoking status, and the over-reporting of WC by age, sex and measured WC.
Results suggest that self-reported BMI and WC are satisfactorily accurate for the assessment of the prevalence of overweight/obesity and increased WC in a middle-aged overweight working population. As the accuracy of self-reported anthropometrics is affected by measured weight, height, WC, smoking status and/or SES, results for these subgroups should be interpreted with caution. Due to the large power of our study, the clinical significance of our statistical significant findings may be limited.
Prevention of serious infections in preterm infants is a challenge, since prematurity and low birth weight often requires many interventions and high utility of devices. Furthermore, the possibility to administer enteral nutrition is limited due to immaturity of the gastrointestinal tract in the presence of a developing immune system. In combination with delayed intestinal bacterial colonisation compared with term infants, this may increase the risk for serious infections. Acidic and neutral oligosaccharides play an important role in the development of the immune system, intestinal bacterial colonisation and functional integrity of the gut. This trial aims to determine the effect of enteral supplementation of acidic and neutral oligosaccharides on infectious morbidity (primary outcome), immune response to immunizations, feeding tolerance and short-term and long-term outcome in preterm infants. In addition, an attempt is made to elucidate the role of acidic and neutral oligosaccharides in postnatal modulation of the immune response and postnatal adaptation of the gut.
In a double-blind placebo controlled randomised trial, 120 preterm infants (gestational age <32 weeks and/or birth weight <1500 gram) are randomly allocated to receive enteral acidic and neutral oligosaccharides supplementation (20%/80%) or placebo supplementation (maltodextrin) between day 3 and 30 of life. Primary outcome is infectious morbidity (defined as the incidence of serious infections). The role of acidic and neutral oligosaccharides in modulation of the immune response is investigated by determining the immune response to DTaP-IPV-Hib(-HBV)+PCV7 immunizations, plasma cytokine concentrations, faecal Calprotectin and IL-8. The effect of enteral acidic and neutral oligosaccharides supplementation on postnatal adaptation of the gut is investigated by measuring feeding tolerance, intestinal permeability, intestinal viscosity, and determining intestinal microflora. Furthermore, short-term and long-term outcome are evaluated.
Especially preterm infants, who are at increased risk for serious infections, may benefit from supplementation of prebiotics. Most studies with prebiotics only focus on the colonisation of the intestinal microflora. However, the pathways how prebiotics may influence the immune system are not yet fully understood. Studying the immune modulatory effects is complex because of the multicausal risk of infections in preterm infants. The combination of neutral oligosaccharides with acidic oligosaccharides may have an increased beneficial effect on the immune system. Increased insight in the effects of prebiotics on the developing immune system may help to decrease the (infectious) morbidity and mortality in preterm infants.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN16211826.
Depression is common among people with diabetes, negatively affecting quality of life, treatment adherence and diabetes outcomes. In routine clinical care, diabetes patients have limited access to mental health services and depression therefore often remains untreated. Web-based therapy could potentially be an effective way to improve the reach of psychological care for diabetes patients, at relatively low costs. This study seeks to test the effectiveness of a web-based self-help depression programme for people with diabetes and co-morbid depression.
The effectiveness of a web-based self-help course for adults with diabetes with co-morbid depression will be tested in a randomised trial, using a wait-list controlled design. The intervention consists of an 8-week, moderated self-help course that is tailored to the needs of persons living with diabetes and is offered on an individual basis. Participants receive feedback on their homework assignments by e-mail from their coach. We aim to include 286 patients (143/143), as power analyses showed that this number is needed to detect an effect size of 0.35, with measurements at baseline, directly after completing the web-based intervention and at 1, 3, 4 and 6 months follow-up. Patients in the control condition are placed on a waiting list, and follow the course 12 weeks after randomisation.
Primary outcomes are depressive symptoms and diabetes-specific emotional distress. Secondary outcomes are satisfaction with the course, perceived health status, self-care behaviours, glycaemic control, and days in bed/absence from work. Questionnaires are administered via the Internet.
The intervention being trialled is expected to help improve mood and reduce diabetes-specific emotional distress in diabetes patients with depression, with subsequent beneficial effects on diabetes self-care and glycaemic outcomes. When proven efficacious, the intervention could be disseminated to reach large groups of patients with diabetes and concurrent depressive symptoms.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN24874457