A few studies have shown an association between blood group alleles and vascular disease, including atherosclerosis, which is thought to be due to the higher level of von Willebrand factor in these individuals and the association of blood group locus variants with plasma lipid levels. No large population-based study has explored this association with overall and cause-specific mortality.
We aimed to study the association between ABO blood groups and overall and cause-specific mortality in the Golestan Cohort Study. In this cohort, 50,045 people 40- to 70-years old were recruited between 2004 and 2008, and followed annually to capture all incident cancers and deaths due to any cause. We used Cox regression models adjusted for age, sex, smoking, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, place of residence, education and opium use.
During a total of 346,708 person-years of follow-up (mean duration 6.9 years), 3,623 cohort participants died. Non-O blood groups were associated with significantly increased total mortality (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.09; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01 to 1.17) and cardiovascular disease mortality (HR = 1.15; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.27). Blood group was not significantly associated with overall cancer mortality, but people with group A, group B, and all non-O blood groups combined had increased risk of incident gastric cancer. In a subgroup of cohort participants, we also showed higher plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in those with blood group A.
Non-O blood groups have an increased mortality, particularly due to cardiovascular diseases, which may be due to the effect of blood group alleles on blood biochemistry or their effect on von Willebrand factor and factor VIII levels.
Please see related commentary 10.1186/s12916-014-0250-y.
Blood group; ABO; Rh; Mortality; Cancer; Cardiovascular disease
Data on the quality of colonoscopies in populations with rising colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence is scarce. We aimed to calculate the adenoma detection rates (ADR), and assess the quality of colonoscopies in an opportunistic screening colonoscopy program in Iran.
All the colonoscopy and pathology reports of asymptomatic adults over age 50 who underwent screening colonoscopy between June 2007 and March 2013 were reviewed. The colonoscopy quality indicators including ADR were calculated, and patient factors associated with the adenoma detection were determined.
A total of 713 asymptomatic adults aged 50 years and older who underwent their first-time screening colonoscopy were included in this study. ADR and advanced-ADR were 33.00% (95% CI: 29.52-36.54) and 13.18% (95% CI: 10.79-15.90), respectively. We observed a significantly higher rate of cecal intubation in patients with fair or better bowel preparation compared to those with poor prep, 90.00% vs. 70.45%, respectively (P < 0.001). Bowel preparation (adjusted OR: 2.49, 95% CI: 1.75-3.55), older age (≥60) (adjusted OR: 1.70, 95% CI: 1.22-2.36), and male gender (adjusted OR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.01-1.92) were associated with the adenoma detection.
Our ADR in both genders meets and exceeds the recommended colonoscopy quality benchmarks. The polyp and adenoma detection rates in the current study are comparable to those reported from Western countries where the incidence of CRC is traditionally high. These data are in line with the epidemiologic transition of CRC in Iran.
Screening colonoscopy; Colonic polyps; Colon cancers
Genetic analysis has been successful in identifying causative mutations for individual cardiovascular risk factors. Success has been more limited in mapping susceptibility genes for clusters of cardiovascular risk traits, such as those in the metabolic syndrome.
We identified three large families with coinheritance of early-onset coronary artery disease, central obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. We used linkage analysis and whole-exome sequencing to identify the disease-causing gene.
A founder mutation was identified in DYRK1B, substituting cysteine for arginine at position 102 in the highly conserved kinase-like domain. The mutation precisely cosegregated with the clinical syndrome in all the affected family members and was absent in unaffected family members and unrelated controls. Functional characterization of the disease gene revealed that nonmutant protein encoded by DYRK1B inhibits the SHH (sonic hedgehog) and Wnt signaling pathways and consequently enhances adipogenesis. Furthermore, DYRK1B promoted the expression of the key gluconeogenic enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase. The R102C allele showed gain-offunction activities by potentiating these effects. A second mutation, substituting proline for histidine 90, was found to cosegregate with a similar clinical syndrome in an ethnically distinct family.
These findings indicate a role for DYRK1B in adipogenesis and glucose homeostasis and associate its altered function with an inherited form of the metabolic syndrome. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.)
It is hypothesized that poor zinc nutritional status is associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer (EC), but current evidence is contradictory. Since some factors may influence zinc absorption, its status may be better evaluated thorough biomarkers. The objectives of this study were to perform a systematic review on the association of zinc biomarkers with EC in observational studies and to evaluate the efficacy of zinc supplements in preventing EC in randomized trials.
The MEDLINE database was searched in December 2013 for studies written in English with relevant keywords. Articles which met inclusion criteria were included in this study.
Eleven observational studies that measured zinc biomarkers and eight randomized trials which evaluated supplements containing zinc, met our inclusion criteria. The majority of studies suggested that higher zinc status was inversely associated with EC risk.
Most of the evidence for this hypothesis comes from case-control studies, which may introduce bias. Cohort studies are needed to establish whether poor zinc status is associated with increased risk for EC. Findings from trials are inconclusive as there is no data from single agent trials. However, the evidence is not still strong enough to conclude a protective role of zinc in EC.
Zinc; Esophageal cancer; Minerals; Systematic review
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the most common cause of end stage liver disease in Iran and in Golestan province. Large-scale population-based prospective cohort studies with long term follow-up are the method of choice to accurately understand the natural course of HBV infection. To date, several studies of HBV epidemiology, natural history, progression to cirrhosis and association with HCC have been reported from other countries. However, few of these are prospective and fewer still are population-based. Moreover, the underlying molecular mechanisms and immunogenetic determinants of the outcome of HBV infection especially in low and middle income countries remains largely unknown. Therefore, the hepatitis B cohort study (HBCS), nested as part of the Golestan Cohort Study (GCS), Golestan, Iran was established in 2008 with the objective to prospectively investigate the natural course of chronic hepatitis B with reference to its epidemiology, viral/host genetic interactions, clinical features and outcome in the Middle East where genotype D HBV accounts for >90% of infections. In 2008, a baseline measurement of HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) was performed on stored serum samples of all GCS participants. A sub-cohort of 3,505 individuals were found to be HBsAg positive and were enrolled in the Golestan HBCS. In 2011, all first degree relatives of HBsAg positive subjects including their children and spouses were invited for HBV serology screening and those who were positive for HBsAg were also included in the Golestan HBCS.
Quantification of the disease burden caused by different risks informs prevention by providing an account of health loss different to that provided by a disease-by-disease analysis. No complete revision of global disease burden caused by risk factors has been done since a comparative risk assessment in 2000, and no previous analysis has assessed changes in burden attributable to risk factors over time.
We estimated deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs; sum of years lived with disability [YLD] and years of life lost [YLL]) attributable to the independent effects of 67 risk factors and clusters of risk factors for 21 regions in 1990 and 2010. We estimated exposure distributions for each year, region, sex, and age group, and relative risks per unit of exposure by systematically reviewing and synthesising published and unpublished data. We used these estimates, together with estimates of cause-specific deaths and DALYs from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, to calculate the burden attributable to each risk factor exposure compared with the theoretical-minimum-risk exposure. We incorporated uncertainty in disease burden, relative risks, and exposures into our estimates of attributable burden.
In 2010, the three leading risk factors for global disease burden were high blood pressure (7·0% [95% uncertainty interval 6·2–7·7] of global DALYs), tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·3% [5·5–7·0]), and alcohol use (5·5% [5·0–5·9]). In 1990, the leading risks were childhood underweight (7·9% [6·8–9·4]), household air pollution from solid fuels (HAP; 7·0% [5·6–8·3]), and tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke (6·1% [5·4–6·8]). Dietary risk factors and physical inactivity collectively accounted for 10·0% (95% UI 9·2–10·8) of global DALYs in 2010, with the most prominent dietary risks being diets low in fruits and those high in sodium. Several risks that primarily affect childhood communicable diseases, including unimproved water and sanitation and childhood micronutrient deficiencies, fell in rank between 1990 and 2010, with unimproved water we and sanitation accounting for 0·9% (0·4–1·6) of global DALYs in 2010. However, in most of sub-Saharan Africa childhood underweight, HAP, and non-exclusive and discontinued breastfeeding were the leading risks in 2010, while HAP was the leading risk in south Asia. The leading risk factor in Eastern Europe, most of Latin America, and southern sub-Saharan Africa in 2010 was alcohol use; in most of Asia, North Africa and Middle East, and central Europe it was high blood pressure. Despite declines, tobacco smoking including second-hand smoke remained the leading risk in high-income north America and western Europe. High body-mass index has increased globally and it is the leading risk in Australasia and southern Latin America, and also ranks high in other high-income regions, North Africa and Middle East, and Oceania.
Worldwide, the contribution of different risk factors to disease burden has changed substantially, with a shift away from risks for communicable diseases in children towards those for non-communicable diseases in adults. These changes are related to the ageing population, decreased mortality among children younger than 5 years, changes in cause-of-death composition, and changes in risk factor exposures. New evidence has led to changes in the magnitude of key risks including unimproved water and sanitation, vitamin A and zinc deficiencies, and ambient particulate matter pollution. The extent to which the epidemiological shift has occurred and what the leading risks currently are varies greatly across regions. In much of sub-Saharan Africa, the leading risks are still those associated with poverty and those that affect children.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Several epidemiologic studies have suggested an inverse association between female reproductive factors and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), but the evidence is not conclusive. We investigated the association of the number of pregnancies, live-births, and miscarriages/stillbirths in women and the association of the number of children in both sexes with ESCC risk in Golestan Province, a high-risk area in Iran.
Data from 297 histopathologically confirmed ESCC cases (149 women) and 568 controls (290 women) individually matched to cases for age, sex, and neighborhood of residence were included in this analysis. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
The average numbers of live-births and miscarriages/stillbirths among controls were 8.2 and 0.8, respectively. Women with 6 or more live-births were at approximately one-third the risk of ESCC as those with 0–3 live-births; the OR (95% CI) for having 6–7 live-births was 0.33 (0.12–0.92). In contrast, the number of miscarriages/stillbirths was associated with an increase in ESCC risk. The OR (95% CI) for ≥ 3 versus no miscarriages/stillbirths was 4.43 (2.11–9.33). The number of children in women was suggestive an inverse association with ESCC, but this association was not statistically significant; in men, no association was seen.
The findings of this study support a protective influence of female hormonal factors on ESCC risk. However, further epidemiological and mechanistic studies are needed to prove a protective association.
case-control study; esophageal cancer; miscarriage; parity; reproductive; squamous cell carcinoma
The aim of this study was to determine the correlation between vaccine therapy and appearance of mutations in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) patients.
Materials and Methods:
16 patients received the HBV vaccine and another 16 individuals from the control group did not. The surface gene was amplified and directly sequenced from samples prior to vaccination and six months after the third dose.
Only one patient lost HBsAg. 48 and 44 amino acid mutations were found before and after vaccine therapy in the vaccine group respectively, 51 of which (55.4%) occurred in immune epitopes: 5 were in B cell, 21 in T helper (Th), and 25 in cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes. In the control group, 35 and 41 amino acid substitutions were found before and after therapy, respectively. 32 (42%) of 76 amino acid changes occurred within immune epitopes. There were no differences in age, gender, and duration of chronicity in both patient and control groups in terms of the frequency and the patterns of mutations.
In chronic carriers who already had HBsAg variants selected by the host-immune response, any immune stimulation by the vaccine had no effect on the chronic state of these patients or selected any remarkable escape mutants. Newer strategies should be considered based on third generation or the use of DNA vaccines or new adjuvants.
HBsAg mutants; Hepatitis B vaccine; Hepatitis B immune epitopes
The efficacy of first- and second-line Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) eradication regimens varies considerably in West Asian countries, mainly due to the variable prevalence of resistant organisms. However, no review article has yet evaluated and compared the efficacy of different regimens among different countries of this region. Therefore, we conducted a review to select the best options and provide recommendations for H. pylori treatment in this geographic region. A search through PubMed was carried out to obtain relevant randomized clinical trials published in English language up to June 2013. According to the results, among different therapeutic regimens used as the first-line protocols, 10-d Bismuth-Furazolidone/Metronidazole quadruple therapy, 14-d Clarithromycin-containing hybrid therapy and 14-d quadruple therapy including a proton pump inhibitor + Bismuth + Tetracycline (500 mg QID) + Metronidazole (500 mg TDS) seemed to be appropriate options. Among second-line therapeutic regimens, Bismuth-based quadruple therapies containing Tetracycline and Furazolidone/Metronidazole, triple therapy containing Amoxicillin and Gatifloxacin and Quadruple therapy including Bismuth + Azithromycin and Ofloxacin seemed to be effective options. Third-line therapies were not evaluated in West Asia; most guidelines, however, recommend choosing optimal eradication regimen according to the pattern of antibiotic susceptibility of H. pylori. Although we limited our investigation to H. pylori eradication regimens in West Asia, the clinical significance of the results goes beyond the countries situated in this geographic region. In fact, the results are transferrable to any region as long as the patterns of resistance are the same.
Helicobacter pylori; Eradication; West Asia; Resistance; Recurrence
Opium use has been associated with higher risk of cancers of the esophagus, bladder, larynx, and lung; however, no previous study has examined its association with gastric cancer. There is also little information on the associations between hookah (water pipe) smoking or the chewing of tobacco products and the risk of gastric cancer. In a case-control study in Golestan Province of Iran, we enrolled 309 cases of gastric adenocarcinoma (118 noncardia, 161 cardia, and 30 mixed-location adenocarcinomas) and 613 matched controls. Detailed information on long-term use of opium, tobacco products, and other covariates were collected using structured and validated lifestyle and food frequency questionnaires. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were obtained using conditional logistic regression models. Opium use was associated with an increased risk of gastric adenocarcinoma, with an adjusted OR (95% CI) of 3.1 (1.9 – 5.1), and this increased risk was apparent for both anatomic subsites (cardia and noncardia). There was a dose-response effect, and individuals with the highest cumulative opium use had the strongest association (OR: 4.5; 95%CI: 2.3-8.5). We did not find a statistically significant association between the use of any of the tobacco products and risk of gastric adenocarcinoma, overall or by anatomic subsite. We showed, for the first time, an association between opium use and gastric adenocarcinoma. Given that opium use is a traditional practice in many parts of the world, these results are of public health significance.
Opium; Adenocarcinoma; Cardia
Early diagnosis and endoscopic resection of adenomatous polyps is the main approach for screening and prevention of colorectal cancer (CRC). We aimed to assess polyp detection rate (PDR) and to characterize demographic, clinical, and pathological features of colorectal polyps in an Iranian population.
We retrospectively analyzed the data from 5427 colonoscopies performed during 2007-2012 at Masoud Clinic, the main endoscopy center associated with Sasan Alborz Biomedical Research Center, in Tehran, Iran.
Our sample included 2928 (54%) women and 2499 (46%) men, with the mean age of 48.3 years (SD=16.1). The most common reasons for colonoscopy included screening in 25.0%, and gastrointestinal bleeding in 15.2%. Cecal intubation was successful in 86% of patients. The quality of bowel preparation was fair to excellent in 78.1% (n=4235) of colonoscopies. Overall PDR was 42.0% (95% CI: 40.6-43.3). The PDR in men (51.1%, 95% CI: 49.1-53.1) was significantly higher than women (34.2%, 95% CI: 32.4-35.9, p<0.001). Polyps were more frequently observed in patients after the 6th decade of life (F=3.2; p=0.004). CRC was detected in 2.9% (73/2499) of men and 1.9% (57/2928) of women (p=0.02). The mean age for patients with cancer was significantly higher than that for individuals with polyps, 60.9 (SD=13.4) year vs. 56.9 (SD=13.7) year, respectively (p=0.001). Almost 82.8% of the lesions were precancerous with tubular type predominance (62.3%) followed by tubulo-villous (10.3%), villous (6.6%), and serrated (3.6%). Hyperplastic/inflammatory polyps comprised 17.2% of lesions.
Distal colon was more prone to develop polyps and cancer than proximal colon in our series. These findings provide a great infrastructure for next preventive programs and have implications for colorectal cancer screening at population-level.
Colon Cancer; Colonoscopy; Colonic Polyps
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are rare tumors with variable malignant potential, prognosis, and survival. We aimed to assess the characteristics of patients with non- functional PNET in our hospital.
From Nov 2010 to Nov 2013 , all patients who came to endosonography unit of Shariati hospital , Tehran , Iran , and had pancreatic lesions were assessed . Tumor samples were obtained through fine needle aspiration. Various characteristics of the non- functional PNET were recorded and patients were followed up to three years.
Twenty eight non func-PNET cases, aged 37-72 years were identified, 15 (53.6%) of whom were men. Fifteen (53.6%) tumors were located in the head and 5(17.8%) in the body of the pancreas. The mean tumor size was 3.9 Cm and 10.7% , 28.6%, 32.1%, and 28.6% of the patients were at stages I, II, III and IV, respectively. Of the patients, 12 (43%) underwent surgery, 3 (10.7%) received chemotherapy, and 13 (46.4%) received no treatment. During the mean follow-up of 16 months, the disease had progressed in 3 (10.7%) patients and 10 (35.7%) had died. In univariate analysis, tumor size>3Cm and Ki-67>20% were correlated with survival rate but not in multivariate analysis.
Iranian patients with non- functional PNET present similar characteristics to world patients. There is a need to establish efficacy of tumor samples which are obtaining through fine needle aspiration for assessing tumor grading.
Neuroendocrine Tumors; Epidemiology; Survival
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) likely play a role in many cancers even in never-smokers. We tried to find a model to explain the relationship between variation in PAH-related DNA adduct levels among people with similar exposures, multiple genetic polymorphisms in genes related to metabolic and repair pathways, and nucleotide excision repair (NER) capacity. In 111 randomly-selected female never-smokers from the Golestan Cohort Study in Iran, we evaluated 21 SNPs in 14 genes related to xenobiotic metabolism and 12 SNPs in 8 DNA repair genes. NER capacity was evaluated by a modified comet assay, and aromatic DNA adduct levels were measured in blood by 32P-postlabelling. Multivariable regression models were compared by Akaike’s information criterion (AIC). Aromatic DNA adduct levels ranged between 1.7 and 18.6 per 108 nucleotides (mean: 5.8±3.1). DNA adduct level was significantly lower in homozygotes for NAT2 slow alleles and ERCC5 non risk-allele genotype, and was higher in the MPO homozygote risk-allele genotype. The sum of risk alleles in these genes significantly correlated with the log-adduct level (r=0.4, p<0.001). Compared with the environmental model, adding phase I SNPs and NER capacity provided the best fit, and could explain 17% more of the variation in adduct levels. NER capacity was affected by polymorphisms in the MTHFR and ERCC1 genes. Female non-smokers in this population had PAH-related DNA adduct levels 3-4 times higher than smokers and occupationally-exposed groups in previous studies, with large inter-individual variation which could best be explained by a combination of phase I genes and NER capacity.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; DNA adducts; nucleotide excision repair; polymorphism
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer and cancer-related mortality worldwide. The disease has been traditionally a major health problem in industrial countries, however the CRC rates are increasing in the developing countries that are undergoing economic growth. Several environmental risk factors, mainly changes in diet and life style, have been suggested to underlie the rise of CRC in these populations. Diet and lifestyle impinge on nuclear receptors, on the intestinal microbiota and on crucial molecular pathways that are implicated in intestinal carcinogenesis. In this respect, the epidemiological transition in several regions of the world offers a unique opportunity to better understand CRC carcinogenesis by studying the disease phenotypes and their environmental and molecular associations in different populations. The data from these studies may have important implications for the global prevention and treatment of CRC.
Colorectal cancer; Developing countries; Environment; Diet; Nuclear receptors; Gut microbiota
Poor oral health and tooth loss have been proposed as possible risk
factors for some chronic diseases, including gastric cancer. However only a
small number of studies have tested these associations.
We conducted a case-control study in Golestan Province, Iran, that
enrolled 309 cases diagnosed with gastric adenocarcinoma (118 noncardia, 161
cardia, and 30 mixed-locations) and 613 sex, age and neighborhood matched
controls. Data on oral health were obtained through physical examination and
questionnaire including tooth loss, the number of decayed, missing, and
filled teeth, and frequency of tooth brushing. Odds ratios (ORs) and
95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were obtained using
conditional logistic regression models adjusted for potential confounders.
Standard one degree-of-freedom linear trend test and a multiple degree of
freedom global test of the effect of adding oral hygiene variables to the
model were also calculated.
Our results showed apparent associations between tooth loss and DMFT
score with risk of gastric cancer, overall and at each anatomic subsite.
However, these associations were not monotonic and were strongly confounded
by age. The results also showed that subjects who brushed their teeth less
than daily were at significantly higher risk for gastric cardia
adenocarcinoma OR (95% CI) of 5.6 (1.6–19.3).
We found evidence for an association between oral health and gastric
cancer, but the non- monotonic association, the relatively strong effect of
confounder adjustment, and inconsistent results across studies must temper
the strength of any conclusions.
Adenocarcinoma; Tooth loss; Oral health; Stomach
Only a few studies in Western countries have investigated the association between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and mortality at the general population level and they have shown mixed results. This study investigated the association between GERD symptoms and overall and cause-specific mortality in a large prospective population-based study in Golestan Province, Iran.
Baseline data on frequency, onset time, and patient-perceived severity of GERD symptoms were available for 50001 participants in the Golestan Cohort Study (GCS). We identified 3107 deaths (including 1146 circulatory and 470 cancer-related) with an average follow-up of 6.4 years and calculated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for multiple potential confounders.
Severe daily symptoms (defined as symptoms interfering with daily work or causing nighttime awakenings on a daily bases, reported by 4.3% of participants) were associated with cancer mortality (HR 1.48, 95% CI: 1.04-2.05). This increase was too small to noticeably affect overall mortality. Mortality was not associated with onset time or frequency of GERD and was not increased with mild to moderate symptoms.
We have observed an association with GERD and increased cancer mortality in a small group of individuals that had severe symptoms. Most patients with mild to moderate GERD can be re-assured that their symptoms are not associated with increased mortality.
Cardiovascular disease; Esophageal cancer; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Mortality
Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a very rare disease in Iran and reported cases are all negative for HFE mutation. We report a family affected by severe juvenile hemochromatosis (JH) with a detailed molecular study of the family members.
We studied a pedigree with siblings affected by juvenile HH and followed them for 3 years. Microsatellite and gene sequencing analysis was performed for all family members.
Two siblings (the proband and his sister, aged 26 and 30 years, respectively) were found to have clinical findings of JH. The proband’s brother, who presented with hyperpigmentation, died of probable JH at the age of 24 years. Gene sequencing analysis showed that the proband has a homozygote c.265T>C (p.C89R) HJV mutation + a heterozygote c.884T>C (p.V295A) mutation of HFE. The affected proband’s sister presented with the same HJV c.265T>C (p.C89R) homozygote mutation. In addition, we found the HJV c.98-6C>G polymorphic variant in both the sister and proband (homozygote). Sequencing of hepcidin (HAMP), TfR2, and FPN revealed no mutation.
We have shown that molecular analysis of the HH related gene is a powerful tool for reliable diagnosis of JH and, in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and noninvasive liver stiffness measurement by elastography, is adequate tool for management and follow up of HH.
Juvenile Hemochromatosis; Hemojuvelin Mutation; Genetic Study; Iran
Background Only a limited number of studies have investigated the correlation between haematocrit (HCT) and mortality in the general population, and few of those studies have had data on a wide range of low and high levels of HCT. We investigated the association between baseline HCT and mortality in a prospective cohort study of 49 983 adult subjects in Iran with a broad spectrum of HCT values.
Methods Data on socio-demographic and life-style factors, past medical history, and levels of HCT were collected at enrollment. During a mean follow-up of 5 years (follow-up success rate ∼99%), 2262 deaths were reported. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals.
Results There was a U-shaped relationship between categories of HCT and mortality in both sexes: both low and high levels of HCT were associated with increased overall mortality and mortality from cardiovascular disease. The U-shaped relationship persisted after several sensitivity analyses were done, including analyses restricted to non-smokers and non-users of opium; analyses excluding deaths from accidents and other external causes as well as deaths of persons with self-reported ischemic heart disease at the baseline interview for the study; and analyses excluding the first 2 years of follow-up. Self-reported past medical history and lack of data about lipids and other cellular blood components were the major limitations of the study.
Conclusions Low and high levels of HCT are associated with increased mortality in the general population. The findings in the present study can be of particular importance for low- and middle-income countries in which a substantial proportion of the population lives with suboptimal levels of HCT.
Anaemia; cancer; cardiovascular disease; erythrocytosis; haematocrit; mortality
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common cause of discomfort and morbidity worldwide. However, information on determinants of GERD from large-scale studies in low- to medium-income countries is limited. We investigated the factors associated with different measures of GERD symptoms, including frequency, patient-perceived severity, and onset time.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of the baseline data from a population-based cohort study of ∼50,000 individuals in in Golestan Province, Iran. GERD symptoms in this study included regurgitation and/or heartburn.
Approximately 20% of participants reported at least weekly symptoms. Daily symptoms were less commonly reported by men, those of Turkmen ethnicity, and nass chewers. On the other hand, age, body mass index, alcohol drinking, cigarette smoking, opium use, lower socioeconomic status, and lower physical activity were associated with daily symptoms. Most of these factors showed similar associations with severe symptoms. Women with higher BMI and waist to hip ratio were more likely to report frequent and severe GERD symptoms. Hookah smoking (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.02–1.75) and opium use (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.55–1.87) were associated with severe symptoms, whereas nass chewing had an inverse association (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.76–0.99). After exclusion of cigarette smokers, hookah smoking was still positively associated and nass chewing was inversely associated with GERD symptoms (all frequencies combined).
GERD is common in this population. The associations of hookah and opium use and inverse association of nass use with GERD symptoms are reported for the first time. Further studies are required to investigate the nature of these associations. Other determinants of GERD were mostly comparable to those reported elsewhere.
Common genetic variations in Wnt signaling genes have been associated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes by mechanisms that are not well understood. A rare nonconservative mutation in Wnt-coreceptor LRP6 (LRP6R611C) has shown to underlie autosomal dominant early onset coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. We examined the interplay between Wnt and insulin signaling pathways in skeletal muscles and skin fibroblasts of healthy non-diabetic LRP6R611C mutation carriers. LRP6 mutation carriers exhibited hyperinsulinemia and reduced insulin sensitivity compared to the non-carrier relatives in response to oral glucose ingestion, which correlated with a significant decline in tissue expression of the insulin receptor (IR) and insulin signaling activity. Further investigations showed that LRP6R611C mutation diminishes TCF7L2-dependent transcription of IR while it increases the stability of IGFR and enhances mTORC1 activity. These findings identify Wnt/LRP6/TCF7L2 axis as a regulator of glucose metabolism and a potential therapeutic target for insulin resistance.
Water-pipe and smokeless tobacco use have been associated with several adverse health outcomes. However, little information is available on the association between water-pipe use and heart disease (HD). Therefore, we investigated the association of smoking water-pipe and chewing nass (a mixture of tobacco, lime, and ash) with prevalent HD.
Baseline data (collected in 2004–2008) from a prospective population-based study in Golestan Province, Iran.
50,045 residents of Golestan (40–75 years old; 42.4% male).
Main outcome measures
ORs and 95% CIs from multivariate logistic regression models for the association of water-pipe and nass use with HD prevalence.
A total of 3051 (6.1%) participants reported a history of HD, and 525 (1.1%) and 3726 (7.5%) reported ever water-pipe or nass use, respectively. Heavy water-pipe smoking was significantly associated with HD prevalence (highest level of cumulative use versus never use, OR= 3.75; 95% CI 1.52 – 9.22; P for trend= 0.04). This association persisted when using different cutoff points, when restricting HD to those taking nitrate compound medications, and among never cigarette smokers. There was no significant association between nass use and HD prevalence (highest category of use versus never use, OR= 0.91; 95% CI 0.69 – 1.20).
Our study suggests a significant association between HD and heavy water-pipe smoking. Although the existing evidence suggesting similar biological consequences of water-pipe and cigarette smoking make this association plausible, results of our study were based on a modest number of water-pipe users and need to be replicated in further studies.
hookah; ischemic heart disease; nass; tobacco; water-pipe
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most prevalent cancer among Iranians, and threatens them at younger ages. This study was guided by the theoretical concepts of the preventive health model (PHM) to assess the attitudes and beliefs of Iranians towards CRC screening.
This cross-sectional study was conducted with participation of 200 individuals aged 50 years or older in a Teaching Hospital in Tehran, Iran. Background characteristics (e.g., age, gender, marital status) were assessed and a validated instrument drawn from the PHM was applied to measure cognitive and psychosocial variables (i.e., self-efficacy, intention to screening, perceived susceptibility, cancer worries, response efficacy, and social support). Data were collected via face-to-face interviews and analyzed using the SPSS version 13.00 for Windows.
The age of the participants ranged from 50 years to 83 years (mean 60.13). Most respondents were married (62.5%), unemployed (42%), and had secondary or higher education (44.5%). Overall, 11% of respondents reported prior screening. Individuals obtained relatively poor scores on self-efficacy, intention to screening, perceived susceptibility, cancer worries, response efficacy, and social support.
In this study, individuals mostly reported poor attitude in regard to CRC screening. The results of the present study could guide policy makers in designing tailored interventions to increase the participation of individuals in screening programs.
Colorectal cancer; early detection; psychosocial determinants; screening
Since 2000, considerable progress has been made in health research in Iran. An example of this progress has been the Gastro- Esophageal Malignancies in Northern Iran (GEMINI). The original aim of this project was to identify etiologic factors and prevention measures for upper gastrointestinal cancers in Northern provinces of Iran, but its achievements have gone much beyond the initial goal. This project is one of the largest studies in the Middle East and North African region, has helped build and strengthen research capacity at both individual and institutional levels in Iran, and has provided international credibility to research institutes and the wider research system in Iran. The success of GEMINI reveals the feasibility of large-scale studies in developing countries and serves as a successful model not only for health research institutes within Iran, but also for research systems in other developing countries. The outcomes of the project are numerous, including establishment of research networks, development of efficient methods for planning and implementation of research projects, and introduction of methodologies for project management, data management and usage of health technology. Finally and perhaps most importantly, GEMINI is among the few projects that has had a significant impact on the attitudes and concerns of decision makers in the health sector in Iran. It signifies the importance of investment in human resources and has proved that health policies should be health-based rather than patient-based. Here we review the impact of GEMINI on the health research system and the broader health care system of Iran and put these into a more global perspective.
research design; prospective studies; pilot projects; feasibility studies; planning techniques; methods; cancer epidemiology; gastroenterology
There is considerable variation in hypertension prevalence and awareness, and their correlates, across different geographic locations and ethnic groups. We performed this cross-sectional analysis on data from the Golestan Cohort Study (GCS).
Enrollment in this study occurred in 2004–2008, and included 50,045 healthy subjects from Golestan Province in northeastern Iran. Hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥140, a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥90, a prior diagnosis of hypertension, or the use of antihypertensive drugs. Potential correlates of hypertension and its awareness were analyzed by logistic regression adjusted for sex, age, BMI, place of residence, literacy, ethnicity, physical activity, smoking, black and green tea consumption and wealth score.
Of the total cohort participants, 21,350 (42.7%) were hypertensive. Age-standardized prevalence of hypertension, using the 2001 WHO standard world population, was 41.8% (95%CI: 38.3%–45.2%). Hypertension was directly associated with female sex, increased BMI, Turkmen ethnicity, and lack of physical activity, and inversely associated with drinking black tea and wealth score. Among hypertensive subjects, 46.2% were aware of their disease, 17.6% were receiving antihypertensive medication, and 32.1% of the treated subjects had controlled hypertension. Hypertension awareness was greater among women, the elderly, overweight and obese subjects, and those with a higher wealth score.
Hypertension is highly prevalent in rural Iran, many of the affected individuals are unaware of their disease, and the rate of control by antihypertensive medications is low. Increasing hypertension awareness and access to health services, especially among less privileged residents are recommended.
hypertension; awareness; obesity; smoking; socioeconomic status
Various substances in cigarette smoke including nicotine have been shown to promote/induce cancer cell proliferation. Since cotinine has a longer half life and stability in the blood, it has become the preferred biomarker for cigarette smoking exposure.
Seventy-three gastric cancer patients were included in this study. The tumor tissues were stained with H & E for pathological evaluation. The cotinine levels were measured in urine using a competitive ELISA. Tumors were 90% adenocarcinoma with 63% intestinal and 37% diffuse subtypes. Tumors were poorly (45.2%) or moderately differentiated (41.1%) and localized mainly (77%) in the upper part of stomach. The levels of cotinine were significantly different between smoker (283.83 ± 178.10 ng/mL) and non-smoker (39.28 ± 113.34 ng/mL) groups (p < 0.001). However, there is no-significant correlation between tumor characteristics and cotinine level in smoker patients.
Cotinine level correlates with smoking in gastric patients, however, correlation with the tumor features has not been observed.
Gastric cancer; Cigarette; Smoking; Cotinine; Urine