Cardiovascular disease and obesity are now becoming leading causes of morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We investigated the relationship between prevalent heart disease (HD) and current anthropometric indices and body size perception over time from adolescence to adulthood in Iran.
We present a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a prospective study of adults in Golestan Province, Iran. Demographics, cardiac history, and current anthropometric indices—body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and waist to hip ratio (WHR)—were recorded. Body size perception for age 15, age 30, and at the time of interview was assessed via pictograms. Associations of these factors and temporal change in perceived body size with HD were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression models.
Complete data were available for 50,044 participants; 6.1% reported having HD. Higher BMI, WC, and WHR were associated with HD (p < 0.001). Men had a U-shaped relationship between HD and body size perception at younger ages. For change in body size perception, men and women demonstrated a U-shaped relationship with prevalent HD from adolescence to early adulthood, but a J-shaped pattern from early to late adulthood.
HD was associated with anthropometric indices and change in body size perception over time for men and women in Iran. Due to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity in LMICs, interventions focused on decreasing the cumulative burden of risk factors throughout the life course may be an important component of cardiovascular risk reduction.
body size perception; body mass index; heart disease; prevalence; middle-income country
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Background and Aims:
Although several studies have suggested opium as a risk factor for cancers of the esophagus, stomach, larynx, lung, and bladder, no previous study has examined the association of opium with pancreatic cancer. We aimed to study the association between opium use and risk of pancreatic cancer in Iran, using a case-control design. We also studied the association of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption with pancreatic cancer, for which little information was available from this population.
Cases and controls were selected from patients who were referred to 4 endoscopic ultrasound centers in Tehran, Iran. We recruited 316 histopathologically (all adenocarcinoma) and 41 clinically diagnosed incident cases of pancreatic cancer, as well as 328 controls from those with a normal pancreas in enodosonography from January 2011 to January 2015. We used logistic regression models to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
After adjustment for potential confounders, opium use (OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.06–3.43) and alcohol consumption (OR 4.16; 95% CI 1.86–9.31) were significantly associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. We did not find an association between ever tobacco smoking and pancreatic cancer risk (OR 0.93; 95% CI 0.62–1.39).
In our study, opium use and alcohol consumption were associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, whereas cigarette smoking was not.
alcohol; opium; pancreatic cancer; tobacco
Information regarding solid pseudopapillary neoplasm (SPN) of the pancreas
is limited in Iran. We aimed to review the clinicocytopathological features and
follow-up of patients with SPN of pancreas who were diagnosed in a single
center in Iran.
Seven patients with SPN of the pancreas were diagnosed during January
2010 to March 2015 at the Digestive Disease Research Institute of Tehran University
of Medical Sciences. The patients were reviewed prospectively.
Six out of the 7 patients were female and the mean age of all the patients
was 29.4 years ranging from 15 to 61 years. The most common clinical presentation
was nonspecific abdominal pain (N=6). The tumors were located
mostly in head and neck of the pancreas. SPN was diagnosed in all patients
by fine needle aspiration through endosonography (EUS-FNA). All patients
underwent surgery. Histological findings of surgical tissues were consistent
with EUS-FNA. The postoperative follow-up period of about 14 months was
SPN of the pancreas is a rare pancreatic tumor which affects primarily
young women. EUS-guided FNA could play an important role in preoperative
diagnosis of SPN of the pancreas.
Solid pseudopapillary neoplasm; Pancreas; Immunohistochemistry
Oxidative stress has a major pathogenic role for liver damage following
chronic hepatitis B. Glutathione peroxidase (Gpx) is necessary in oxidative
state mechanism that is generally down-regulated by Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
infection. On the other hand, disorders of iron homeostasis have been found
out in HBV infected patients. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess
the interplay of Gpx and serum iron on clinical and virological features of
patients with chronic HBV infection.
One hundred and fifty adult, treatment-naïve, patients with chronic hepatitis
B were randomly designated from an ongoing cohort of patients with HBV.
Plasma Gpx1 concentration and HBV DNA quantity were measured. Liver
stiffness was measured by transient elastography.
Serum iron had a positive association with HBV DNA count in the total population.
Serum iron was not associated with liver stiffness. However, HBV DNA
was significantly associated with liver stiffness only in male patients. Serum Gpx
was inversely associated with liver stiffness. Serum iron and Gpx had indirect
effects on liver stiffness via HBV DNA count. We observed dissimilar effects of
serum iron on HBV DNA and Gpx on liver stiffness in male and female patients.
We identified interplay of serum iron and Gpx1 in relation to level of liver
fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Our results propose that oxidative
stress and serum iron are differentially implicated in the progression of chronic
hepatitis B in male and female patients.
Glutathione peroxidase (Gpx); Hepatitis B; Iron; Liver Stiffness; HBV DNA
Advances in medicine and health policy have resulted in growing of older population, with a concurrent rise in multimorbidity, particularly in Iran, as a country transitioning to a western lifestyle, and in which the percent of the population over the age of 60 years is increasing. This study aims to assess multimorbidity and the associated risk factors in Iran.
We used data from 50,045 participants (age 40–75 y) in the Golestan Cohort Study, including data on demographics, lifestyle habits, socioeconomic status, and anthropometric indices. Multimorbidity was defined as the presence of 2 or more out of 8 self-reported chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, tuberculosis, and cancer. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between multiple different factors and the risk factors.
Multimorbidity prevalence was 19.4%, with the most common chronic diseases being gastroesophageal reflux disease (76.7%), cardiovascular diseases (72.7%), diabetes (25.3%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (21.9%). The odds of multimorbidity was 2.56-fold higher at the age of >60 years compared with that at <50 years (P < 0.001), and 2.11-fold higher in women than in men (P < 0.001). Other factors associated with higher risk of multimorbidity included non-Turkmen ethnicity, low education, unemployment, low socioeconomic status, physical inactivity, overweight, obesity, former smoking, opium and alcohol use, and poor oral health.
Apart from advanced age and female sex, the most important potentially modifiable lifestyle factors, including excess body weight and opium use, and opium user, are associated with multimorbidity. Policies aiming at controlling multimorbidity will require a multidimensional approach to reduce modifiable risk factors in the younger population in developing countries alongside adopting efficient strategies to improve life quality in the older population.
In the Golestan Cohort Study that was launched to investigate the causes of esophageal cancer, a complete biospecimen bank was established for storage of collected blood, urine, hair, and nail samples. The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of nail samples as a biomarker of selected trace elements status.
Thirty toenail samples were selected randomly from the participants of Golestan Cohort Study (GCS). The samples were cleaned and analyzed for selenium, mercury, chromium, iron, zinc, and scandium by instrumental neutron activation analysis at the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center. Pearson correlation coefficients were computed for selected trace elements concentration versus scandium concentration to assess terrestrial contamination.
The selenium, zinc, and mercury were not correlated with scandium, suggesting they were free from substantial contamination. The high correlations of scandium with iron and chromium suggest that the iron and chromium levels may be compromised by terrestrial contamination. The coefficients of variation for duplicate samples for selenium and zinc were 2.6% and 7.2%, respectively.
The nail samples from Golestan Cohort Study appears to be useable as a biomarker of selenium, zinc, and mercury and could be considered for use in future studies.
Minerals; Biomarker Validation; Toe nail; Selenium; Zinc; Golestan Cohort Study
Gastrointestinal and liver diseases (GILDs) are major causes of death and disability in Middle East and North Africa (MENA). However, they have different patterns in countries with various geographical, cultural, and socio-economic status. We aimed to compare the burden of GILDs in Iran with its neighboring countries using the results of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study in 2010.
Classic metrics of GBD have been used including: age-standardized rates (ASRs) of death, years of life lost due to premature death (YLL), years of life lost due to disability (YLD), and disability adjusted life years (DALY). All countries neighboring Iran have been selected. In addition, all other countries classified in the MENA region were included. Five major groups of gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases were studied including: infections of gastrointestinal tract, gastrointestinal and pancreatobilliary cancers, acute hepatitis, cirrhosis, and other digestive diseases.
The overall burden of GILDs is highest in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Egypt. Diarrheal diseases have been replaced by gastrointestinal cancers and cirrhosis in most countries in the region. However, in a number of countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Egypt, and Yemen, communicable GILDs are still among top causes of mortality and morbidity in addition to non-communicable GILDs and cancers. These countries are experiencing the double burden. In Iran, burden caused by cancers of stomach and esophagus are considerably higher than other countries. Diseases that are mainly diagnosed in outpatient settings have not been captured by GBD.
Improving the infrastructure of health care system including cancer registries and electronic recording of outpatient care is a necessity for better surveillance of GILDs in MENA. In contrast to expensive treatment, prevention of most GILDs is feasible and inexpensive. The health care systems in the region can be strengthened for prevention and control
Gastrointestinal disease; Liver disease; Mortality; Disability; Burden; Middle East and North Africa
This study tests the hypothesis that pre-diagnostic serum levels of twenty cancer-associated inflammatory biomarkers correlate directly with future development of head & neck, esophageal, and lung cancers in a high-risk prospective cohort.
This is a nested case-control pilot study of subjects enrolled in the Golestan Cohort Study, an ongoing epidemiologic project assessing cancer trends in Golestan, Iran. We measured a panel of 20 cytokines, chemokines, and inflammatory molecules using Luminex® technology in serum samples collected two or more years before cancer diagnosis in 78 aerodigestive cancer cases and 81 controls. Data was analyzed using Wilcoxon rank-sum test, odds ratios (OR), ROC areas of discrimination, and multivariate analysis.
Biomarkers were profoundly and globally elevated in future esophageal and lung cancer patients compared to controls. Odds ratios were significant for association between several biomarkers and future development of esophageal cancer, including IL-1Rα (35.88), IFNα2 (34), FGF-2 (17.43), GM-CSF (17.43), et al. The same trend was observed among future lung cancer cases for G-CSF (27.68), GM-CSF (13.33), TNF-α (8.55), et al. By contrast, the majority of biomarkers studied showed no significant correlation with future head and neck cancer development.
This study provides the first direct evidence that multiple inflammatory biomarkers are coordinately elevated in future lung and esophageal cancer patients two or more years before cancer diagnosis.
Serum Inflammatory Biomarker; Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma; Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma; Lung Cancer; Aerodigestive Cancer
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are becoming major causes of death in developing countries. Risk scoring systems for CVD are needed to prioritize allocation of limited resources. Most of these risk score algorithms have been based on a long array of risk factors including blood markers of lipids. However, risk scoring systems that solely use office-based data, not including laboratory markers, may be advantageous. In the current analysis, we validated the office-based Framingham risk scoring system in Iran.
The study used data from the Golestan Cohort in North-East of Iran. The following risk factors were used in the development of the risk scoring method: sex, age, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, hypertension treatment, current smoking, and diabetes. Cardiovascular risk functions for prediction of 10-year risk of fatal CVDs were developed.
A total of 46,674 participants free of CVD at baseline were included. Predictive value of estimated risks was examined. The resulting Area Under the ROC Curve (AUC) was 0.774 (95% CI: 0.762-0.787) in all participants, 0.772 (95% CI: 0.753-0.791) in women, and 0.763 (95% CI: 0.747-0.779) in men. AUC was higher in urban areas (0.790, 95% CI: 0.766-0.815). The predicted and observed risks of fatal CVD were similar in women. However, in men, predicted probabilities were higher than observed.
The AUC in the current study is comparable to results of previous studies while lipid profile was replaced by body mass index to develop an office-based scoring system. This scoring algorithm is capable of discriminating individuals at high risk versus low risk of fatal CVD.
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
There are hoarding documents for the biological importance of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in pancreatic carcinogenesis. We aimed to thoroughly investigate the DNA sequence variations of whole COX-2 exons in a large case-control study of pancreatic cancer by direct sequencing.
The entire exonic regions of COX-2 including 10 exons were sequenced in the germline DNA of 96 patients with pancreatic cancer. Selected variants within exons six to seven (E6E7) amplicon from the test panel were genotyped in 96 controls.
The COX-2 gene was demonstrated to be genetically conserved. Four missense mutations were found in three cases. However the common variant c.724-10_724-7delATTT (rs201231411) that is located in intron 6, showed significant difference between cases and controls (21 [21.9%] vs 11 [%11.5], p=0.05).
This study determined that COX-2 has a conservative sequence, which is required for its enzymatic activity and supports the important role of this enzyme’s expression in pancreatic cancer rather than any changes in its activity. The effect of intronic variant rs201231411 on COX-2 expression could be analyzed in future studies.
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2); Pancreatic cancer; Genome sequencing
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.
This study tests the hypothesis that prediagnostic serum levels of 20 cancer-associated inflammatory biomarkers correlate directly with future development of head and neck, esophageal, and lung cancers in a high-risk prospective cohort. This is a nested case–control pilot study of subjects enrolled in the Golestan Cohort Study, an ongoing epidemiologic project assessing cancer trends in Golestan, Iran. We measured a panel of 20 21cytokines, chemokines, and inflammatory molecules using Luminex technology in serum samples collected 2 or more years before cancer diagnosis in 78 aerodigestive cancer cases and 81 controls. Data was analyzed using Wilcoxon rank sum test, odds ratios, receiver operating characteristic areas of discrimination, and multivariate analysis. Biomarkers were profoundly and globally elevated in future esophageal and lung cancer patients compared to controls. Odds ratios were significant for association between several biomarkers and future development of esophageal cancer, including interleukin-1Rα (IL-1Ra; 35.9), interferon α2 (IFN-a2; 34.0), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2; 17.4), and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF; 17.4). The same pattern was observed among future lung cancer cases for G-CSF (27.7), GM-CSF (13.3), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-a; 8.6). By contrast, the majority of biomarkers studied showed no significant correlation with future head and neck cancer development. This study provides the first direct evidence that multiple inflammatory biomarkers are coordinately elevated in future lung and esophageal cancer patients 2 or more years before cancer diagnosis.
Aerodigestive cancer; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; lung cancer; serum inflammatory biomarker
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
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
Background. MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules that regulate the expression of certain genes through interaction with mRNA targets and are mainly involved in human cancer. This study was conducted to make the network of miRNAs-mRNAs interactions in pancreatic cancer as the fourth leading cause of cancer death. Methods. 56 miRNAs that were exclusively expressed and 1176 genes that were downregulated or silenced in pancreas cancer were extracted from beforehand investigations. MiRNA–mRNA interactions data analysis and related networks were explored using MAGIA tool and Cytoscape 3 software. Functional annotations of candidate genes in pancreatic cancer were identified by DAVID annotation tool. Results. This network is made of 217 nodes for mRNA, 15 nodes for miRNA, and 241 edges that show 241 regulations between 15 miRNAs and 217 target genes. The miR-24 was the most significantly powerful miRNA that regulated series of important genes. ACVR2B, GFRA1, and MTHFR were significant target genes were that downregulated. Conclusion. Although the collected previous data seems to be a treasure trove, there was no study simultaneous to analysis of miRNAs and mRNAs interaction. Network of miRNA-mRNA interactions will help to corroborate experimental remarks and could be used to refine miRNA target predictions for developing new therapeutic approaches.
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
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.
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
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
The TP53 gene encodes tumor protein p53 which play a major role in the etiology of pancreatic cancer. The important role of codon 249 of TP53 for binding of p53 to its sequence-specific consensus site in DNA has been revealed by crystallography's studies, and mutation at this codon was detected in the plasma of some human cancers. The TP53 Mut assessor software within the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) TP53 Database was performed to evaluate every possible mutation at codon 249. DNA was extracted from the plasma of 133 pancreatic cancer patients and 85 noncancer-bearing individuals. Exon 7 in TP53 was amplified, and mutation at R249 was identified by the endonuclease cleavage of HaeIII. The group of patients showed a frequency of 11% (22 of 133 samples) R249 mutation compared to 3.5% (3 of 85 samples) in the group of control which was significant (P = 0.03). This mutation demonstrated statistically significant association with pancreatic cancer risk in unadjusted odds ratio (OR: 3.74, 95% CI: 1.1–13.2; P = 0.041); however when adjusted for confounding factors, it was marginally significant because of lower control samples. These findings demonstrate that mutation at R249 of TP53 can be considered for increasing risk of pancreatic cancer that needs more research.