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1.  Basic Rules of Hygiene Protect Health Care and Lab Workers from Nasal Colonization by Staphylococcus aureus: An International Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82851.
Acquisition of nasal Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) colonization by contaminated hands is likely an important determinant of its nasal carriage rate in health care and lab setting. The objective of our cross-sectional study was to assess the prevalence of nasal methicillin-sensitive (MSSA) or -resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage among health care professionals (HCPs) attending an international symposium and to study the association between compliance with hygiene rules, individual-related parameters, and medical conditions with nasal S. aureus carriage in this population. After obtaining consent, two nasal swabs were collected. Nasal MSSA and MRSA carriage was measured by the: i) molecular approach targeting spa, mecA and mecA-orfX junction sequences, and ii) culture on selective S. aureus media combined with mecA molecular detection of isolated strains. Information on compliance with hygiene rules, demographic variables, sector of activity and long-term medication was collected by anonymous questionnaire. The participation rate was 32.3%. In total, 176 subjects from 34 countries were included in the analysis. S. aureus was isolated from the nasal swabs of 57 (32.4%) subjects, of whom 3 (5.3%) harbored MRSA strains. Overall, 123 subjects reported working in microbiology laboratories with direct manipulation of S. aureus, and 29 acknowledged regular contacts with patients. In this exposed population, hydro-alcoholic solutions appeared to have a significant protective effect against nasal S. aureus carriage (OR = 0.36; 95% CI: 0.15–0.85). Hospital work was associated with increased risk of nasal S. aureus carriage (OR = 2.38; 95% CI: 1.07–5.29). The results of this study showed that compliance with basic rules of hygiene, such as the use of hydro-alcoholic solutions, could reduce the risk of nasal S. aureus colonization. Hydro-alcoholic solution could interrupt auto-transmission of the pathogen, consequently decreasing the overall nasal carriage rate, specifically in transient carriers.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082851
PMCID: PMC3867406  PMID: 24367562
2.  A dietary supplement to improve the quality of sleep: a randomized placebo controlled trial 
Background
To evaluate the effect of a dietary supplement containing polyunsaturated fatty acids, in association with Humulus lupulus extract, on the quality of sleep using the Leeds sleep evaluation questionnaire (LSEQ) in subjects with moderate to severe sleep disorders.
Methods
Randomized placebo-controlled trial, in a Population-based setting. Participants were adult patients 25 to 65 years old with a chronic primary insomnia who volunteered for the study. The tested intervention consisted of two soft gelatine capsules per day, containing either the dietary supplement (active group) or olive oil (placebo group) for a month. Subjects could also volunteer for two ancillary studies on melatonin and actigraphy. Evaluation criteria included i) perception of the quality of sleep at the end of treatment using the LSEQ questionnaire, ii) sleep efficiency measured by one-week actigraphic movement measurement performed before and during the treatment in a subsample of subjects, iii) night melatonin and 6 sulfatoxymelatonin (aMT6S) urine rates in a subsample of subjects.
Results
The average of Leeds score was similar in both groups (p = 0.95). A marked improvement in the quality of sleep was observed in both placebo (62%) and active (65%) group (p = 0.52). The evolution of urinary melatonin, aMT6S, and of the Mel/aMT6S ratio showed no differences between the two groups. Sleep efficiency, as measured by actigraphy, improved similarly in both groups during the treatment period, from 72% to 76% and 75% in the active and placebo group respectively (p = 0.91).
Conclusions
The dietary supplement had neither effect on the perceived quality of sleep, nor on the melatonin metabolism and sleep-wake cycle.
Trial registration: clinical trials.gov:NCT00484497
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-10-29
PMCID: PMC2901361  PMID: 20569455
3.  Perception of epidemic's related anxiety in the General French Population: a cross-sectional study in the Rhône-Alpes region 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:191.
Background
To efficiently plan appropriate public health interventions during possible epidemics, governments must take into consideration the following factors about the general population: their knowledge of epidemics, their fears of and psychological responses to them, their level of compliance with government measures and their communities' trusted sources of information. However, such surveys among the French general population are rare.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2006 in a representative sample of 600 subjects living in the Rhône-Alpes region (south-east France) to investigate self-reported knowledge about infectious diseases and anxiety generated by epidemic risk with particular reference to avian influenza. Data on reactions to potentially new epidemics and the confidence level in various sources of information were also collected.
Results
Respondents were most knowledgeable about AIDS, followed by avian influenza. Overall, 75% of respondents had adequate knowledge of avian influenza. The percentage was even higher (88%) among inhabitants of the Ain district, where an avian influenza epidemic had previously been reported. However, 39% expressed anxiety about this disease. In total, 20% of respondents with knowledge about avian influenza stated that they had changed their behaviours during the epizooty. Epidemics were perceived as a real threat by 27% of respondents. In the event of a highly contagious outbreak, the majority of respondents said they would follow the advice given by authorities. The study population expressed a high level of confidence in physicians and scientists, but had strong reservations about politicians, deputies and the media.
Conclusions
Although the survey was conducted only four months after the avian influenza outbreak, epidemics were not perceived as a major threat by the study population. The results showed that in the event of a highly infectious disease, the population would comply with advice given by public authorities.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-191
PMCID: PMC2874530  PMID: 20385030
4.  Patterns of food and nutrient consumption in northern Iran, a high-risk area for esophageal cancer 
Nutrition and cancer  2009;61(4):475-483.
Objectives
To investigate patterns of food and nutrient consumption in Golestan province, a high-incidence area for esophageal cancer (EC) in northern Iran.
Methods
Twelve 24-hour dietary recalls were administered during a one year period to 131 healthy participants in a pilot cohort study. We compare here nutrient intake in Golestan with Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) and Lowest Threshold Intakes (LTIs). We also compare the intake of 27 food groups and nutrients among several population subgroups, using mean values from the twelve recalls.
Results
Rural women had a very low level of vitamin intake, which was even lower than LTIs (P < 0.01). Daily intake of vitamins A and C was lower than LTI in 67% and 73% of rural women, respectively. Among rural men, the vitamin intakes were not significantly different from LTIs. Among urban women, the vitamin intakes were significantly lower than RDAs, but were significantly higher than LTIs. Among urban men, the intakes were not significantly different from RDAs. Compared to urban dwellers, intake of most food groups and nutrients, including vitamins, was significantly lower among rural dwellers. In terms of vitamin intake, no significant difference was observed between Turkmen and non-Turkmen ethnics.
Conclusions
The severe deficiency in vitamin intake among women and rural dwellers and marked differences in nutrient intake between rural and urban dwellers may contribute to the observed epidemiological pattern of EC in Golestan, with high incidence rates among women and people with low socioeconomic status, and the highest incidence rate among rural women.
doi:10.1080/01635580902803735
PMCID: PMC2796961  PMID: 19838919
esophageal cancer; Iran; Caspian Littoral; Golestan: Turkmen; diet record
5.  Effect of intensive glucose lowering treatment on all cause mortality, cardiovascular death, and microvascular events in type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials 
Objective To determine all cause mortality and deaths from cardiovascular events related to intensive glucose lowering treatment in people with type 2 diabetes.
Design Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
Data sources Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane database of systematic reviews.
Study selection Randomised controlled trials that assessed the effect of intensive glucose lowering treatment on cardiovascular events and microvascular complications in adults (≥18 years) with type 2 diabetes.
Data extraction Primary end points were all cause mortality and death from cardiovascular causes. Secondary end points were severe hypoglycaemia and macrovascular and microvascular events.
Synthesis of results Results are reported as risk ratios with 99% confidence intervals. Statistical heterogeneity between trials was assessed with χ², τ², and I2 statistics. A fixed effect model was used to assess the effect on the outcomes of intensive glucose lowering versus standard treatment. The quality of clinical trials was assessed by the Jadad score.
Results 13 studies were included. Of 34 533 patients, 18 315 received intensive glucose lowering treatment and 16 218 standard treatment. Intensive treatment did not significantly affect all cause mortality (risk ratio 1.04, 99% confidence interval 0.91 to 1.19) or cardiovascular death (1.11, 0.86 to 1.43). Intensive therapy was, however, associated with reductions in the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction (0.85, 0.74 to 0.96, P<0.001), and microalbuminuria (0.90, 0.85 to 0.96, P<0.001) but a more than twofold increase in the risk of severe hypoglycaemia (2.33, 21.62 to 3.36, P<0.001). Over a treatment period of five years, 117 to 150 patients would need to be treated to avoid one myocardial infarction and 32 to 142 patients to avoid one episode of microalbuminuria, whereas one severe episode of hypoglycaemia would occur for every 15 to 52 patients. In analysis restricted to high quality studies (Jadad score >3), intensive treatment was not associated with any significant risk of reductions but resulted in a 47% increase in risk of congestive heart failure (P<0.001).
Conclusions The overall results of this meta-analysis show limited benefits of intensive glucose lowering treatment on all cause mortality and deaths from cardiovascular causes. We cannot exclude a 9% reduction or a 19% increase in all cause mortality and a 14% reduction or a 43% increase in cardiovascular death. The benefit:risk ratio of intensive glucose lowering treatment in the prevention of macrovascular and microvascular events remains uncertain. The harm associated with severe hypoglycaemia might counterbalance the potential benefit of intensive glucose lowering treatment. More double blind randomised controlled trials are needed to establish the best therapeutic approach in people with type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.1136/bmj.d4169
PMCID: PMC3144314  PMID: 21791495

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