A reliable and accurate estimation of liver size by physical examination is an important aspect of the clinical assessment of a patient. The scratch test uses auscultation to detect the lower liver edge by using the difference in sound transmission through the abdominal cavity over solid and hollow organs. The test is thought to be particularly useful if the abdomen is tense, distended, obese, or very tender. Although the sign is often taught to medical students and residents, the value of the technique for detecting the liver edge has become controversial.
The study was performed in two parts. In the first part, 18 patients undergoing upper abdominal ultrasound as outpatients were randomly selected and the scratch test was performed by two raters independently, followed by ultrasound (USG) as the reference standard. In the second part of the study, the two raters independently performed the scratch test on separate randomly selected patients (15 patients by rater 1, and 16 patients by rater 2), followed by USG.
Agreement between raters on the scratch test was very high, with an intra-class correlation coefficient of 0.97. The agreement between the raters and the USG was 0.37 using Spearman’s rho. A Bland –Altman plot indicated that, on average, raters underestimated the distance from the right costal margin to the liver edge by only about 2.4 centimeters compared to USG. This translates into 37% and 54% of raters’ estimates falling within 2 and 3 cm of USG estimates. Each unit increase in BMI increased the discrepancy between raters and USG by 0.26 cm (p = 0.012).
The scratch test has very high reproducibility and overall agreement between the scratch test and USG was moderate, with a spearman’s rho of 0.37. The accuracy may potentially be improved by using the point of initial sound transmission rather than the point of maximal transmission. We conclude that the scratch test deserves further investigation.
Scratch test; Hepatomegaly; Auscultation; Liver edge; Liver span
Mild retinopathy (microaneurysms or dot-blot hemorrhages) is observed in persons without diabetes or hypertension and may reflect microvascular disease in other organs. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of mild retinopathy in persons without diabetes.
A working group agreed on phenotype harmonization, covariate selection and analytic plans for within-cohort GWAS. An inverse-variance weighted fixed effects meta-analysis was performed with GWAS results from six cohorts of 19,411 Caucasians. The primary analysis included individuals without diabetes and secondary analyses were stratified by hypertension status. We also singled out the results from single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously shown to be associated with diabetes and hypertension, the two most common causes of retinopathy.
No SNPs reached genome-wide significance in the primary analysis or the secondary analysis of participants with hypertension. SNP, rs12155400, in the histone deacetylase 9 gene (HDAC9) on chromosome 7, was associated with retinopathy in analysis of participants without hypertension, −1.3±0.23 (beta ± standard error), p = 6.6×10−9. Evidence suggests this was a false positive finding. The minor allele frequency was low (∼2%), the quality of the imputation was moderate (r2 ∼0.7), and no other common variants in the HDAC9 gene were associated with the outcome. SNPs found to be associated with diabetes and hypertension in other GWAS were not associated with retinopathy in persons without diabetes or in subgroups with or without hypertension.
This GWAS of retinopathy in individuals without diabetes showed little evidence of genetic associations. Further studies are needed to identify genes associated with these signs in order to help unravel novel pathways and determinants of microvascular diseases.
The role of small solute clearance on mortalities in patients with CAPD has been controversial. We therefore conducted a study with 3 years' follow up in adult patients who participated in the CAPD-first policy.
There were 11,523 patients with end-stage renal disease who participated in the CAPD-first policy between 2008 and 2011. Among them, 1,177 patients were included in the retrospective cohort study. A receiver operating characteristic curve was applied to calibrate the cutoffs of tKt/V, rKt/V and tCrcl. Kaplan-Meier and Cox-regression models with time varying covariates were applied to estimate overall death rate, probability of death and prognosis, respectively.
The cutoffs of rKt/V and tKt/V were 0.25 and 1.75, respectively. The Cox regression suggested that the higher these clearance parameters, the lower the risks of death after adjusting for covariables. The risks of death for those above these cutoffs were 57% (HR = 0.43, 95% CI: 0.31, 0.60) and 29% (HR = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.52, 0.98) lower for rKt/V and tKt/V, respectively. Age, serum albumin, hemoglobin, systolic blood pressure, and ultra-filtration volume significantly affected the mortality outcome.
Our study suggested that the cutoffs of 0.25 and 1.75 for rKt/V and tKt/V might be associated with mortality in CAPD patients. A minimum tKt/V of 1.75 should be targeted, but increased dialysis dosage to achieve tKt/V > 2.19 adds no further benefit. Serum albumin, hemoglobin, SBP, and UF volume are also associated with mortality. However, our study may face with selection and other unobserved confounders, so further randomized controlled trials are required to confirm these cutoffs.
Adequacy indices; CAPD; Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis; Mortality; Peritoneal small solute clearance; Prognostic factors
Serum homocysteine, when studied singly, has been reported to be positively associated both with the endogenous nitric oxide synthase inhibitor asymmetric dimethylarginine [ADMA, via inhibition of dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) activity] and with symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA). We investigated combined associations between transsulfuration pathway thiols, including homocysteine, and serum ADMA and SDMA concentrations at population level.
Data on clinical and demographic characteristics, medication exposure, C-reactive protein, serum ADMA and SDMA (LC-MS/MS), and thiols (homocysteine, cysteine, taurine, glutamylcysteine, total glutathione, and cysteinylglycine; capillary electrophoresis) were collected from a sample of the Hunter Community Study on human ageing [n = 498, median age (IQR) = 64 (60–70) years].
Regression analysis showed that: a) age (P = 0.001), gender (P = 0.03), lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, P = 0.08), body mass index (P = 0.008), treatment with beta-blockers (P = 0.03), homocysteine (P = 0.02), and glutamylcysteine (P = 0.003) were independently associated with higher ADMA concentrations; and b) age (P = 0.001), absence of diabetes (P = 0.001), lower body mass index (P = 0.01), lower eGFR (P<0.001), cysteine (P = 0.007), and glutamylcysteine (P<0.001) were independently associated with higher SDMA concentrations. No significant associations were observed between methylated arginines and either glutathione or taurine concentrations.
After adjusting for clinical, demographic, biochemical, and pharmacological confounders the combined assessment of transsulfuration pathway thiols shows that glutamylcysteine has the strongest and positive independent associations with ADMA and SDMA. Whether this reflects a direct effect of glutamylcysteine on DDAH activity (for ADMA) and/or cationic amino acid transport requires further investigations.
We conducted a genome-wide association (GWA) meta-analysis of 4,604 endometriosis cases and 9,393 controls of Japanese1 and European2 ancestry. We show that rs12700667 on chromosome 7p15.2, previously found in Europeans, replicates in Japanese (P = 3.6 × 10−3), and confirm association of rs7521902 on 1p36.12 near WNT4. In addition, we establish association of rs13394619 in GREB1 on 2p25.1 and identify a novel locus on 12q22 near VEZT (rs10859871). Excluding European cases with minimal or unknown severity, we identified additional novel loci on 2p14 (rs4141819), 6p22.3 (rs7739264) and 9p21.3 (rs1537377). All seven SNP effects were replicated in an independent cohort and produced P < 5 × 10−8 in a combined analysis. Finally, we found a significant overlap in polygenic risk for endometriosis between the European and Japanese GWA cohorts (P = 8.8 × 10−11), indicating that many weakly associated SNPs represent true endometriosis risk loci and risk prediction and future targeted disease therapy may be transferred across these populations.
Chronic arsenic exposure and its association with hypertension in adults are inconclusive and this cross-sectional study investigated the association. The study was conducted between January and July 2009 among 1,004 participants from 1,682 eligible women and men aged ≥30 years living in rural Bangladesh who had continuously consumed arsenic-contaminated drinking water for at least 6 months. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg (systolic hypertension) and diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg (diastolic hypertension). Pulse pressure was calculated by deducting diastolic from systolic pressure and considered to be increased when the difference was ≥55 mmHg. The prevalence of hypertension was 6.6% (95% CI: 5.1–8.3%). After adjustment for other factors, no excess risk of hypertension was observed for arsenic exposure >50μg/L or to that of arsenic exposure as quartiles or as duration. Arsenic concentration as quartiles and >50 μg/L did show a strong relationship with increased pulse pressure (adjusted OR: 3.54, 95% CI: 1.46–8.57), as did arsenic exposure for ≥10 years (adjusted OR: 5.25, 95% CI: 1.41–19.51). Arsenic as quartiles showed a dose response relationship with increased pulse pressure. Our study suggests an association between higher drinking water arsenic or duration and pulse pressure, but not hypertension.
arsenic; drinking-water; hypertension; pulse-pressure; Bangladesh
The variation of determinants of mental health with remoteness has rarely been directly examined. The current research aims to examine whether the association of psychosocial factors with psychological distress outcomes varies with increasing remoteness.
Participants were persons aged 55 and over from two community cohorts sampling from across rural and urban New South Wales (N = 4219; mean age = 69.00 years; 46.1% male). Measures of social support from these studies were calibrated to facilitate comparison across the sample. Remoteness was assessed using a continuous measure, the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia. The association between demographic characteristics, social support, remoteness, and their interactions with remoteness in the prediction of high psychological distress (cut-off > 21 on the Kessler 10) were examined using logistic regression.
Not being in a married or defacto relationship (OR 0.69; 99% CI 0.51-0.94), lower education (OR 0.52; 99% CI 0.38-0.71) and decreased social support (OR 0.36; 99% CI 0.31-0.42) significantly predicted psychological distress. There was a significant interaction of age and remoteness (OR 0.84; 99% CI 0.67-1.00), indicating that as remoteness increases, older persons are less likely to be highly distressed, as well as a significant interaction of social support and remoteness (OR 1.22; 99% CI 1.04-1.44), indicating that as remoteness decreases, persons with low levels of social support are more likely to be highly distressed.
Remoteness may moderate the influence of social support and age on psychological distress outcomes.
Rural health; Psychological distress; Social support; Aged 55 and over
Craniocervical arterial dissection is a major cause of ischaemic stroke in young adults. The pathogenesis is not fully understood but is thought to be related to a combination of an intrinsic weakness in the arterial wall and an external trigger. Intrinsic susceptibility is thought to be a generalised arteriopathy, vascular anomaly or genetic predisposition. Proposed extrinsic factors include recent viral infection and minor mechanical trauma to the neck, including neck manipulation, which has raised concerns amongst manual practitioners in particular as to the appropriate screening of patients and avoidance of more vigorous therapeutic techniques. The presenting features of dissection may mimic a musculoskeletal presentation, creating a diagnostic dilemma for primary care practitioners. Early recognition is critical so that appropriate management can be commenced.
The aims of this study are to prospectively investigate young patients ≤55 years admitted to hospital with radiologically diagnosed craniocervical arterial dissection compared to matched controls with stroke but not dissection, to identify risk factors and early presenting clinical features, so these may be more readily identified by primary care practitioners.
Patients ≤ 55 years presenting to hospital with craniocervical arterial dissection and controls will have their medical records reviewed and be interviewed and questioned about possible risk factors, preceding events to admission such as recent neck trauma, and presenting clinical features including any preceding transient ischaemic features. Clinical assessment will include a connective tissue screening examination to identify subclinical connective tissue disorders. Radiology and blood screening will be reviewed for typical features and inflammatory markers. Functional outcome will be reviewed to determine the burden of the stroke.
This study will provide descriptive and comparative data on intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for craniocervical arterial dissection and outline the typical clinical presentation, including the nature of early presenting features which might assist practitioners to identify those patients for whom vigorous manual therapy of the neck is inappropriate and alert them to those for whom immediate urgent medical care should be sought.
Rural populations experience a higher suicide rate than urban areas despite their comparable prevalence of depression. This suggests the identification of additional contributors is necessary to improve our understanding of suicide risk in rural regions. Investigating the independent contribution of depression, and the impact of co-existing psychiatric disorders, to suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in a rural community sample may provide clarification of the role of depression in rural suicidality.
618 participants in the Australian Rural Mental Health Study completed the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, providing assessment of lifetime suicidal ideation and attempts, affective disorders, anxiety disorders and substance-use disorders. Logistic regression analyses explored the independent contribution of depression and additional diagnoses to suicidality. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to illustrate the benefit of assessing secondary psychiatric diagnoses when determining suicide risk.
Diagnostic criteria for lifetime depressive disorder were met by 28% (174) of the sample; 25% (154) had a history of suicidal ideation. Overall, 41% (63) of participants with lifetime suicidal ideation and 34% (16) of participants with a lifetime suicide attempt had no history of depression. When lifetime depression was controlled for, suicidal ideation was predicted by younger age, being currently unmarried, and lifetime anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to depression, suicide attempts were predicted by lifetime anxiety and drug use disorders, as well as younger age; being currently married and employed were significant protective factors. The presence of comorbid depression and PTSD significantly increased the odds of reporting a suicide attempt above either of these conditions independently.
While depression contributes significantly to suicidal ideation, and is a key risk factor for suicide attempts, other clinical and demographic factors played an important role in this rural sample. Consideration of the contribution of factors such as substance use and anxiety disorders to suicidal ideation and behaviours may improve our ability to identify individuals at risk of suicide. Acknowledging the contribution of these factors to rural suicide may also result in more effective approaches for the identification and treatment of at-risk individuals.
Little data exists on the factors associated with health care seeking behaviour for primary symptoms of colorectal cancer (CRC). This study aimed to identify individual, provider and psychosocial factors associated with (i) ever seeking medical advice and (ii) seeking early medical advice for primary symptoms of colorectal cancer (CRC).
1592 persons aged 56–88 years randomly selected from the Hunter Community Study (HCS) were sent a questionnaire.
Males and those who had received screening advice from a doctor were at significantly higher odds of ever seeking medical advice for rectal bleeding. Persons who had private health coverage, consulted a doctor because the ‘symptom was serious’, or who did not wait to consult a doctor for another reason were at significantly higher odds of seeking early medical advice (< 2 weeks). For change in bowel habit, persons with lower income, within the healthy weight range, or who had discussed their family history of CRC irrespective of whether informed of ‘increased risk’ were at significantly higher odds of ever seeking medical advice. Persons frequenting their GP less often and seeing their doctor because the symptom persisted were at significantly higher odds of seeking early medical advice (< 2 weeks).
The seriousness of symptoms, importance of early detection, and prompt consultation must be articulated in health messages to at-risk persons. This study identified modifiable factors, both individual and provider-related to consultation behaviour. Effective health promotion efforts must heed these factors and target sub-groups less likely to seek early medical advice.
Chronic exposure to high level of inorganic arsenic in drinking water has been associated with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). Most research has been ecological in nature and has focused on high levels of arsenic exposure with few studies directly measuring arsenic levels in drinking water as an index of arsenic exposure. The effect of low to moderate levels of arsenic exposure on diabetes risk is largely unknown thus our study is adding further knowledge over previous works.
This cross sectional study was conducted in 1004 consenting women and men from 1682 eligible participants yielding a participation rate of 60%. These participants are aged >30 years and were living in Bangladesh and had continuously consumed arsenic-contaminated drinking water for at least 6 months. T2D cases were diagnosed using glucometer following the new diagnostic criteria (Fasting Blood Glucose > 126 mg/dl) from the WHO guideline (WHO 2006), or a self-reported physician diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Association between T2D and chronic arsenic exposure was estimated by multiple logistic regression with adjustment for age, sex, education, Body Mass Index (BMI) and family history of T2D.
A total of 1004 individuals participated in the study. The prevalence of T2D was 9% (95% CI 7-11%). After adjustment for diabetes risk factors, an increased risk of type 2 diabetes was observed for arsenic exposure over 50 μg/L with those in the highest category having almost double the risk of type 2 diabetes (OR=1.9 ; 95% CI 1.1-3.5). For most levels of arsenic exposure, the risk estimates are higher with longer exposure; a dose–response pattern was also observed.
These findings suggest an association between chronic arsenic exposure through drinking water and T2D. Risks are generally higher with longer duration of arsenic exposure. The risk of T2D is highest among those who were exposed to the highest concentration of arsenic for more than 10 years.
The burden of patients with heart failure on health care systems is widely recognised, although there have been few attempts to quantify individual patterns of care and differences in health service utilisation related to age, socio-economic factors and the presence of co-morbidities. The aim of this study was to assess the typical profile, trajectory and resource use of a cohort of Australian patients with heart failure using linked population-based, patient-level data.
Using hospital separations (Admitted Patient Data Collection) with death registrations (Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages) for the period 2000–2007 we estimated age- and gender-specific rates of index admissions and readmissions, risk factors for hospital readmission, mean length of stay (LOS), median survival and bed-days occupied by patients with heart failure in New South Wales, Australia.
We identified 29,161 index admissions for heart failure. Admission rates increased with age, and were higher for males than females for all age groups. Age-standardised rates decreased over time (256.7 to 237.7/100,000 for males and 235.3 to 217.1/100,000 for females from 2002–3 to 2006–7; p = 0.0073 adjusted for gender). Readmission rates (any cause) were 27% and 73% at 28-days and one year respectively; readmission rates for heart failure were 11% and 32% respectively. All cause mortality was 10% and 28% at 28 days and one year. Increasing age was associated with more heart failure readmissions, longer LOS and shorter median survival. Increasing age, increasing Charlson comorbidity score and male gender were risk factors for hospital readmission. Cohort members occupied 954,888 hospital bed-days during the study period (any cause); 383,646 bed-days were attributed to heart failure admissions.
The rates of index admissions for heart failure decreased significantly in both males and females over the study period. However, the impact on acute care hospital beds was substantial, with heart failure patients occupying almost 200,000 bed-days per year in NSW over the five year study period. The strong age-related trends highlight the importance of stabilising elderly patients before discharge and community-based outreach programs to better manage heart failure and reduce readmissions.
Heart failure; Hospitalization; Health services research; Australia
Family history is a common risk factor for colorectal cancer (CRC), yet it is often underused to guide risk assessment and the provision of risk-appropriate CRC screening recommendation. The aim of this study was to identify from a patient perspective health care providers' current practice relating to: (i) assessment of family history of CRC; (ii) notification of "increased risk" to patients at "moderately/potentially high" familial risk; and (iii) recommendation that patients undertake CRC screening.
1592 persons aged 56-88 years randomly selected from the Hunter Community Study (HCS), New South Wales, Australia were mailed a questionnaire. 1117 participants (70%) returned a questionnaire.
Thirty eight percent of respondents reported ever being asked about their family history of CRC. Ever discussing family history of CRC with a health care provider was significantly more likely to occur for persons with a higher level of education, who had ever received screening advice and with a lower physical component summary score. Fifty one percent of persons at "moderately/potentially high risk" were notified of their "increased risk" of developing CRC. Thirty one percent of persons across each level of risk had ever received CRC screening advice from a health care provider. Screening advice provision was significantly more likely to occur for persons who had ever discussed their family history of CRC with a health care provider and who were at "moderately/potentially high risk".
Effective interventions that integrate both the assessment and notification of familial risk of CRC to the wider population are needed. Systematic and cost-effective mechanisms that facilitate family history collection, risk assessment and provision of screening advice within the primary health care setting are required.
The purpose of this study was to describe the food and nutrient intake of a population of rural Australian children particularly Indigenous children. Participants were aged 10 to 12 years, and living in areas of relative socio-economic disadvantage on the north coast of New South Wales.
In this descriptive cross-sectional study 215 children with a mean age of 11.30 (SD 0.04) years (including 82 Indigenous children and 93 boys) completed three 24-hour food recalls (including 1 weekend day), over an average of two weeks in the Australian summer of late 2005.
A high proportion of children consumed less than the Australian Nutrient Reference Values for fibre (74-84% less than Adequate Intake (AI)), calcium (54-86% less than Estimated Average Requirement (EAR)), folate and magnesium (36% and 28% respectively less than EAR among girls), and the majority of children exceeded the upper limit for sodium (68-76% greater than Upper Limit (UL)). Energy-dense nutrient-poor (EDNP) food consumption contributed between 45% and 49% to energy. Hot chips, sugary drinks, high-fat processed meats, salty snacks and white bread were the highest contributors to key nutrients and sugary drinks were the greatest per capita contributor to daily food intake for all. Per capita intake differences were apparent by Indigenous status. Consumption of fruit and vegetables was low for all children. Indigenous boys had a higher intake of energy, macronutrients and sodium than non-Indigenous boys.
The nutrient intake and excessive EDNP food consumption levels of Australian rural children from disadvantaged areas are cause for concern regarding their future health and wellbeing, particularly for Indigenous boys. Targeted intervention strategies should address the high consumption of these foods.
What study participants think about the nature of a study has been hypothesised to affect subsequent behaviour and to potentially bias study findings. In this trial we examine the impact of awareness of study design and allocation on participant drinking behaviour.
A three-arm parallel group randomised controlled trial design will be used. All recruitment, screening, randomisation, and follow-up will be conducted on-line among university students. Participants who indicate a hazardous level of alcohol consumption will be randomly assigned to one of three groups. Group A will be informed their drinking will be assessed at baseline and again in one month (as in a cohort study design). Group B will be told the study is an intervention trial and they are in the control group. Group C will be told the study is an intervention trial and they are in the intervention group. All will receive exactly the same brief educational material to read. After one month, alcohol intake for the past 4 weeks will be assessed.
The experimental manipulations address subtle and previously unexplored ways in which participant behaviour may be unwittingly influenced by standard practice in trials. Given the necessity of relying on self-reported outcome, it will not be possible to distinguish true behaviour change from reporting artefact. This does not matter in the present study, as any effects of awareness of study design or allocation involve bias that is not well understood. There has been little research on awareness effects, and our outcomes will provide an indication of the possible value of further studies of this type and inform hypothesis generation.
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): ACTRN12610000846022
Previous meta-analyses of treatments for Bell's palsy are still inconclusive due to different comparators, insufficient data, and lack of power. We therefore conducted a network meta-analysis combining direct and indirect comparisons for assessing efficacy of steroids and antiviral treatment (AVT) at 3 and 6 months.
We searched Medline and EMBASE until September 2010 using PubMed and Elsviere search engines. A network meta-analysis was performed to assess disease recovery using a mixed effects hierarchical model. Goodness of fit of the model was assessed, and the pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated.
Six studies (total n = 1805)were eligible and contributed to the network meta-analysis. The pooled ORs for resolution at 3 months were 1.24 (95% CI: 0.79 - 1.94) for Acyclovir plus Prednisolone and 1.02 (95% CI: 0.73 - 1.42) for Valacyclovir plus Prednisolone, versus Prednisolone alone. Either Acyclovir or Valacyclovir singly had significantly lower efficacy than Prednisolone alone, i.e., ORs were 0·44 (95% CI: 0·28 - 0·68) and 0·60 (95% CI: 0·42 - 0·87), respectively. Neither of the antiviral agents was significantly different compared with placebo, with a pooled OR of 1·25 (95% CI: 0·78 - 1·98) for Acyclovir and 0·91 (95% CI: 0·63 - 1·31) for Valacyclovir. Overall, Prednisolone-based treatment increased the chance of recovery 2-fold (95% CI: 1·55 - 2·42) compared to non-Prednisolone-based treatment. To gain 1 extra recovery, 6 and 26 patients need to be treated with Acyclovir and prednisolone compared to placebo and prednisolone alone, respectively.
Our evidence suggests that the current practice of treating Bell's palsy with AVT plus corticosteroid may lead to slightly higher recovery rates compared to treating with prednisone alone but this does not quite reach statistical significance; prednisone remains the best evidence-based treatment.
Endometrial cancer is the most common gynaecological malignancy in women of developed countries. Many risk factors implicated in endometrial cancer trigger inflammatory events; therefore, alterations in immune response may predispose an individual to disease. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and nucleosome-binding oligomerization domain (NOD) genes are integral to the recognition of pathogens and are highly polymorphic. For these reasons, the aim of the study was to assess the frequency of polymorphic variants in TLR and NOD genes in an Australian endometrial cancer population.
Ten polymorphisms were genotyped in 191 endometrial cancer cases and 291 controls using real-time PCR: NOD1 (rs2075822, rs2907749, rs2907748), NOD2 (rs5743260, rs2066844, rs2066845), TLR2 (rs5743708), TLR4 (rs4986790) and TLR9 (rs5743836, rs187084).
Haplotype analysis revealed that the combination of the variant alleles of the two TLR9 polymorphisms, rs5743836 and rs187084, were protective for endometrial cancer risk: OR 0.11, 95% CI (0.03-0.44), p = 0.002. This result remained highly significant after adjustment for endometrial cancer risk factors and Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. There were no other associations observed for the other polymorphisms in TLR2, TLR4, NOD1 and NOD2.
The variant 'C' allele of rs5743836 causes greater TLR9 transcriptional activity compared to the 'T' allele, therefore, higher TLR9 activity may be related to efficient removal of microbial pathogens within the endometrium. Clearly, the association of these TLR9 polymorphisms and endometrial cancer risk must be further examined in an independent population. The results point towards the importance of examining immune response in endometrial tumourigenesis to understand new pathways that may be implicated in disease.
Although there has been a rapid rise in the publication of meta-analyses of genetic association studies, little is known about their methodological quality. The authors reviewed the quality of 120 randomly selected genetic meta-analyses published between 2005 and 2007. Data extracted included issues of general relevance and other issues specific to genetic epidemiology. Quality was markedly poorer in the 26% of the meta-analyses that accompanied a report on a primary study. Such meta-analyses were predominantly published in specialist journals, and their quality was positively associated with the impact factor of the journal. Among the meta-analyses that did not accompany a primary study, Human Genome Epidemiology reviews tended to score better than the others, although the comparison was limited by relatively small numbers. Comparison of the overall quality with that of genetic meta-analyses published before 2000 showed improvement in both conduct and reporting. However, the quality of the handling of specific genetic issues remains disappointingly low. For a few key general quality issues, the authors compared their findings with findings in other fields of medicine and found that general quality was similar. On the basis of this review, the authors provide practical recommendations for the conduct and reporting of genetic meta-analyses.
epidemiologic methods; genetics; meta-analysis; principal component analysis
To develop a simple clinical decision rule that could increase the yield of serum and urine protein electrophoresis (SPE/UPE) without loss of sensitivity.
A cross-sectional study of inpatients with a SPE/UPE performed over a 5-year period (2001–2006) with complete data on electrolytes, globulins, full blood count, creatinine, age, and gender.
A tertiary-care general teaching hospital serving the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, with a referral population of over 1 million.
A total of 14,374 adult patients admitted between January 2001–November 2006.
Main outcome measures
Paraprotein on serum and/or urine protein electrophoresis (SPE/UPE).
Five points were assigned for globulin >41 g/l, 3 points for age ≥60, 2 points for each of hemoglobin <121 and male gender, and 1 point for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60. Total scores of 0–5, 6–10, and ≥11 corresponded to positive likelihood ratios of an abnormal SPE/UPE of 1, 2.5, and 6.6, respectively. The predictive ability of this model was strong, with an area under the curve of ∼0.8. Results in the validation set were almost identical.
A clinical decision rule using simple clinical variables has the potential to improve the yield of SPE/UPE. This rule however needs to be verified prospectively.
clinical decision rule; protein electrophoresis; predictive score; paraprotein
OBJECTIVE—The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of glycemic index on postprandial glucose excursion (PPGE) in children with type 1 diabetes receiving multiple daily injections and to determine optimal insulin therapy for a low–glycemic index meal.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Twenty subjects consumed test breakfasts with equal macronutrient contents on 4 consecutive days; high–and low–glycemic index meals (glycemic index 84 vs. 48) were consumed with preprandial ultra-short-acting insulin, and the low–glycemic index meal was also consumed with preprandial regular insulin and postprandial ultra-short-acting insulin. Each child's insulin dose was standardized. Continuous glucose monitoring was used.
RESULTS—The PPGE was significantly lower for the low–glycemic index meal compared with the high–glycemic index meal at 30–180 min (P < 0.02) when preprandial ultra-short-acting insulin was administered. The maximum difference occurred at 60 min (4.2 mmol/l, P < 0.0001). Regular insulin produced a 1.1 mmol/l higher PPGE at 30 min compared with ultra-short-acting insulin (P = 0.015) when the low–glycemic index meal was consumed. Postprandial ultra-short-acting insulin produced a higher PPGE at 30 and 60 min compared with preprandial administration when the low–glycemic index meal was consumed. The maximum difference was 2.5 mmol/l at 60 min (P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS—Low–glycemic index meals produce a lower PPGE than high–glycemic index meals. Preprandial ultra-short-acting insulin is the optimal therapy for a low–glycemic index meal.
Cyclin D1 is integral for the G1 to S phase of the cell cycle as it regulates cellular proliferation. A polymorphism in cyclin D1, 870 G>A, causes overexpression and supports uncontrollable cellular growth. This polymorphism has been associated with an increased risk of developing many cancers, including endometrial cancer.
The 870 G>A polymorphisms (rs605965) in the cyclin D1 gene was genotyped in an Australian endometrial cancer case-control population including 191 cases and 291 controls using real-time PCR analysis. Genotype analysis was performed using chi-squared (χ2) statistics and odds ratios were calculated using unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for potential endometrial cancer risk factors.
Women homozygous for the variant cyclin D1 870 AA genotype showed a trend for an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer compared to those with the wild-type GG genotype, however this result was not statistically significant (OR 1.692 95% CI (0.939–3.049), p = 0.080). Moreover, the 870 G>A polymorphism was significantly associated with family history of colorectal cancer. Endometrial cancer patients with the homozygous variant AA genotype had a higher frequency of family members with colorectal cancer in comparison to endometrial cancer patients with the GG and combination of GG and GA genotypes (GG versus AA; OR 2.951, 95% CI (1.026–8.491), p = 0.045, and GG+GA versus AA; OR 2.265, 95% CI (1.048–4.894), p = 0.038, respectively).
These results suggest that the cyclin D1 870 G>A polymorphism is possibly involved in the development of endometrial cancer. A more complex relationship was observed between this polymorphism and familial colorectal cancer.
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is characterized by the presence of hundreds to thousands of adenomas that carpet the entire colon and rectum. Nonsense and frameshift mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene account for the majority of mutations identified to date and predispose primarily to the typical disease phenotype. Some APC mutations are associated with a milder form of the disease known as attenuated FAP. Virtually all mutations that have been described in the APC gene result in the formation of a premature stop codon and very little is known about missense mutations apart from a common Ashkenazi Jewish mutation (1307 K) and a British E1317Q missense change. The incidence of missense mutations in the APC gene has been underreported since the APC gene lends itself to analysis using an artificial transcription and translation assay known as the Protein Truncation Test (PTT) or the In Vitro Synthetic Protein assay (IVSP).
In this report we have used denaturing high performance liquid chromatography to analyse the entire coding sequence of the APC gene to determine if a cohort of patients adhering to the diagnostic criteria of FAP to assess the frequency of missense mutations in the APC gene. Altogether 112 patients were studied and 22 missense mutations were identified. From the total of 22 missense changes, 13 were silent changes and the remaining 9 resulted in amino acid substitutions. One or more of these changes were identified multiple times in 62.5% of the population under study.
The results reveal that missense mutations in the APC gene appear not to radically alter protein function but may be associated with more subtle processing of RNA transcripts which in turn could result in the expression of differentially spliced forms of the APC gene which may interfere with the functional activity of the APC protein.
APC; mutations; colorectal cancer; missense