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1.  Iodine Intake in Somalia Is Excessive and Associated with the Source of Household Drinking Water123 
The Journal of Nutrition  2014;144(3):375-381.
Few data on iodine status in Somalia are available, but it is assumed that deficiency is a public health problem due to the limited access to iodized salt. We aimed to describe the iodine status of the population of Somalia and to investigate possible determinants of iodine status. A national 2-stage, stratified household cluster survey was conducted in 2009 in the Northwest, Northeast, and South Central Zones of Somalia. Urinary iodine concentration (UIC) was determined in samples from women (aged 15–45 y) and children (aged 6–11 y), and examination for visible goiter was performed in the Northwest and South Central strata. A 24-h household food-frequency questionnaire was conducted, and salt samples were tested for iodization. The median UICs for nonpregnant women and children were 329 and 416 μg/L, respectively, indicating excessive iodine intake (>300 μg/L). The prevalence of visible goiter was <4%. The coverage of salt iodization was low, with a national average of 7.7% (95% CI: 3.2%, 17.4%). Spatial analysis revealed localized areas of relatively high and low iodine status. Variations could not be explained by food consumption or salt iodization but were associated with the main source of household drinking water, with consumers of borehole water having a higher UIC (569 vs. 385 μg/L; P < 0.001). Iodine intake in Somalia is among the highest in the world and excessive according to WHO criteria. Further work is required to investigate the geochemistry and safety of groundwater sources in Somalia and the impact on human nutrition and health.
PMCID: PMC3927550  PMID: 24500936
2.  Effect of compositions in nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) on skin hydration and occlusion 
To study the effects of varying lipid concentrations, lipid and oil ratio, and the addition of propylene glycol and lecithin on the long-term physical stability of nanostructured lipid nanocarriers (NLC), skin hydration, and transepidermal water loss.
The various NLC formulations (A1–A5) were prepared and their particle size, zeta potential, viscosity, and stability were analyzed. The formulations were applied on the forearms of the 20 female volunteers (one forearm of each volunteer was left untreated as a control). The subjects stayed for 30 minutes in a conditioned room with their forearms uncovered to let the skin adapt to the temperature (22°C ± 2°C) and humidity (50% ± 2%) of the room. Skin hydration and skin occlusion were recorded at day one (before treatment) and day seven (after treatment). Three measurements for skin hydration and skin occlusion were performed in each testing area.
NLC formulations with the highest lipid concentration, highest solid lipid concentration, and additional propylene glycol (formulations A1, A2, and A5) showed higher physical stability than other formulations. The addition of propylene glycol into an NLC system helped to reduce the particle size of the NLC and enhanced its long-term physical stability. All the NLC formulations were found to significantly increase skin hydration compared to the untreated controls within 7 days. All NLC formulations exhibited occlusive properties as they reduced the transepidermal water loss within 7 days. This effect was more pronounced with the addition of propylene glycol or lecithin into an NLC formulation, whereby at least 60% reduction in transepidermal water loss was observed.
NLCs with high lipid content, solid lipid content, phospholipid, and lecithin are a highly effective cosmetic delivery system for cosmetic topical applications that are designed to boost skin hydration.
PMCID: PMC3534299  PMID: 23293516
nanostructured lipid carriers; transepidermal water loss; skin hydration; particle size
3.  Effect of Cymbopogon citratus and Citral on Vascular Smooth Muscle of the Isolated Thoracic Rat Aorta 
Cymbopogon citratus has been shown to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, antispasmodic and chemo-protective properties. Citral, is the major constituent of C. citratus. This study investigated the effects of methanolic extracts of leaves (LE), stems (SE), and roots (RE) of C. citratus and citral on vascular smooth muscle and explored their possible mechanisms of action. The experiment was conducted using isolated tissue preparations, where citral, LE, SE, and RE were added separately into a tissue bath that contained aortic rings, which were pre-contracted with phenylephrine (PE). Citral, LE, and RE exhibited a dose-dependent relaxant effect on the PE-induced contractions. Citral appeared to partially act via NO as its vasorelaxant effect was attenuated by L-NAME. However, the effect of LE may involve prostacyclin as indomethacin reversed the relaxant effect of LE on the PE-induced contraction. Furthermore, citral, LE, and RE abolished the restoration of PE-induced contraction caused by the addition of increasing doses of calcium in both endothelium intact and denuded rings. These findings suggest that the relaxation effect of citral, LE, and RE is endothelium-independent and may be mainly by affecting the intracellular concentration of calcium. Citral may partially act through the NO pathway while a vasodilator prostaglandin may mediate the effect of LE.
PMCID: PMC3364612  PMID: 22675383
4.  Allantoic cyst – an unusual umbilical cord swelling 
We report a baby with an unusual umbilical cord swelling. On the antenatal scans, a cystic area within the umbilical cord near its insertion onto the abdominal wall was detected. Postnatally an unusually thick umbilical cord with a yellow fluid filled cyst at the base was noted. The fluid from the cyst was confirmed as urine and ultrasound confirmed patent urachus. The baby underwent a cystoscopy and excision of patent urachus with associated allantoic cyst. Allantoic cyst is a rare swelling formed at the base of umbilicus associated with a patent urachus which results from an allantoic remnant. Paediatricians need to be aware about this condition as investigation is required to differentiate allantois cysts from umbilical pseudocysts. A patent urachus with allantoic cyst requires surgical excision.
PMCID: PMC3649232  PMID: 24950576
6.  Age, Tumor Size and Relative Survival of Patients With Localized Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Analysis 
The Journal of urology  2008;181(2):506-511.
Recent data demonstrate that age may be a significant independent prognostic variable following treatment for renal cell carcinoma. We analyzed data from the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) database to evaluate the relative survival of patients treated surgically for localized renal cell carcinoma as related to tumor size and patient age.
Materials and Methods
Patients in the SEER database with localized renal cell carcinoma were stratified into cohorts by age and tumor size. Three and 5-year relative survival, the ratio of observed survival in the cancer population to the expected survival of an age, sex and race matched cancer-free population, was calculated with SEER-Stat. Brown's method was used for hypothesis testing.
A total of 8,578 patients with surgically treated, localized renal cell carcinoma were identified. While 3 and 5-year survival for patients with small (less than 4 cm) renal cell carcinoma was no different from that of matched cancer-free controls, patients treated for large (greater than 7 cm) localized renal cell carcinoma experienced decreased 5-year relative survival across all age groups. Therefore, age was not a significant predictor of relative survival for patients with small (less than 4 cm) or large (greater than 7 cm) tumors. However, a statistically significant trend toward lower relative survival with increasing age was demonstrated in patients with medium size tumors (4 to 7 cm). Hypothesis testing confirmed these findings.
These data suggest that relative survival is high in patients with tumors less than 4 cm and lower in patients with tumors larger than 7 cm regardless of age. However, increasing age may be related to worse outcomes in patients with tumors 4 to 7 cm. The cause of this observation warrants further investigation.
PMCID: PMC2703466  PMID: 19084868
kidney neoplasms; mortality
7.  Optical coherence tomography imaging of severe commotio retinae and associated macular hole 
PMCID: PMC1771101  PMID: 11914221
optical coherence tomography; commotio retinae; macular hole
8.  Identification of an immunodominant 32-kilodalton membrane protein of Leishmania donovani infantum promastigotes suitable for specific diagnosis of Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1994;32(10):2474-2480.
Sera from 35 patients suffering from Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis (caused by Leishmania donovani infantum) and 59 patients with various forms of cutaneous leishmaniasis prevalent in the sub-Mediterranean countries (caused by Leishmania major, L. donovani infantum, or Leishmania tropica) were tested by immunoblotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with both membrane and soluble antigens prepared from L. donovani infantum parasites. Control sera were from healthy children (n = 41), adults with nonleishmanial diseases (n = 40), and patients with Chagas' disease (n = 12). A P32 antigen present in the membrane preparation from L. donovani infantum parasites was recognized by 95% of serum specimens from patients with Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis but not by serum specimens from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis or sera from control individuals. An ELISA with electroeluted P32 antigen was found to have a specificity and sensitivity of 94% in the serodiagnosis of Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis. Healthy children with asymptomatic Leishmania infection were seronegative for the P32 antigen by ELISA. These results suggest that antibodies to P32 antigen develop only in patients with visceral leishmaniasis and that the P32 ELISA may be useful in areas where the disease is endemic for discriminating between patients with this disease and those with other clinical conditions.
PMCID: PMC264086  PMID: 7814485

Results 1-9 (9)