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1.  The gastro-esophageal malignancies in Northern Iran research project: impact on the health research and health care systems in Iran 
Archives of Iranian medicine  2013;16(1):46-53.
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.
PMCID: PMC3659328  PMID: 23273237
research design; prospective studies; pilot projects; feasibility studies; planning techniques; methods; cancer epidemiology; gastroenterology
2.  Predicting esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and squamous dysplasia: risk modeling in a high risk area in Iran 
Archives of Iranian Medicine  2012;15(1):18-21.
Background
Identifying people at higher risk of having squamous dysplasia, the precursor lesion for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), would allow targeted endoscopic screening.
Methods
We used multivariate logistic regression models to predict ESCC and dysplasia as outcomes. The ESCC model was based on data from the Golestan Case-Control Study (total n=871; cases=300), and the dysplasia model was based on data from a cohort of subjects from a GI clinic in Northeast Iran (total n=724; cases=26). In each of these analyses, we fit a model including all risk factors known in this region to be associated with ESCC. Individual risks were calculated using the linear combination of estimated regression coefficients and individual-specific values for covariates. We used cross-validation to determine the area under the curve (AUC) and to find the optimal cut points for each of the models.
Results
The model had an area under the curve of 0.77 (95% CI: 0.74–0.80) to predict ESCC with 74% sensitivity and 70.4% specificity for the optimum cut point. The area under the curve was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.64–0.79) for dysplasia diagnosis, and the classification table optimized at 61.5% sensitivity and 69.5% specificity. In this population, the positive and negative predictive values for diagnosis of dysplasia were 6.8% and 97.8%, respectively.
Conclusion
Our models were able to discriminate between ESCC cases and controls in about 77%, and between individuals with and without squamous dysplasia in about 70% of the cases. Using risk factors to predict individual risk of ESCC or squamous dysplasia still has limited application in clinical practice, but such models may be suitable for selecting high risk individuals in research studies, or increasing the pretest probability for other screening strategies.
PMCID: PMC3294378  PMID: 22208438
3.  Clinical and Histological Presentation of Helicobacter pylori and Gluten Related Gastroenteropathy 
Archives of Iranian medicine  2011;14(2):115-118.
Background
Celiac disease has been reported to be associated with gastric abnormalities. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between the prevalence of celiac disease and Helicobacter pylori infection in an Iranian population of 250 patients.
Methods
Biopsies were taken from the gastric antrum and duodenum. Morphology and histology were evaluated using the updated Sydney system and modified Marsh criteria, respectively. To simplify the interpretation of gastric lesions we classified gastritis in macroscopic and microscopic stages. Serology for anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody was performed to determine the presence of celiac disease.
Results
Among 250 patients, 232 (93%) had histological evidence of Helicobacter pylori infection. Histological abnormalities (Marsh I to IIIc) were present in 24 (10%). Of 24 patients, 20 (83%) with histological abnormalities were infected with Helicobacter pylori. Of 250 patients, 25 (10%) had a positive anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody. Of 25 anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody positive patients, 9 (3.6%) had microscopic and macroscopic enteritis (Marsh I to IIIc).
Conclusions
Clinical presentation of celiac disease was not distinguishable from cases infected with Helicobacter pylori. Histology, even in patients with positive serology, was non-specific and unhelpful. We found a high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and chronic gastritis, but neither was associated with celiac disease, in agreement with studies in Western populations.
PMCID: PMC3126917  PMID: 21361718
Celiac disease; Helicobacter pylori; macroscopic gastritis; microscopic enteritis; microenteropathy

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