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1.  Comparison of effects of soft margarine, blended, ghee, and unhydrogenated oil with hydrogenated oil on serum lipids: A randomized clinical trail 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(6):363-371.
Trans fatty acids (TFAs) are known as the most harmful type of dietary fats. Therefore, this study was done to compare the effects of some different oils including unhydrogenated, blended, ghee, and soft magazine with hydrogenated oil on serum lipid profile of healthy adults.
This study was a randomized clinical trial conducted on 206 healthy participants of 20 to 60 years of age. Subjects were randomly divided into 5 groups and each of them was treated with a diet containing unhydrogenated oil, ghee, blended oil, soft margarine, or hydrogenated oil for 40 days. Fasting serum lipids were measured before and after the study.
Compared to hydrogenated oil, total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) had a significant reduction in all groups, LDL-C declined in unhydrogenated oil and soft margarine groups, and apolipoprotein (Apo) B only in unhydrogenated oil group (all P < 0.05). However, there was a significant enhancement in ApoA of ghee oil (P < 0.001).
Consuming unhydrogenated oil, ghee, soft margarine, and blended oil had some beneficial effects on serum lipids.
PMCID: PMC3933054  PMID: 24575140
Clinical Trial; Dietary Fat; Commercial Oil; Lipid
2.  Impacts of fresh lime juice and peel on atherosclerosis progression in an animal model 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(6):357-362.
The main protective role of antioxidants in the progression of atherosclerosis has been shown in some studies. Therefore, this project evaluated the effects of Citrus aurantifolia (Christm) juice and peel on antioxidant activity and atherosclerosis progression in rabbits receiving a hypercholesterolemic diet.
Forty white New Zealand male rabbits were randomly allocated to four groups. All groups were on hypercholesterolemic diet for two months. While the first group was considered as the hypercholesterolemic control, groups 2 and 3 (intervention groups) received 5 ml/day lime juice and 1 g/day dried lime peel powder, respectively. Group 4 was fed a normal diet (normal control). Before and after the study, weight was measured and a fasting blood specimen was taken from the rabbits. Serum lipids analyses and antioxidant activity evaluations were then performed. The rabbits’ aorta and coronary arteries were separated and the presence of fatty streaks was studied.
Comparing to the hypercholesterolemic control group (-25.2 ± 7.0), only the plasma total antioxidant capacity change was significantly more in rabbits supplemented with lime juice (16.3 ± 14.7) and peel (8.6 ± 7.1) (P = 0.008). The presence of fatty streaks in coronary arteries and aorta of the intervention groups [juice (0.2 ± 0.01); peel (0.0 ± 0.00)] was significantly decreased compared to the hypercholesterolemic control group (1.2 ± 0.4) (P < 0.001).
Based on our findings, Citrus aurantifolia peel and juice increase plasma antioxidant capacity in rabbits, and can thus prevent or decelerate the process of atherogenesis. However, lime peel is more effective than lime juice.
PMCID: PMC3933061  PMID: 24575139
Animal; Atherosclerosis; Atherogenic Diet; Fatty Streak; Intervention; Lime
3.  Serum Paraoxonase 1 Activity Is Associated with Fatty Acid Composition of High Density Lipoprotein 
Disease markers  2013;35(4):273-280.
Introduction. Cardioprotective effect of high density lipoprotein (HDL) is, in part, dependent on its related enzyme, paraoxonase 1 (PON1). Fatty acid composition of HDL could affect its size and structure. On the other hand, PON1 activity is directly related to the structure of HDL. This study was designed to investigate the association between serum PON1 activity and fatty acid composition of HDL in healthy men. Methods. One hundred and forty healthy men participated in this research. HDL was separated by sequential ultracentrifugation, and its fatty acid composition was analyzed by gas chromatography. PON1 activity was measured spectrophotometrically using paraxon as substrate. Results. Serum PON1 activity was directly correlated with the amount of stearic acid and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA). PON1/HDL-C was directly correlated with the amount of miristic acid, stearic acid, and DGLA and was inversely correlated with total amount of ω6 fatty acids of HDL. Conclusion. The fatty acid composition of HDL could affect the activity of its associated enzyme, PON1. As dietary fats are the major determinants of serum lipids and lipoprotein composition, consuming some special dietary fatty acids may improve the activity of PON1 and thereby have beneficial effects on health.
PMCID: PMC3787566  PMID: 24167374
4.  Effects of Pioglitazone on Asymmetric Dimethylarginine and Components of the Metabolic Syndrome in Nondiabetic Patients (EPICAMP Study): A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial 
PPAR Research  2013;2013:358074.
The present trial aimed to investigate the effects of pioglitazone on the serum level of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), a marker of endothelial function, and some indices of inflammation and glucose and lipid metabolism in nondiabetic metabolic syndrome patients. 104 eligible participants (57% female; age between 20 and 70) were enrolled in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial and were randomized to receive either pioglitazone (uptitrated to 30 mg/day) or matching placebo for 24 weeks. Participants were clinically examined and a blood sample was obtained at baseline and at the end of the trial. Pioglitazone significantly improved C-reactive protein level irrespective of changes in insulin sensitivity. Compared with the placebo group, alanine and aspartate transaminases were decreased and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was increased after treatment with pioglitazone. A considerably greater weight gain was also recorded in the intervention group. We failed to observe any significant changes in serum ADMA in either group and between groups with and without adjustment for age, sex, and components of the metabolic syndrome. In a nutshell, pioglitazone seems to have positive effects on lipid profile, liver transaminases, and systemic inflammation. However, its previously demonstrated endothelial function-improving properties do not seem to be mediated by ADMA.
PMCID: PMC3654334  PMID: 23710164
5.  The effects of a comprehensive community trial on cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):184-190.
This study aimed to assess the effects of a 6-year-long community-participatory program including school-based interventions on mean values and prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors among adolescents.
The interventions of this community trial, conducted from 2000 to 2007 in Iran, targeted the whole population (of nearly two millions) living in two cities considered as the intervention area (IA) in comparison with a reference area (RA). Data from surveys conducted before and after interventions was used to compare the differences between the secondary school students of the IA and RA.
The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia declined significantly in girls and boys in the IA (P < 0.01). The prevalence of high LDL-C decreased significantly in the girls in the RA (P = 0.002). Among both sexes in the IA, the prevalence of low HDL-C increased significantly (P < 0.001), whereas it decreased in the girls and boys in the RA (P = 0.04). Although in the IA, the prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased significantly in girls (P = 0.001), it increased in boys (P = 0.001) as well as in the girls of the RA (P = 0.01).
By performing school-based interventions, our study was successful, at least in part, in controlling some cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents. Such modifications may have long-term impacts on non-communicable diseases prevention in adulthood.
PMCID: PMC3413088  PMID: 23205053
Prevention; Adolescents; Lifestyle; Community Trial; Iran
6.  How does the impact of a community trial on cardio-metabolic risk factors differ in terms of gender and living area? Findings from the Isfahan healthy heart program 
To assess the impact of gender and living area on cardiovascular risk factors in the context of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention program.
Data from independent sample surveys before (2000--2001) and after (2007) a community trial, entitled the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) were used to compare differences in the intervention area (IA) and reference area (RA) by gender and living area.
The interventions targeted the population living in Isfahan and Najaf-Abad counties as IA and Arak as RA.
Overall, 12 514 individuals who were more than 19 years of age were studied at baseline, and 9570 were studied in postintervention phase.
Multiple activities were conducted in connection with each of the four main strategies of healthy nutrition, increasing physical activity, tobacco control, and coping with stress.
Main Outcomes:
Comparing serum lipids levels, blood pressure, blood glucose and obesity indices changes between IA and RA based on sex and living areas during the study.
In IA, while the prevalence of hypertension declined in urban and rural females (P < 0.05). In IA, the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia decreased in both females and males of urban and rural areas except for hypercholesterolemia in rural males (P < 0.01). In RA, the significant changes include both decrease in the hypercholesterolemia among rural males (P < 0.001) and hypertriglyceridemia in urban females (P < 0.01), while hypertriglyceridemia was significantly increased in rural females (P < 0.01).
This comprehensive community trial was effective in controlling many risk factors in both sexes in urban and rural areas. These findings also reflect the transitional status of rural population in adopting urban lifestyle behaviors.
PMCID: PMC3687879  PMID: 23798939
Age; cardiovascular risk factor; community health program; health promotion; rural; sex; urban
7.  Is Friedewald formula a good estimation for low density lipoprotein level in Iranian population? 
Serum low density lipoprotein (LDL) level is an important biomarker for coronary artery disease (CAD). As direct LDL measurement is expensive and not cost effective, especially in a large population, it is estimated by Friedewald formula. Therefore, we decided to compare the direct LDL measurement method with LDL measured by Friedewald formula in a large general population for the first time in Iran. Furthermore, we examined the association of total cholesterol (TCh), triglyceride (TG), and high density lipoprotein (HDL) with LDL.
Subjects and Methods:
This study was conducted on the subjects, aged 11–97 years, in the third phase of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) from three cities: Isfahan, Najafabad, and Arak. A fasting blood sample was taken from all subjects and referred to Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center (ICRC) laboratory (central laboratory of IHHP) to assess TCh, TG, HDL, and LDL directly. Also, the LDL level was calculated by Friedewald formula, in addition.
The mean level of LDL by direct method was lower than that calculated by Friedewald formula. The mean difference between the two methods was significant, which was 6.6 ± 15.5 mg/dl difference (t = -42.925, P < 0.0001). There was strong correlation between direct and calculated LDL levels (adjusted R2 = 80.4%). Using regression model, a new formula was found for the estimation of LDL.
It is concluded that the Friedewald formula overestimates the LDL level compared to the direct method in general Iranian population. It is suggested that LDL measurement be carried out directly, especially in high-risk people. If a formula is necessary for LDL estimation, it is better to obtain an especial formula for each population.
PMCID: PMC3634287  PMID: 23626626
Direct measurement; Friedewald formula; Iiran; low density lipoprotein
8.  Impact of a community-based lifestyle intervention program on blood pressure and salt intake of normotensive adult population in a developing country 
Data on the effect of lifestyle intervention programs on salt intake and blood pressure in developing countries are scarce. This study aimed to assess the impact of a healthy lifestyle community-based trial on salt intake and blood pressure among a representative sample of normotensive Iranian adults.
Materials and Methods:
We compared the data for salt intake, urinary sodium levels and blood pressure from three cross-sectional surveys in time points of 1999, 2001-2002 (beginning of the community interventions), and 2007 (after the community trial) for normotensive adult population of Isfahan, Iran in the framework of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program. Using multi-stage cluster sampling method, one of the family members at each household was randomly selected with Iranian adult population as a target. Dietary salt intake was estimated based on 24 hour urinary sodium levels. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured according to standard methods.
Dietary sodium intake and urinary sodium levels as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly decreased during the 9-year study period. Unlike systolic and diastolic blood pressures that had a consistent decrement between 1999 and 2007, dietary sodium intake and urinary sodium levels were slightly raised from 1999 to 2000-2001 and then reduced between 2001-2 and 2007 evaluations. The same findings were reached when data were analyzed separately by gender or weight status.
A lifestyle community trial was effective in controlling the escalating trend of blood pressure and salt intake in Iranian population. It can be considered as a model to be adopted in other developing countries.
PMCID: PMC3527040  PMID: 23267374
Blood Pressure; Salt; Adult; Urine; Lifestyle
9.  Antioxidant effects of Citrus aurantifolia (Christm) juice and peel extract on LDL oxidation 
We studied the antioxidant effects of fresh juice and peel extract of Citrus aurantifolia (Christm).
Low density lipoprotein (LDL) was separated from one hypercholesterolemic human serum by modified Bronzert and Brewer procedure. Oxidation of LDL was measured at 234 nm against 0, 5, 10, 20, 25, 30 and 40 μl of fresh lime juice and 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 μl of peel polyphenolic extract solution in DMSO.
5 μl of lime juice didn’t change LDL oxidation. 10 μl of juice inhibited LDL oxidation, and with increasing the juice concentration, LDL was oxidized faster. The higher concentrations of peel extract prevented LDL oxidation better than the lower ones.
Both juice and peel demonstrated antioxidant properties, but the excessive consumption of lime juice seems not to be beneficial. Regarding the intensity and type of flavonoids, lime juice and peel may show different effects.
PMCID: PMC3263110  PMID: 22279465
Antioxidant; Citrus Aurantifolia (Christm); Juice; LDL Oxidation; Peel
10.  Metabolic syndrome and health-related quality of life in Iranian population 
To investigate the association between Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and Health related quality of life (QoL) in Iranian population.
We used data from the post-intervention phase of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP), a community trial for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and control. We recruited 9570 healthy adults, aged ≥ 19 years who were randomly selected using multistage random sampling method. World Health Organization QoL questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) which contains 26 items was used to assess QoL. It assesses four domains of QoL; Physical health, Psychological health, Social relationship and Environmental issues. MetS was defined based on ATP III criteria.
The mean age of participants was 38.8±15.6 years (mean ± SD) and the prevalence of MetS was 22.5%. From all participant 18.2% were illiterate and 13.2% had university educational level. Two way multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVA) test after adjusting age showed significant difference between women with and without Mets in regard to physical health and social relations domains, while none of QoL domains was different in men with Mets in comparison to men without it.
After adjusting the role of socio-demographic factors as components of QoL score, no association was observed between QoL domains and MetS in men, while only social relations and physical health scores were higher in women with Mets compared to those without Mets. Other variety of health-related QoL assessment tools or definitions of MetS may show different relationship in the Iranian socio-cultural context.
PMCID: PMC3214330  PMID: 22091241
Metabolic syndrome; Quality of life; General population
11.  Effect of CRP on Some of the in vitro Physicochemical Properties of LDL 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(3):85-89.
Atherosclerosis is the most important underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) which recently has been classified as an inflammatory disorder. Accumulation of large amounts of oxidized LDL in the intima during local inflammation reaction led to increase several factors such as C -reactive protein (CRP). It has also been reported that CRP is able to bind with modified forms of LDL as well as oxidized LDL. These findings suggest possible positive or negative involvement of this protein in atherogenesis. The main objective of the present study was to assess the influence of CRP on LDL oxidation and the possible physical \changes of LDL in the presence of CRP in vitro.
In this study, the susceptibility of purified LDL to oxidation was assayed by monitoring of formation of conjugated dienes in different physiological concentrations of CRP (0 - 0.5 -2 µg/ml) using a shimadzu spectrophotometer. Electrophoresis was used to determine the electrophoretic mobility of LDL in those conditions.
CRP significantly reduced the susceptibility of Cu++ -induced LDL oxidation through increasing the lag timeand there was positive relationship between these findings and CRP concentration (P < 0.05). CRP caused a significant reduction in the electrophotretic mobility of LDL compared to native LDL (n-LDL) (P < 0.05).
A considerable reduction was shown in LDL oxidation, in higher concentration of CRP, via an unknown mechanism. The electrophoretic mobility of LDL, in the oxidative condition, decreases in the presence of CRP compared to n-LDL, which can be indicative of the effect of this protein on the physical and chemical properties of LDL. It seems that, other pathway than LDL oxidation is responsible for the effect of CRP on the atherogenesis processes.
PMCID: PMC3347822  PMID: 22577421
Atherosclerosis; C reactive protein; Low-density lipoprotein; Inflammation
12.  Effects of 5-Year Interventions on Cardiovascular Risk Factors of Factories and Offies Employees of Isfahan and Najafabad: Worksite Intervention Project-Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(3):94-101.
Effects of 5-year interventions of Worksite Intervention Project from Isfahan Healthy Heart Program on cardiovascular risk factors of factories and offices employees were studied in Isfahan and Najafabad (intervention area) compared to Arak (control area).
We had especial interventions for nutrition, physical activity and smoking as well as hypertension and obesity screening systems in all offices and factories, and other risk factors screening systems whenever possible. Before and after the interventions, questionnaires containing demographic and other required data were completed for the two populations; height, weight and blood pressure (BP) were measured and a fasting and 2h blood sample was taken for the measurement of blood sugar (BS) and lipid levels.
The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia and central obesity decreased, but low HDL increased in office staff (P < 0.01). Waist circumference, HDL and total cholesterol mean values decreased, and diastolic BP and fasting and 2h BS increased among the intervention group. In factory workers, the prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia and central obesity decreased, while low HDL prevalence increased in intervention group (P < 0.001). Mean values of waist circumference, HDL and total cholesterol, and triglyceride decreased significantly (P < 0.001), while diastolic BP and fasting BS increased.
It seems that Worksite Intervention Project has a protective effect on CVD risk factors in factories and offices employees. So, the modifiable project can be used as an applicable tool for health improvement in worksites which creates tangible changes in employees’ lifestyle.
PMCID: PMC3347823  PMID: 22577423
Risk Factors; Cardiovascular Disease; Workplace; Intervention
13.  Process evaluation of a community-based program for prevention and control of non-communicable disease in a developing country: The Isfahan Healthy Heart Program, Iran 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:57.
Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of mortality in Iran. A six-year, comprehensive, integrated community-based demonstration study entitled Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) conducted in Iran, and it started in 2000. Evaluation and monitoring are integrated parts of this quasi-experimental trial, and consists of process, as well as short and long-term impact evaluations. This paper presents the design of the "process evaluation" for IHHP, and the results pertaining to some interventional strategies that were implemented in workplaces
The process evaluation addresses the internal validity of IHHP by ascertaining the degree to which the program was implemented as intended. The IHHP process evaluation is a triangulated study conducted for all interventions at their respective venues. All interventional activities are monitored to determine why and how some are successful and sustainable, to identify mechanisms as well as barriers and facilitators of implementation.
The results suggest that factory workers and managers are satisfied with the interventions. In the current study, success was mainly shaped by the organizational readiness and timing of the implementation. Integrating most of activities of the project to the existing ongoing activities of public health officers in worksites is suggested to be the most effective means of implementation of the health promoting activities in workplaces.
The results of our experience may help other developing countries to plan for similar interventions.
PMCID: PMC2647538  PMID: 19216762

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