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1.  Relationship between adult height and body weight and risk of carotid atherosclerosis assessed in terms of carotid intima-media thickness: The Nagasaki Islands study 
Previous studies have reported an inverse association between height and risk of cardiovascular disease. However, evidence is limited for the association between risk of atherosclerosis and height. Further, although the association between atherosclerosis and body mass index (BMI) is reportedly positive, there have been no reports of studies on associations between height and atherosclerosis in relation to BMI.
We conducted a cross-sectional study of Japanese men aged 30 to 89 years undergoing general health check-ups.
Of the 1,337 men, 312 were diagnosed with carotid atherosclerosis (carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) ≥ 1.1 mm), but no significant association was found between height and carotid atherosclerosis for the entire study group. Stratification by BMI status of those analytical findings disclosed a significant inverse association between height and carotid atherosclerosis among overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) but not among non-overweight (BMI < 25 kg/m2) men. The classical cardiovascular risk factors-adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of carotid atherosclerosis for an increment of one SD (standard deviation) in height (6.70 cm) were 0.71 (0.54 to 0.94) for overweight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) and 1.05 (0.87 to 1.27) for non-overweight (BMI < 25 kg/m2) men.
Independent from classical cardiovascular risk factors, height was found to be inversely associated with carotid atherosclerosis for overweight but not for non-overweight men.
PMCID: PMC4177387  PMID: 24180493
2.  Effects and Outcomes of Interferon Treatment in Japanese Hepatitis C Patients 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:139.
No study has compared the long-term prognoses of hepatitis C patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody-negative individuals and investigated the effects of interferon (IFN) treatment. To clarify the long-term prognosis of HCV-positive residents of an isolated Japanese island and prospectively investigate the effects of IFN treatment in comparison with the HCV-negative general population.
HCV antibody was positive in 1,343 (7.6%) of the 17,712 individuals screened. 792 HCV RNA-positive, HBsAg-negative subjects were enrolled. 1,584 HCV antibody-negative, HBsAg-negative general residents were sex- and age-matched to the 792 subjects. A total of 154 <70-year-old patients without liver cirrhosis (LC) or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) underwent IFN treatment. The survival rate with all-cause death as the endpoint was determined and causes of death were compared.
The 10- and 20-year survival rates of the hepatitis C and general resident groups were 65.4% and 87.8%, and 40.8% and 62.5%, respectively (p < 0.001; hazard risk ratio, 0.444; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.389–0.507). There were 167 liver disease-related deaths and 223 deaths from other causes in the hepatitis C group, and 7 and 451, respectively, in the general resident group. Liver disease-related death accounted for 43.8% and 1.5% of deaths in the hepatitis C and general resident groups (p < 0.0001). The cumulative survival rate of the hepatitis C patients without IFN (n = 328) was significantly lower than the gender- and age-matched general resident group (n = 656) (p < 0.0001) but there was no significant difference between the IFN-treated (n = 154) and general resident groups (n = 308).
In the hepatitis C group, the proportion of liver disease-related death was markedly higher, and the survival rate lower, than the general resident group. Introduction of IFN treatment in <70-year-old patients with hepatitis C without LC or HCC improved the survival rate to a level comparable to that of the general residents.
PMCID: PMC3502559  PMID: 23057417
Hepatitis C virus; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Prospective cohort study; Interferon; Life expectancy
3.  Rebamipide enema therapy for left-sided ischemic colitis patients accompanied by ulcers: Open label study 
AIM: To attempt rectal administration of rebamipide in the treatment of ischemic colitis patients with ulcers, and evaluate its effects.
METHODS: We compared 9 ischemic colitis patients (2 men, 7 women) with ulcers treated by bowel rest only from 2000 to 2005 (conventional therapy group), with 6 patients (2 men, 4 women) treated by rebamipide enema therapy in 2006 (rebamipide enema therapy group) and analyzed the mean duration of fasting and hospitalization, degree of ulcer healing, and decrease in WBC count for the two groups.
RESULTS: The mean duration of fasting and hospitalization were 2.7 ± 1.8 d and 9.2 ± 1.5 d in the rebamipide group and 7.9 ± 4.1 d and 17.9 ± 6.8 d in the control group, respectively, and significantly reduced in the rebamipide group (t = -2.915; P = 0.0121 and t = -3.054; P = 0.0092). As for the degree of ulcer healing at 7 d after admission, the ulcer score was reduced by 3.5 ± 0.5 (points) in the rebamipide group and 2.8 ± 0.5 (points) in the control group (t = 1.975; P = 0.0797), while the decrease in WBC count was 120.0 ± 55.8 (× 102/μL) in the rebamipide group and 85.9 ± 56.8 (× 102/μL) in the control group (t = 1.006; P = 0.3360).
CONCLUSION: In left-sided ischemic colitis patients with ulcers, rebamipide enema therapy significantly reduced the duration of fasting and hospitalization, recommending its use as a new and effective therapeutic alternative.
PMCID: PMC2725346  PMID: 18609691
Ischemic colitis; Rebamipide-enema; Fasting; Hospitalization; Ulcer healing; White blood cells
4.  Results of mass endoscopic examination for gastric cancer in Kamigoto Hospital, Nagasaki Prefecture 
AIM: To examine how the introduction of endoscopy to gastric cancer screening affected survival prognosis in a regional population.
METHODS: The subjects comprised 4261 residents of Kamigoto, Nagasaki Prefecture, who underwent gastric X-ray examination for gastric cancer screening from 1991 to 1995, and all 7178 residents who underwent endoscopic examination for the same purpose from 1996 to 2003. The analysis evaluated trends in age-adjusted gastric cancer mortality rates and standard mortality ratios (SMRs) among the Kamigoto residents.
RESULTS: According to demographic statistics, the 1995 and 2000 age-adjusted gastric cancer mortality rates in Nagasaki Prefecture (per 100 000 population) were 42.6 and 37.3 for males and 18.6 and 16.0 for females, while the corresponding rates in Kamigoto before and after the introduction of endoscopic screening were respectively 51.9 and 28.0, and 26.6 and 6.9. The data obtained in this study were divided into those for two periods, 1990-1996 and 1997-2006, and SMRs were calculated separately for males and females. For the first period, the SMR was 1.04 (95% CI 0.50-1.58) for males and 1.54 (95% CI 0.71-2.38) for females, while for the second period the SMR was 0.71 (95% CI 0.33-1.10) for males and 0.62 (95% CI 0.19-1.05) for females.
CONCLUSION: Following the introduction of endoscopic examination, gastric cancer death rates decreased in Kamigoto.
PMCID: PMC4250856  PMID: 17708603
Endoscopy; Mass screening; Gastric cancer; Age-adjusted mortality rate; Standard mortality ratio
5.  Clinical investigation of 41 patients with ischemic colitis accompanied by ulcer 
AIM: To investigate the relationship among the presence of ulcer lesions, underlying disease, and clinical course in patients with ischemic colitis.
METHODS: The subjects were 41 patients (10 male and 31 female; mean age 70 years) with ischemic colitis who were admitted to and received treatment in our hospital from 2000 to 2006. We compared their characteristics and analyzed the mean lengths of admission and fasting for 9 patients with ulcer lesions (ulcer group) and 32 without (non-ulcer group).
RESULTS: The groups with presence and absence of ulcer differed significantly only in white blood cell (WBC) count. Lengths of fasting and admission were 7.9 d and 17.9 d for the ulcer group and 4.4 d and 10.7 d for the non-ulcer group, respectively, and significantly longer in the ulcer group (P = 0.0057 and 0.0001). There was no correlation between presence of ulcer and presence of underlying diseases.
CONCLUSION: Lengths of fasting and admission were significantly longer in patients with ischemic colitis with ulcer than for those without ulcer.
PMCID: PMC4146999  PMID: 17451205
Ischemic colitis; Ulcer; Fasting; Admission; White blood cell

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