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1.  Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor Predicts Cardiovascular Disease Occurrence in Participants from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial 
Aim: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of the present study was to test whether plasma basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) levels predict future CVD occurrence in adults from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT).
Methods: Nearly 400 veterans, 40 years of age or older having a mean baseline diabetes duration of 11.4 years were recruited from outpatient clinics at six geographically distributed sites in the VADT. Within the VADT, they were randomly assigned to intensive or standard glycemic treatment, with follow-up as much as seven and one-half years. CVD occurrence was examined at baseline in the patient population and during randomized treatment. Plasma bFGF was determined with a sensitive, specific two-site enzyme-linked immunoassay at the baseline study visit in all 399 subjects and repeated at the year 1 study visit in a randomly selected subset of 215 subjects.
Results: One hundred and five first cardiovascular events occurred in these 399 subjects. The best fit model of risk factors associated with the time to first CVD occurrence (in the study) over a seven and one-half year period had as significant predictors: prior cardiovascular event [hazard ratio (HR) 3.378; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 3.079–3.807; P < 0.0001), baseline plasma bFGF (HR 1.008; 95% CI 1.002–1.014; P = 0.01), age (HR 1.027; 95% CI 1.004–1.051; P = 0.019), baseline plasma triglycerides (HR 1.001; 95% CI 1.000–1.002; P = 0.02), and diabetes duration-treatment interaction (P = 0.03). Intensive glucose-lowering was associated with significantly decreased hazard ratios for CVD occurrence (0.38–0.63) in patients with known diabetes duration of 0–10 years, and non-significantly increased hazard ratios for CVD occurrence (0.82–1.78) in patients with longer diabetes duration.
Conclusion: High level of plasma bFGF is a predictive biomarker of future CVD occurrence in this population of adult type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3837222  PMID: 24319441
basic fibroblast growth factor; type 2 diabetes mellitus; cardiovascular disease
2.  Impact of Dry Eye Syndrome on Vision-Related Quality of Life in a Non-Clinic-Based General Population 
BMC Ophthalmology  2012;12:22.
Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a common ocular disorder occurring in general population. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of DES on vision-related quality of life (QoL) in a non-clinic-based general population.
This population-based cross-sectional study enrolled subjects older than 40 years, who took part in an epidemiological study on dry eye in Sanle Community, Shanghai. Apart from the collection of sociodemographics, dry eye symptoms, and other clinical data, a Chinese version of the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) was administered to all subjects. Comparisons of the NEI VFQ-25 subscale item scores and composite score were made among subgroups divided according to the presence of dry eye symptoms or signs. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between the clinical variables and the VFQ-25 composite score.
A total of 229 participants were enrolled in the study, with an average age of (60.7 ±10.1) years old. Majority of these participants were female (59.8 %, 137/229). The total DES symptom scores (TDSS) in subjects either with definite DES or only with dry eye symptoms were significantly higher (F = 60.331, P < 0.001). The values of tear break-up time (TBUT) and Schirmer test were significantly lower in participants with DES and those with dry eye signs only (F = 55.158 and 40.778, P < 0.001). The composite score of the NEI VFQ-25 was significantly lower in subjects with DES (F = 4.901, P = 0.003). Moreover, the subscale scores of ocular pain and mental health were significantly lower in those with either DES or dry eye symptoms only (F = 10.962 and 7.362 respectively, both P < 0.001). The multiple regression analysis showed that the TDSS had a significant negative correlation with the VFQ-25 composite score as well as with the subscale score for ocular pain and mental health, even after the adjustment of all other factors (all P < 0.01).
The symptoms of dry eye are associated with an adverse impact on vision-related QoL in non-clinic-based general population, which is mainly represented as more ocular pain and discomfort, and impaired mental health as well. Apart from clinical examination, it is also important to refer to subjective symptoms and QoL scores when assessing the severity of DES.
PMCID: PMC3437197  PMID: 22799274
Dry eye syndrome; NEI VFQ-25; Visual quality of life
3.  rac-3,9-Bis(3-chloro­phen­yl)-2,4,8,10-tetra­oxaspiro­[5.5]undeca­ne 
In the title compound, C19H18Cl2O4, the two non-planar six-membered heterocycles passing through the spiro-C atom both adopt chair conformations, and the dihedral angle between the two benzene rings is 7.2 (1)°. In the crystal, the enanti­omers with R and S configurations are generated by the symmetry elements of the centrosymmetric space group, forming a racemic crystal. Inter­molecular C—H⋯π and weak C—H⋯O inter­actions link the mol­ecules in the crystal structure.
PMCID: PMC3201504  PMID: 22058783
4.  Hepatic Fat and Inflammation in Type 2 Diabetes 
Although the association between inflammation and hepatic fat is fairly established, it remains unclear whether this association is independent of general measures of obesity and standard cardiovascular risk factors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of hepatic steatosis (HS) as an independent predictor of chronic inflammation in 281 subjects with type 2 diabetes. Hepatic steatosis significantly (p < 0.01) correlated with CRP (r= −0.16) and adiponectin (r=0.23). The association of HS with both CRP and adiponectin remained significant after adjustment for age, ethnicity, BMI (or WC), triglycerides, HDL, and total cholesterol. These data support the concept that accumulation of hepatic fat is related to enhanced inflammation in type 2 diabetes, independent of general measures of obesity and standard cardiovascular risk factors.
PMCID: PMC2823936  PMID: 19850309

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