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1.  Back pain in children surveyed with weekly text messages - a 2.5 year prospective school cohort study 
Back pain is reported to occur already in childhood, but its development at that age is not well understood. The aims of this study were to describe BP in children aged 6–12 years, and to investigate any sex and age differences.
Data on back pain (defined as pain in the neck, mid back and/or lower back) were collected once a week from parents replying to automated text-messages over 2.5 school years from 2008 till 2011. The prevalence estimates were presented as percentages and 95% confidence intervals. Differences between estimates were considered significant if confidence intervals did not overlap. A test for trend, using a multi-level mixed-effects logistic regression extended to the longitudinal and multilevel setting, was performed to see whether back pain reporting increased with age.
Depending on the age group, 13-38% children reported back pain at least once per survey year, and 5-23% at least twice per survey year. The average weekly prevalence estimate ranged between 1% and 5%. In the final survey year more girls than boys reported back pain at least twice. The prevalence estimates did not increase monotonically with age but showed a greater increase in children younger than 9/10, after which they remained relatively stable up to the age of 12 years.
We found that back pain was not a common problem in this age group and recommend health professionals be vigilant if a child presents with constant or recurring back pain. Our results need to be supplemented by a better understanding of the severity and consequences of back pain in childhood. It would be productive to study the circumstances surrounding the appearance of back pain in childhood, as well as, how various bio-psycho-social factors affect its onset and later recurrence. Knowledge about the causes of back pain in childhood might allow early prevention.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12998-014-0035-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4237741  PMID: 25414789
Children; Back pain; Text messages
2.  Gαi2- and Gαi3-Deficient Mice Display Opposite Severity of Myocardial Ischemia Reperfusion Injury 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e98325.
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the most abundant receptors in the heart and therefore are common targets for cardiovascular therapeutics. The activated GPCRs transduce their signals via heterotrimeric G-proteins. The four major families of G-proteins identified so far are specified through their α-subunit: Gαi, Gαs, Gαq and G12/13. Gαi-proteins have been reported to protect hearts from ischemia reperfusion injury. However, determining the individual impact of Gαi2 or Gαi3 on myocardial ischemia injury has not been clarified yet. Here, we first investigated expression of Gαi2 and Gαi3 on transcriptional level by quantitative PCR and on protein level by immunoblot analysis as well as by immunofluorescence in cardiac tissues of wild-type, Gαi2-, and Gαi3-deficient mice. Gαi2 was expressed at higher levels than Gαi3 in murine hearts, and irrespective of the isoform being knocked out we observed an up regulation of the remaining Gαi-protein. Myocardial ischemia promptly regulated cardiac mRNA and with a slight delay protein levels of both Gαi2 and Gαi3, indicating important roles for both Gαi isoforms. Furthermore, ischemia reperfusion injury in Gαi2- and Gαi3-deficient mice exhibited opposite outcomes. Whereas the absence of Gαi2 significantly increased the infarct size in the heart, the absence of Gαi3 or the concomitant upregulation of Gαi2 dramatically reduced cardiac infarction. In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time that the genetic ablation of Gαi proteins has protective or deleterious effects on cardiac ischemia reperfusion injury depending on the isoform being absent.
PMCID: PMC4032280  PMID: 24858945
3.  Seasonal variation in musculoskeletal extremity injuries in school children aged 6–12 followed prospectively over 2.5 years: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2014;4(1):e004165.
The type and level of physical activity in children vary over seasons and might thus influence the injury patterns. However, very little information is available on the distribution of injuries over the calendar year. This study aims to describe and analyse the seasonal variation in extremity injuries in children.
Prospective cohort study.
10 public schools in the municipality of Svendborg, Denmark.
A total of 1259 school children aged 6–12 years participating in the Childhood Health, Activity, and Motor Performance School Study Denmark.
School children were surveyed each week during 2.5 school-years. Musculoskeletal injuries were reported by parents answering automated mobile phone text questions (SMS-Track) on a weekly basis and diagnosed by clinicians. Data were analysed for prevalence and incidence rates over time with adjustments for gender and age.
Injuries in the lower extremities were reported most frequently (n=1049). There was a significant seasonal variation in incidence and prevalence for lower extremity injuries and for lower and upper extremity injuries combined (n=1229). For the upper extremities (n=180), seasonal variation had a significant effect on the risk of prevalence. Analysis showed a 46% increase in injury incidence and a 32% increase in injury prevalence during summer relative to winter for lower and upper extremity injuries combined.
There are clear seasonal differences in the occurrence of musculoskeletal extremity injuries among children with almost twice as high injury incidence and prevalence estimates during autumn, summer and spring compared with winter. This suggests further research into the underlying causes for seasonal variation and calls for preventive strategies to be implemented in order to actively prepare and supervise children before and during high-risk periods.
PMCID: PMC3902503  PMID: 24401728
Public Health; Sports Medicine
4.  The Uncoordinated-5 Homolog B (UNC5B) Receptor Increases Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69477.
The UNC5 receptor family are chemorepulsive neuronal guidance receptors with additional functions outside the central nervous system. Previous studies have implicated that the UNC5B receptor influences the migration of leukocytes into sites of tissue inflammation. Given that this process is a critical step during the pathophysiology of myocardial ischemia followed by reperfusion (IR) we investigated the role of UNC5B during myocardial IR. In initial in-vitro experiments, the functional inhibition of UNC5B resulted in a significant reduction of chemotactic migration of neutrophils. In-vivo, using a model of acute myocardial ischemia in UNC5B+/− and wild type (WT) animals, we found a significant reduction of infarct sizes in UNC5B+/− animals. This was associated with significantly reduced levels of troponin-I and IL-6 in UNC5B+/− mice. The repression of UNC5B using siRNA and the functional inhibition of UNC5B significantly dampened the extent of myocardial IR injury. Following depletion of neutrophils, we were not able to observe any further reduction in infarct size through functional inhibition of UNC5B in WT and UNC5B+/− mice. In summary our studies demonstrate an important role for UNC5B during myocardial IR injury, and that UNC5B might be a potential therapeutic target to control reperfusion injury in the future.
PMCID: PMC3720625  PMID: 23936025
5.  Study protocol. The Childhood Health, Activity, and Motor Performance School Study Denmark (The CHAMPS-study DK) 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:128.
An increasingly passive life-style in the Western World has led to a rise in life-style related disorders. This is a major concern for all segments of society. The county council of the municipality of Svendborg in Denmark, created six Sport Schools with increased levels of suitable physical activities, which made it possible to study the health outcomes in these children whilst comparing them to children who attended the ‘normal’ schools of the region using the design of a “natural experiment”.
Children from the age of 6 till the age of 10, who accepted to be included in the monitoring process, were surveyed at baseline with questionnaires, physical examinations and physical and biological testing, including DXA scans. The physical examination and testing was repeated during the early stage of the study. Every week over the whole study period, the children will be followed with an automated mobile phone text message (SMS-Track) asking questions on their leisure time sports activities and the presence of any musculoskeletal problems. Children who report any such problems are monitored individually by health care personnel. Data are collected on demography, health habits and attitudes, physical characteristics, physical activity using accelerometers, motor performance, fitness, bone health, life-style disorders, injuries and musculoskeletal problems. Data collection will continue at least once a year until the children reach grade 9.
This project is embedded in a local community, which set up the intervention (The Sport Schools) and thereafter invited researchers to provide documentation and evaluation. Sport schools are well matched with the ‘normal’ schools, making comparisons between these suitable. However, subgroups that would be specifically targeted in lifestyle intervention studies (such as the definitely obese) could be relatively small. Therefore, results specific to minority groups may be diluted. Nonetheless, the many rigorously collected data will make it possible to study, for example, the general effect that different levels of physical activity may have on various health conditions and on proxy measures of life-style conditions. Specifically, it will help answer the question on whether increased physical activity in school has a positive effect on health in children.
PMCID: PMC3483192  PMID: 22906115

Results 1-5 (5)