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1.  Geographical and Ethnic Distribution of the HBV C/D Recombinant on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18708.
Two forms of hepatitis B virus (HBV) C/D recombinant have been identified in western China, but little is known about their geographical and ethnic distributions, and particularly the clinical significance and specific mutations in the pre-core region. To address these questions, a total of 624 chronic HBV carriers from four ethnic populations representing five provinces in western China were enrolled in this study. Genotypes were firstly determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism, and then confirmed by full or partial genome nucleotide sequencing. The distribution of HBV genotypes was as follows: HBV/B: 40 (6.4%); HBV/C: 221 (35.4%); HBV/D: 39 (6.3%); HBV/CD: 324 (51.9%). In the 324 HBV C/D recombinant infections, 244 (75.3%) were infected with the “CD1” and 80 (24.7%) were infected with the “CD2.” The distribution of HBV genotypes exhibited distinct patterns in different regions and ethnic populations. Geographically, the C/D recombinant was the most prevalent HBV strain on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Ethnically, the C/D recombinant had a higher prevalence in Tibetan patients than in other populations. Clinically, patients with HBV/CD1 showed significantly lower levels of serum total bilirubin than patients with HBV/C2. The prevalence of HBeAg was comparable between patients with HBV/CD1 and HBV/C2 (63.3% vs 50.0%, P = 0.118) whether patients were taken together or stratified by age into three groups (65.6% vs 58.8% in <30 years, P = 0.758; 61.9% vs 48.0% in 30–50 years, P = 0.244; 64.3% vs 33.3%, P = 0.336). Virologically HBV/CD1 had a significantly lower frequency of G1896A than HBV/C2. In conclusion, the HBV C/D recombinant is restricted to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in western China and is found predominantly in Tibetans. The predominance of the premature pre-core stop mutation G1896A in patients with the HBV C/D recombinant may account for the higher prevalence of HBeAg in these patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018708
PMCID: PMC3073994  PMID: 21494570
2.  Reproductive Factors and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk in the California Teachers Study 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(12):e8135.
Background
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a malignancy etiologically linked to immunomodulatory exposures and disorders. Endogenous female sex hormones may modify immune function and influence NHL risk. Few studies have examined associations between reproductive factors, which can serve as surrogates for such hormonal exposures, and NHL risk by subtype.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Women in the California Teachers Study cohort provided detailed data in 1995–1996 on reproductive history. Follow-up through 2007 identified 574 women with incident B-cell NHL. Hazard rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models to assess associations between reproductive factors and all B-cell NHL combined, diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, follicular lymphomas, and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemias/small lymphocytic lymphomas. Pregnancy was marginally associated with lower risk of B-cell NHL (RR = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.68–1.04). Much of the reduction in risk was observed after one full-term pregnancy relative to nulligravid women (RR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.54–1.06; P for trend <0.01), particularly for diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (P for trend = 0.13), but not among women who had only incomplete pregnancies. Age at first full-term pregnancy was marginally inversely associated with B-cell NHL risk overall (P for trend = 0.08) and for diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (P for trend = 0.056). Breast feeding was not associated with B-cell NHL risk overall or by subtype.
Conclusions
Full-term pregnancy and early age at first full-term pregnancy account for most of the observed reduction in B-cell NHL risk associated with gravidity. Pregnancy-related hormonal exposures, including prolonged and high-level exposure to progesterone during a full-term pregnancy may inhibit development of B-cell NHL.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008135
PMCID: PMC2780313  PMID: 19956586

Results 1-2 (2)