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News Article | August 25, 2016
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Researchers have identified a gene that appears to curb coffee consumption. People with a DNA variation in a gene called PDSS2 tend to drink fewer cups of coffee, the study found. Experts say the findings suggest that the gene reduces the ability of cells to breakdown caffeine, causing it to stay in the body for longer. This means that a person would not need to consume as much coffee to get the same caffeine hit, the team says. The findings add to previous studies that have identified genes linked to coffee habits and shed new light on the biological mechanisms of caffeine metabolism. Researchers looked at genetic information from 370 people living in a small village in south Italy and 843 people from six villages in north-east Italy. Each of the study participants was asked to complete a survey that included a question about how many cups of coffee they drank each day. The team found that people with the DNA variation in PDSS2 tended to consume fewer cups of coffee than people without the variation. The effect was equivalent to around one fewer cup of coffee per day on average. The researchers replicated the study in a group of 1,731 people from the Netherlands. The result was similar but the effect of the gene on the number of cups of coffee consumed was slightly lower. This could be because of the different styles of coffee that are drunk in the two countries, the researchers say. In Italy, people tend to drink smaller cups such as espresso whereas in the Netherlands the preference is towards larger cups that contain more caffeine overall. The study was conducted at the Universities of Edinburgh and Trieste, the Burlo Garofolo Pediatric Institute in Italy, the Erasmus Medical Center and PolyOmica, a data analysis company based in Groningen, the Netherlands. Researchers from the Italian coffee company Illy also participated in the project though the company did not offer financial support. The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports. "The results of our study add to existing research suggesting that our drive to drink coffee may be embedded in our genes. We need to do larger studies to confirm the discovery and also to clarify the biological link between PDSS2 and coffee consumption," said Nicola Pirastu, a Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Edinburgh's Usher Institute.

Foltran F.,University of Padua | Berchialla P.,University of Turin | Gregori D.,University of Padua | Pitkaranta A.,University of Helsinki | And 77 more authors.
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology | Year: 2012

Rationale and aim: Foreign body (FB) injuries are a relatively frequent event in young children. Clinical picture can be evidently affected from different variables. Among those size, shape, type and FB location cover an important issue. Increased attempts have been made in order to encourage normative interventions for products devoted to children's care and entertainment, reaching acceptable safety level; on the contrary, fewer efforts have been devoted to investigate the risk associated to objects that - even if not expressly created for children - are easy accessed by children, like stationery.The aim of the present study is to characterize the risk of complications and prolonged hospitalization due to stationery items according to age and gender of patients, FB characteristics and FB location, circumstances of the accident, as emerging from the Susy Safe Registry. Methods: From 2005 to 2010 case were collected from 70 centers in 32 different countries. Details on the injuries, identified by means of the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes listed on hospital discharge records, were gathered through a standardized case report form, that provides a full set of information on injuries, with specific details on age and gender of the child, location, shape, volume, consistency and ellipticity of the foreign body, behavioral aspects linked to the injury, like the supervision of the parents or the activity concomitant to the accident, any complication occurred, length of hospitalization. Results: In the years 2005-2010 a total of 17,205 FB injuries in children aged 0-14. years were registered in Susy Safe Database. Among them 425 (2.5%) were due to a stationery item. The majority of FBs were retrieved in the nose (179, meaning 42.1%) and in the ears (176, 41.4%) only 5 cases were observed in children younger than 1. year, while most of the cases, 80.6%, were recorded in children older than 3. years. 193 patients (45.4%) were female, while 232 (54.6%) were male. Adult supervision was indicated in 212 cases. In 143 of these accidents the adult was present (33.6% of the whole group). The most frequent stationery retrieved was rubber, counting for 209 cases (49.2%). According to the FBs types, mostly all cases reported a 3D volume and a rigid or semirigid consistency (49.3%). Looking to the outcomes, 31 (7%) children needed hospitalization and complications were seen in 38 children (8.9%). No significant associations were seen between the outcomes and the FBs' characteristics, excluded those between the consistency of the FB (rigid) and the necessity of hospitalization and the shape (2D) and the presence of complication. Conclusions: Injuries are events that in many cases can be prevented with appropriate strategies. Passive environmental strategies, including product modification by manufacturers, are the most effective. However, regulation regarding small parts of potentially dangerous objects covers products addressed to children use but objects not projected for children, such as stationary items, are excluded. Our study testifies that stationary is involved in a non-negligible percentage of FB injuries, mainly due to insertion in the ears. Frequently, injuries happen under adult supervision. These results confirm the fact that when passive preventive strategies are not practical, active strategies that promote behavior change are necessary and information about this issue should be included in all visits to family pediatricians. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Foltran F.,University of Padua | Passali F.M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Berchialla P.,University of Turin | Gregori D.,University of Padua | And 79 more authors.
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology | Year: 2012

Foreign body (FB) inhalation, aspiration or ingestion are relatively common events in children. Despite many efforts made in several countries to achieve acceptable safety levels for consumer products devoted to children, small toys or toy parts are still frequently mentioned among risky foreign bodies. The aim of the present study is to characterize the risk of complications and prolonged hospitalization due to toys inhalation, aspiration or ingestion according to age and gender of patients, FB characteristics, circumstances of the accident, as emerging from the Susy Safe Registry. The Susy Safe Registry started in the 2005 to collect data to serve as a basis for a knowledge-based consumer protection activity. It is actually one of the wider databases collecting foreign body injuries in the upper aero-digestive tract in pediatric patients. It is distinguished by a deep characterization of objects which caused the injuries and a multi-step quality control procedure which assures its reliability.Preventive strategies imposing a regulation of industrial production, even if fundamental, are not sufficient and need to be integrated along with other intervention addressed to make aware caregivers toward a proper surveillance of children. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Gregori D.,University of Padua | Foltran F.,University of Padua | Ballali S.,Prochild ONLUS | Berchialla P.,University of Turin | And 75 more authors.
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology | Year: 2012

Objectives: to collect relevant, up-to-date, representative, accurate, systematic information, related to foreign bodies (FB) injuries. Methods: The "Susy Safe" registry, a DG SANCO co-funded project gathering data on choking in all EU Countries and beyond, was established in order to create surveillance systems for suffocation injuries able to provide a risk-analysis profile for each of the products causing the injury. Main findings after 4 years of activities are resumed here. Results: 16,878 FB injuries occurred in children aged 0-14 years have been recorded in the SUSY SAFE databases; 8046 cases have been reported from countries outside EU. Almost one quart of the cases involving very young children (less than one year of age) presented a FB located in bronchial tract, thus representing a major threat to their health. Esophageal foreign bodies are still characterizing injuries occurred to children younger than one year, in older children the most common locations are the ears and the nose. FB type was specified in 10,564 cases. Food objects represented the 26% of the cases, whereas non-food objects were the remaining 74%. Among food objects, the most common were bones, nuts and seed, whereas for the non-food objects pearls, balls and marbles were observed most commonly (29%). Coins were involved in 15% of the non-food injuries and toys represented the 4% of the cases. Conclusions: this data collection system should be been taken into consideration for the calculation of the risk of injuries in order to provide the EU Commission with all the relevant estimates on FB injuries. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Passali F.M.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Passali F.M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Passali G.C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Gregori D.,University of Padua | And 74 more authors.
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology | Year: 2012

Rationale and aim: The aim of the present study is to acquire a better understanding of Non Food Foreign Bodies (NFFB) injuries in children with particular regard to the quantification of the risk of complications and hospitalization associated with patient characteristics, FB features, FB location and circumstances of the accident, as emerging from the SUSY Safe Web-Registry. Methods: The present study uses data provided by the SUSY Safe Project, a DG SANCO co-funded project which was aimed to collect as many scientific data as possible regarding Foreign Bodies (FB) injuries in children aged 0-14 years and to serve as a basis for a knowledge-based consumer protection activity in the Europe market. FBs were characterized by size, shape and consistency. Descriptive statistics (absolute and relative number or median, I and III quartile according to the categorical or continuous variable, respectively) were calculated for each considered non food item characteristics; FB features distribution by children class age and site of obstruction were assessed. Two different outcomes were considered: hospitalization and complication. FBs which most frequently cause complications were identified. The association between children age, adult presence, object characteristics and outcomes was computed using crude odds ratios and the related 95% confidence intervals. Results: 16,878 FB injuries in children aged 0-14 yrs have been recorded in the Susy Safe databases. FB type was specified in 10,564 cases; among them 7820 (74%) were due to a non food item. Almost two thirds of injuries occurred in patients 3 years or more old. 53% of patients were males, while 47% were females. When injury happened, the great part of children (86%) was playing. Almost 30% (2339) of injuries happened under adults' supervision. Complications occurred in 299 cases and the most documented was infections (10% of cases) followed by perforation (5%). Conclusions: The inhalation/aspiration of a FB, as well as the ingestion and the insertion in the orifices of a FB may result in significant morbidity. Particularly, long-standing or hazardous foreign bodies can cause extensive damage. Some objects, because of their composition, contour, or location, are particularly hazardous: for instance, objects with sharp edges pose a significant risk of laceration and perforation, while fragments of toys have been found only in 2 cases. Parents are frequently unconscious of hazard related with some objects and they are not adequately able to promptly recognize dangerous objects and risky situations. Moreover, also clinicians seem to pay little attention to adult role in the dynamic of the accident: in fact in case series descriptions, data regarding adult presence are often under-reported. On the contrary, since many injuries to children cannot be prevented without some degree of active behavior on the part of parents, the dissemination of information regarding safe behaviors and the implementation of educational strategies aiming to improve parent's attention toward this issue could be fundamental in preventing injuries and need to be promoted by family pediatricians and health practitioners. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

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