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Chou S.-L.,Fooyin University | Chou M.-Y.,Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology | Chou M.-Y.,National Yang Ming University | Wang Y.-H.,Kaohsiung Medical University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the Chinese Medical Association | Year: 2016

Background: Several changes in physiological characteristics occur during long-distance and 24-hour ultramarathons, including hyponatremia, skeletal muscle breakdown, plasma volume changes, iron depletion, anemia, and possible hepatic damage. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of hepatitis B virus (HBV) carrier status on liver function during multi-day races. Methods: This prospective study recruited 10 Taiwanese runners who were scheduled to participate in the 7-day 2008 Athens Ultramarathon Festival Race, and three of them were chronic carriers of HBV. Blood samples were collected before, during, and 3 days after the race, including alkaline phosphatase (ALP), albumin (ALB), total protein (TP) levels, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and total bilirubin (T-BIL). Results: Ten Taiwanese runners (40% female average age 52.3 ± 7.9 years) who all planned to run in the race were recruited. Three runners were chronic carriers of HBV (HBV carrier), and all participants were anti-HCV antibody-negative and anti-hepatitis A virus (HAV) IgG-positive. There were no significant time-by-group effects on ALP, ALB, and TP levels, but the change over time effects were significant (p < 0.001, p = 0.001 and p = 0.010, respectively). ALT, AST, and T-BIL increased significantly to markedly higher levels in the HBV carrier group compared to the non-carrier group (group effect p = 0.009, p = 0.004, and p = 0.05, respectively), and the time-by-group interaction was also significant for these liver function markers (p 0.001, p 0.001, and p = 0.001, respectively). Conclusion: Compared to their counterparts, runners who are HBV carriers had significantly greater increases in levels of ALT, AST, and T-BIL during a 7-day ultramarathon, indicating that the liver function of carriers is more highly impacted in these races. © 2016. Source

Kuo R.-J.,National Taiwan University of Science and Technology | Wu Y.-H.,National Taiwan University of Science and Technology | Hsu T.-S.,National Taiwan University of Science and Technology | Chen L.-K.,Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology | Chen L.-K.,National Yang Ming University
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics | Year: 2011

The rapid pace of population aging poses significant importance of establishing an age-friendly health care system, including outpatient, inpatient, intermediate, and long-term care. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the quality of outpatient services for elderly patients in Taiwan. Quality function deployment (QFD) is a tool effectively shortening the research-and-development period, reducing costs, and fulfilling customer needs (CNs). This study applied Kano's model and the analytic network process (ANP) to improve the basic framework of QFD. Kano's model enables a thorough understanding of elderly patients' needs and problems with regard to medical care services, so that appropriate outpatient services can be offered to them from the outset. In addition, adapting the supermatrix of ANP to the calculation of the house of quality (HoQ) will reduce subjective judgments. Using Kano's model and an integrated ANP-QFD approach, we extracted five needs of elderly patients and calculated their priorities: 'Professional medical care services convincing patients' (27%), 'With sufficient knowledge to answer patients' questions' (23.5%), 'Providing fast services to solve patients' problems' (19.3%), 'Voluntarily serving patients' (19.1%), and 'Providing proper medical equipment to patients' (11.1%). We then identified six outpatient service attributes deserving of improvement and their priorities: 'Physician with a high level of professionalism and giving clear interpretation of patient's condition' (25%), 'Staff with good communication skills and assistance to patients' (22%), 'High standardization of operating procedures' (18%), 'Staff getting on-the-job training periodically' (15%), 'Facilities sufficient and fitting for elderly patients' (10%), and 'Applying IT (internet) to help patients to receive medical care' (10%). In conclusion, we reconstructed an integrated QFD model which will not only reduce costs but also reveal the crucial outpatient service items that will improve the quality of medical care for elderly people. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Chen L.-K.,National Yang Ming University | Chen L.-K.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Chen Y.-M.,National Yang Ming University | Chen Y.-M.,Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology | And 9 more authors.
Annals of Medicine | Year: 2010

Background. Evidence supporting community hospital (CH)-based post-acute care (PAC) on long-term mortality is lacking. Methods. A 4-week comprehensive geriatric assessment-based interdisciplinary care was introduced to reable post-acute older patients who volunteered to participate in this study without randomization. The effectiveness of CH-based PAC in functional gain and 12-month mortality were evaluated. Results. Of 688 acute hospital admissions, 330 patients fulfilled the enrolment criteria; there were 96 (mean age 85.7 ± 5.1 years) in the intervention group and 234 (mean age 85.4 ± 5.3 years) in the reference group. Patients with experience of geriatric services (26.0% versus 16.2%; P 0.04) and longer length-of-stay (18.0 ± 6.0 versus 15.2 ± 11.8 days; P 0.028) were more likely to participate in the study. The pre-acute hospital discharge Barthel Index was significantly lower in the intervention group (46.3 ± 29.0 versus 85.1 ± 24.7; P < 0.001). The 4-week PAC programme significantly improved physical function, cognitive status, depressive moods, and pain. At the 12-month follow-up, 71 (21.5%) patients had died, and 3 (0.9%) were lost to follow-up. Adjusted for pre-acute hospital discharge Barthel Index and acute hospital length-of-stay, the intervention group was less likely to die (HR 0.38; 95% CI 0.190.76; P 0.006). Conclusion. A 4-week CH-based interdisciplinary PAC programme significantly promoted functional recovery and reduced 12-month mortality by 62% for older post-acute patients. © 2010 Informa UK, Ltd. Source

Tsai K.-W.,Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital | Hu L.-Y.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Chen T.-W.,Chang Gung University | Li S.-C.,Chang Gung University | And 5 more authors.
Oncology Reports | Year: 2015

Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a small 21-amino acid peptide that is known to exert diverse biological effects on a wide variety of tissues and cell types through its own receptors. The ET-1-ETRA axis is frequently dysfunctional in numerous types of carcinomas, and contributes to the promotion of cell growth and migration. microRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that play a critical role in carcinogenesis through mRNA degradation or the translational inhibition of cancer-associated protein-coding genes. However, the role of ET-1 and the relationship between ET-1 and miRNAs in gastric cancer remain unknown. Results of the analysis of the database of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) revealed that ET-1 is significantly overexpressed in gastric cancer cells when compared with its expression in adjacent normal cells. Exogenous ET-1 significantly enhanced gastric cancer cell proliferation, implying that ET-1 plays an oncogenic role in gastric cancer carcinogenesis. Using a luciferase reporter assay we showed that 18 miRNA candidates had a significant silencing effect on ET-1 expression by up to 20% in HEK293T cells. Among them, 5 miRNAs (miR-1, miR-101, miR-125A, miR-144 and let-7c) were shown to be involved in ET-1 silencing through post-transcriptional modulation in gastric cancer. Our data also revealed that DNA hypermethylation contributes to the silenced miR-1 expression in gastric cancer cells. The ectopic expression of miR-1 significantly inhibited AGS cell proliferation by suppressing ET-1 expression. Overall, our study revealed that ET-1 overexpression may be due to DNA hypermethylation resulting in the silencing of miR-1 expression in gastric cancer cells. In addition, we identified several miRNAs as potential modulators for ET-1 in gastric cancer, which may be used as targets for gastric cancer therapy. Source

Chen L.-K.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Liu L.-K.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | Woo J.,Chinese University of Hong Kong | Assantachai P.,Mahidol University | And 22 more authors.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association | Year: 2014

Sarcopenia, a newly recognized geriatric syndrome, is characterized by age-related decline of skeletal muscle plus low muscle strength and/or physical performance. Previous studies have confirmed the association of sarcopenia and adverse health outcomes, such as falls, disability, hospital admission, long term care placement, poorer quality of life, and mortality, which denotes the importance of sarcopenia in the health care for older people. Despite the clinical significance of sarcopenia, the operational definition of sarcopenia and standardized intervention programs are still lacking. It is generally agreed by the different working groups for sarcopenia in the world that sarcopenia should be defined through a combined approach of muscle mass and muscle quality, however, selecting appropriate diagnostic cutoff values for all the measurements in Asian populations is challenging. Asia is a rapidly aging region with a huge population, so the impact of sarcopenia to this region is estimated to be huge as well. Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia (AWGS) aimed to promote sarcopenia research in Asia, and we collected the best available evidences of sarcopenia researches from Asian countries to establish the consensus for sarcopenia diagnosis. AWGS has agreed with the previous reports that sarcopenia should be described as low muscle mass plus low muscle strength and/or low physical performance, and we also recommend outcome indicators for further researches, as well as the conditions that sarcopenia should be assessed. In addition to sarcopenia screening for community-dwelling older people, AWGS recommends sarcopenia assessment in certain clinical conditions and healthcare settings to facilitate implementing sarcopenia in clinical practice. Moreover, we also recommend cutoff values for muscle mass measurements (7.0 kg/m2 for men and 5.4 kg/m2 for women by using dual X-ray absorptiometry, and 7.0 kg/m2 for men and 5.7 kg/m2 for women by using bioimpedance analysis), handgrip strength (<26 kg for men and <18 kg for women), and usual gait speed (<0.8 m/s). However, a number of challenges remained to be solved in the future. Asia is made up of a great number of ethnicities. The majority of currently available studies have been published from eastern Asia, therefore, more studies of sarcopenia in south, southeastern, and western Asia should be promoted. On the other hand, most Asian studies have been conducted in a cross-sectional design and few longitudinal studies have not necessarily collected the commonly used outcome indicators as other reports from Western countries. Nevertheless, the AWGS consensus report is believed to promote more Asian sarcopenia research, and most important of all, to focus on sarcopenia intervention studies and the implementation of sarcopenia in clinical practice to improve health care outcomes of older people in the communities and the healthcare settings in Asia. © 2014 American Medical Directors Association, Inc. Source

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