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Goncalves L.,New University of Lisbon | Goncalves L.,University of Lisbon | Santos Z.,New University of Lisbon | Santos Z.,Centro Hospitalar Lisbon Ocidental EPE | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: The lack of high-quality data to support evidence-based policies continues to be a concern in African cities, which present marked social, economic and cultural disparities that may differently impact the health of the groups living in different urban contexts. This study explores three urban units-formal, transition and informal-of the capital of Cape Verde, in terms of overweight/obesity, cardiometabolic risk, physical activity and other aspects related to the urban environment. Methods: Quantitative and qualitative research methods were used in this intra-urban study. A proportional stratified random sample (n = 1912 adults), based on geographical coordinates of private households, was selected to apply the UPHI-STAT questionnaire. In a second stage (n = 599), local nutritionists collected anthropometric measurements (e.g., height, waist circumference) and body composition by bioelectric impedance (e.g., body weight, body fat, muscle mass). In a third stage, pedometers were used to count study participants' steps on working and non-working days for one week (n = 118). After a preliminary statistical analysis, a qualitative study was developed to complement the quantitative approach. Generalized linear models, among others, were used in the multivariate analysis. Results: Insecurity was the main concern among survey respondents in the three units, notwithstanding with significant differences (p < 0.001) among units. About three-quarters (76.6%) of the participants of the informal unit emphasised the need for more security. The formal unit presents an older age structure (61.3% above 40 years old) and the transition unit a younger age structure (only 30.5% above 40 years old). Some health-related variables were analysed in each unit, revealing an excess of chronic conditions reported by inhabitants of informal unit, compared with the formal unit despite the informal unit's younger age profile. The self-reported hypertension varied significantly among urban units (p < 0.001), with 19.3%in the formal unit, 11.4%in the transition unit and 22.5%in the informal unit. Women of the urban units present significant differences (5% level) for body mass index calculated from self-reported measures (p < 0.001), fat mass (p = 0.005), waist circumference (p = 0.046) and waist-to-height ratio (p = 0.017). For women, overall physical activity was 67.4% (95%CI [64.8,70.0]), with differences among urban units (p = 0.025). For men it was of 85.2% (95%CI [82.3,87.6]), without significant differences among urban units (p = 0.266). The percentage of women and men who reported physical activity in leisure time was discrepant, with 95%CI [22.6, 27.4] and [53.2, 60.2], respectively. The results of pedometers also indicated that men walk significantly more than women (p < 0.001), with a difference of approximately 2000 steps/day. Conclusions: The data collection process itself also gave us some clues on the involvement of local communities, exploring the potential of social capital of these settings and the role of the woman in family and society in Cape Verde. The higher participation of women and residents of informal unit (the most disadvantaged groups) suggests these as the priority target groups for health promotion campaigns. The link between health planning, urban planning and security of the city needs to be reinforced to minimize health, social and gender inequalities. © 2015 Gonçalves et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Rodrigues A.M.,University of Lisbon | Caetano-Lopes J.,University of Lisbon | Vale A.C.,University of Lisbon | Vidal B.,University of Lisbon | And 10 more authors.
Bone | Year: 2012

Introduction: Osteocalcin (OC) is the most abundant non-collagenous bone protein and is determinant for bone mineralization. We aimed to compare OC bone expression and serum factors related to its carboxylation in hip fragility fracture and osteoarthritis patients. We also aimed to identify which of these factors were associated with worse mechanical behavior and with the hip fracture event. Methods: In this case-control study, fragility fracture patients submitted to hip replacement surgery were evaluated and compared to a group of osteoarthritis patients submitted to the same procedure. Fasting blood samples were collected to assess apolipoproteinE (apoE) levels, total OC and undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC), vitamin K, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and bone turnover markers. The frequency of the apoε4 isoform was determined. Femoral epiphyses were collected and trabecular bone cylinders drilled in order to perform compression mechanical tests. Gene expression of bone matrix components was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR analysis. Results: 64 patients, 25 submitted to hip replacement surgery due to fragility fracture and 39 due to osteoarthritis, were evaluated. Bone OC/collagen expression (OC/COL1A1) ratio was significantly lower in hip fracture compared to osteoarthritis patients (p<0.017) adjusted for age, gender and body mass index. Moreover, OC/COL1A1 expression ratio was associated with the hip fracture event (OR ~0; p=0.003) independently of the group assigned, or the clinical characteristics. Apoε4 isoform was more frequent in the hip fracture group (p=0.029). ucOC levels were higher in the fracture group although not significantly (p=0.058). No differences were found regarding total OC (p=0.602), apoE (p=0.467) and Vitamin K (p=0.371). In hip fracture patients, multivariate analysis, adjusted for clinical characteristics, serum factors related to OC metabolism and gene expression of bone matrix proteins showed that low OC/COL1A1 expression ratio was significantly associated with worse trabecular strength (β=0.607; p=0.013) and stiffness (β=0.693; p=0.003). No association was found between ucOC and bone mechanics. Moreover, in osteoarthritis patients, the multivariate analysis revealed that serum total OC was negatively associated with strength (β=-0.411; p=0.030) and stiffness (β=-0.487; p=0.009). Conclusion: We demonstrated that low bone OC/COL1A1 expression ratio was an independent predictor of worse trabecular mechanical behavior and of the hip fracture event. These findings suggest that in hip fracture patients the imbalance of bone OC/COL1A1 expression ratio reflects disturbances in osteoblast activity leading to bone fragility. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Camacho A.,Centro Hospitalar Lisbon Central | Camacho A.,New University of Lisbon | Camacho A.,University of Algarve | Simao M.,University of Algarve | And 9 more authors.
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage | Year: 2016

Objective: Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a disease caused by mutations in the Hfe gene characterised by systemic iron overload and associated with an increased prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) but the role of iron overload in the development of OA is still undefined. To further understand the molecular mechanisms involved we have used a murine model of HH and studied the progression of experimental OA under mechanical stress. Design: OA was surgically induced in the knee joints of 10-week-old C57BL6 (wild-type) mice and Hfe-KO mice. OA progression was assessed using histology, micro CT, gene expression and immunohistochemistry at 8 weeks after surgery. Results: Hfe-KO mice showed a systemic iron overload and an increased iron accumulation in the knee synovial membrane following surgery. The histological OA score was significantly higher in the Hfe-KO mice at 8 weeks after surgery. Micro CT study of the proximal tibia revealed increased subchondral bone volume and increased trabecular thickness. Gene expression and immunohistochemical analysis showed a significant increase in the expression of matrix metallopeptidase 3 (MMP-3) in the joints of Hfe-KO mice compared with control mice at 8 weeks after surgery. Conclusions: HH was associated with an accelerated development of OA in mice. Our findings suggest that synovial iron overload has a definite role in the progression of HH-related OA. © 2015 Osteoarthritis Research Society International.

Hatami J.,University of Lisbon | Andrade P.Z.,University of Lisbon | Alves de Matos A.P.,University of Lisbon | Djokovic D.,Centro Hospitalar Lisbon Ocidental EPE | And 4 more authors.
Cytotherapy | Year: 2015

Background aims: Platelet transfusion can be a life-saving procedure in different medical settings. Thus, there is an increasing demand for platelets, of which shelf-life is only 5 days. The efficient exvivo biomanufacturing of platelets would allow overcoming the shortages of donated platelets. Methods: We exploited a two-stage culture protocol aiming to study the effect of different parameters on the megakaryo/thrombopoiesis exvivo. In the expansion stage, human umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived CD34+-enriched cells were expanded in co-culture with human bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs). The megakaryocytic commitment and platelet generation were studied, considering the impact of exogenous addition of thrombopoietin (TPO) in the expansion stage and a cytokine cocktail (Cyt) including TPO and interleukin-3 in the differentiation stage, with the use of different culture medium formulations, and in the presence/absence of BM-MSCs (direct versus non-direct cell-cell contact). Results: Our results suggest that an early megakaryocytic commitment, driven by TPO addition during the expansion stage, further enhanced megakaryopoiesis. Importantly, the results suggest that co-culture with BM-MSCs under serum-free conditions combined with Cyt addition, in the differentiation stage, significantly improved the efficiency yield of megakaryo/thrombopoiesis as well as increasing %CD41, %CD42b and polyploid content; in particular, direct contact of expanded cells with BM-MSCs, in the differentiation stage, enhanced the efficiency yield of megakaryo/thrombopoiesis, despite inhibiting their maturation. Conclusions: The present study established an invitro model for the hematopoietic niche that combines different biological factors, namely, the presence of stromal/accessory cells and biochemical cues, which mimics the BM niche and enhances an efficient megakaryo/thrombopoiesis process exvivo. © 2015 International Society for Cellular Therapy.

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