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Koti I.,Attikon University Hospital | Koti I.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Weller K.,Charite - Medical University of Berlin | Makris M.,Attikon University Hospital | And 8 more authors.
Dermatology | Year: 2013

Background: The impact of chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is widely held to be mainly influenced by disease activity and comorbidities. Objective: To assess the correlation between disease activity and HRQoL impairment by using validated disease-specific instruments. Methods: The Chronic Urticaria Quality of Life Questionnaire (CU-Q2oL) was translated into Greek and subsequently applied to 110 CSU patients along with the Dermatology Life Quality Index and the Urticaria Activity Score. After the validity and reliability of the Greek CU-Q2oL had been determined, we assessed the relation between disease activity and HRQoL impairment by computing correlations as well as by performing multiple regression analysis. Results: Exploratory factor analysis revealed a six-scale structure of the Greek CU-Q2oL that explained 67.9% of its total variance. The internal consistency was satisfactory with Cronbach's α >0.7. Disease activity was the only predictor of quality of life impairment, but it only moderately correlated with the CU-Q 2oL total score (r = 0.40, p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Our results suggest that there are additional factors to disease activity that are responsible for the pronounced reduction of HRQoL in CSU, and this supports the recommendation to assess and monitor both disease activity and quality of life in CSU patients. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Lakshmanan A.,Childrens Hospital Los Angeles | Chiu Y.H.M.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Coull B.A.,Harvard University | Just A.C.,Harvard University | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2015

Background: Prenatal traffic-related air pollution exposure is linked to adverse birth outcomes. However, modifying effects of maternal body mass index (BMI) and infant sex remain virtually unexplored. Objectives: We examined whether associations between prenatal air pollution and birth weight differed by sex and maternal BMI in 670 urban ethnically mixed mother-child pairs. Methods: Black carbon (BC) levels were estimated using a validated spatio-temporal land-use regression (LUR) model; fine particulate matter (PM2.5) was estimated using a hybrid LUR model incorporating satellite-derived Aerosol Optical Depth measures. Using stratified multivariable-adjusted regression analyses, we examined whether associations between prenatal air pollution and calculated birth weight for gestational age (BWGA) z-scores varied by sex and maternal pre-pregnancy BMI. Results: Median birth weight was 3.3±0.6kg; 33% of mothers were obese (BMI ≥30kg/m3). In stratified analyses, the association between higher PM2.5 and lower birth weight was significant in males of obese mothers (-0.42 unit of BWGA z-score change per IQR increase in PM2.5, 95%CI: -0.79 to -0.06) ( PM2.5×sex×obesity Pinteraction=0.02). Results were similar for BC models (Pinteraction=0.002). Conclusions: Associations of prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollution and reduced birth weight were most evident in males born to obese mothers. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Chrysikos D.T.,Hippokratio Hospital | Sergentanis T.N.,Epidemiology and Medical Statistics | Zagouri F.,Hippokratio Hospital | Psaltopoulou T.,Epidemiology and Medical Statistics | And 9 more authors.
Journal of the Pancreas | Year: 2015

Context The potential of lazaroid U-74389G in attenuating injury after ischemia and reperfusion has been reported in various organs. Objective The present study focuses specifically on the pancreas and aims to examine any effects of U-74389G in a swine model of pancreatic ischemia and reperfusion, encompassing ischemic preconditioning. Methods Twelve pigs, weighing 28–35 kg, were randomized into two experimental groups. Group A (control group, n=6): Two periods of ischemic preconditioning (5 min each) separated by a 5-min rest interval; then ischemia time 30 min and reperfusion for 120 min. Group B (n=6): the same as above, with U-74389G intravenous injection in the inferior vena cava immediately prior to the initiation of reperfusion. Blood sampling and pancreatic biopsies were conducted at 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 min after reperfusion. Results Repeated-measures ANOVA was undertaken to evaluate differences between the two study groups. No statistically significant differences were noted concerning the histopathological parameters in the control and therapy groups (P=0.563 for edema, P=0.241 for hemorrhage, P=0.256 for leukocyte infiltration, P=0.231 for acinar necrosis and P=0.438 for vacuolization). In accordance with the above, serum metabolic data (glucose, creatinine, urea, total and direct bilirubin, total calcium, amylase, lipase, SGOT/AST, SGPT/ALT, ALP, GGT, LDH, CRP, insulin) were not significantly different between the two groups; similarly, tumor necrosis factor-α values (P=0.705) and tissue malondialdehyde levels (P=0.628) did not differ between the two groups. Conclusion This swine model of pancreatic ischemia and reperfusion, encompassing preconditioning, indicates that U-74389G lazaroid does not seem to exert protective effects from pancreatic damage. © 2015, JOP. J Pancreas (Online). All rights reserved.

Christoforidou E.P.,Epidemiology and Medical Statistics | Riza E.,Epidemiology and Medical Statistics | Kales S.N.,Harvard University | Hadjistavrou K.,Epidemiology and Medical Statistics | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering | Year: 2013

Exposure to inorganic arsenic (As) through drinking water is a major international public health issue. We carried out a systematic review of the existing literature examining the association between the risk of bladder cancer in humans and exposure to arsenic through drinking water. We searched electronic databases for studies published from January 2000 up to April 2013. Eight ecological studies, six case-control studies, four cohort studies and two meta-analyses were identified. The vast majority of the studies were carried out in areas with high arsenic concentrations in drinking water such as southwestern and northeastern Taiwan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Argentina (Cordoba Province), USA (southeastern Michigan, Florida, Idaho) and Chile. Most of the studies reported higher risks of bladder cancer incidence or mortality in areas with high arsenic concentrations in drinking water compared to the general population or a low arsenic exposed control group. The quality assessment showed that among the studies identified, arsenic exposure was assessed at the individual level only in half of them and only three assessed exposure using a biomarker. Further, five out of eight ecological studies presented results with adjustment for potential confounders except for age; all cohort and case-control studies presented results with adjustment for cigarette smoking status in the analysis. The majority of the studies with varying study designs carried out in different areas provided evidence of statistically siginificant increases in bladder cancer risk at high concentrations of arsenic (>50 μg L -1). Assessing bladder cancer risk at lower exposure concentrations requires further investigation. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Misirli G.,Hellenic Health Foundation | Benetou V.,Epidemiology and Medical Statistics | Lagiou P.,Epidemiology and Medical Statistics | Lagiou P.,Harvard University | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2012

The authors aimed to evaluate the association of the traditional Mediterranean diet and major food groups with incidence of and mortality from cerebrovascular disease (CBVD) in a Mediterranean population. The study population was a cohort of 23,601 participants from the Greek segment of the EPIC Study (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) who were free of cardiovascular diseases and cancer at baseline (1994-1999). Diet was assessed by means of a validated food frequency questionnaire. A 10-point scale integrating key Mediterranean diet characteristics was used to assess the participants' degree of adherence to this diet. During a median follow-up period of 10.6 years (1994-2009), 395 confirmed incident cases and 196 deaths from CBVD were recorded. Using Cox proportional hazards regression and adjusting for potential confounders, increased adherence to the Mediterranean diet, as measured by 2-point increments in score, was inversely associated with CBVD incidence (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.85, 95% confidence interval: 0.74, 0.96) and mortality (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.73, 1.06). These inverse trends were mostly evident among women and with respect to ischemic rather than hemorrhagic CBVD and were largely driven by consumption of vegetables, legumes, and olive oil. These data provide support for an inverse association of adherence to the Mediterranean diet with CBVD incidence and mortality. © 2012 The Author.

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