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News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

The incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Sweden has decreased sharply since the late 1990s. These are the findings of a study from Sahlgrenska Academy which included almost three million adult Swedes. In relative terms, the biggest winners are persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. "This is a huge improvement and a testament to the improvements in diabetes and cardiovascular care throughout Sweden," says Aidin Rawshani, medical doctor and doctoral student in molecular and clinical medicine. The study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, shows that the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and deaths among individuals with diabetes in Sweden dropped significantly between 1998 and 2014. The population in general exhibited the same trend, albeit to a smaller extent. Among persons with type 1 diabetes, with an average age of 35 years, the incidence pf cardiovascular disease was reduced by 40 per cent during the period in question. In the control group of persons of similar age but without diabetes, the decrease was 10 per cent. Among individuals with type 2 diabetes, with an average age of 65 years, the incidence of cardiovascular disease decreased by 50 per cent. Among control persons of similar age without diabetes, the decrease was 30 per cent. "We were surprised by the results, specially for persons with diabetes. Some smaller studies in the past have indicated that numbers were improving, but nothing of this magnitude," says Aidin Rawshani. In total, approximately 2.96 million individuals were studied, of which 37,000 had type 1 diabetes and 460,000 had type 2 diabetes. The results of the study are based on linked processing of data from the National Diabetes Register, the Cause of Death Register and the part of the Patient register that concerns inpatient care. In addition to matching by age and gender, the groups that were compared were also matched geographically using register data from LISA (the longitudinal integration database for health insurance and labour market studies). The deaths that took place in the groups during the study period were almost exclusively related to cardiovascular disease. Individuals with diabetes have previously shown to suffer a risk of cardiovascular disease and early death that was between two and five times as high as in the general population. "One of the main findings of the study is that both deaths and the incidence of cardiovascular disease is decreasing in the population, both in matching control groups and among persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. One paradoxical finding is that individuals with type 2 diabetes have seen a smaller improvement over time regarding deaths compared to the controls, while persons with type 1 diabetes have made an equal improvement to the controls," notes Aidin Rawshani. The positive trends that have been observed in the study are most likely due to an increased use of preventative cardiovascular medicines, advances in the revascularisation of atherosclerotic disease and improved use of instruments for continual blood sugar monitoring, and the fact that Swedish diabetes care has generally worked well with good treatment guidelines and quality assurance efforts. "Out study and analysis does not include explanations of these trends, but we believe that it is a matter of better control of risk factors, better education patients, better integrated treatment systems for individuals with chronic illnesses and individual care for persons with diabetes. There is often an entire team working with a patient, ensuring that their needs are met," says Aidin Rawshani.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Sweden has decreased sharply since the late 1990s. These are the findings of a study from Sahlgrenska Academy which included almost three million adult Swedes. In relative terms, the biggest winners are persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. "This is a huge improvement and a testament to the improvements in diabetes and cardiovascular care throughout Sweden," says Aidin Rawshani, medical doctor and doctoral student in molecular and clinical medicine. The study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, shows that the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and deaths among individuals with diabetes in Sweden dropped significantly between 1998 and 2014. The population in general exhibited the same trend, albeit to a smaller extent. Among persons with type 1 diabetes, with an average age of 35 years, the incidence pf cardiovascular disease was reduced by 40 per cent during the period in question. In the control group of persons of similar age but without diabetes, the decrease was 10 per cent. Among individuals with type 2 diabetes, with an average age of 65 years, the incidence of cardiovascular disease decreased by 50 per cent. Among control persons of similar age without diabetes, the decrease was 30 per cent. "We were surprised by the results, specially for persons with diabetes. Some smaller studies in the past have indicated that numbers were improving, but nothing of this magnitude," says Aidin Rawshani. In total, approximately 2.96 million individuals were studied, of which 37,000 had type 1 diabetes and 460,000 had type 2 diabetes. The results of the study are based on linked processing of data from the National Diabetes Register, the Cause of Death Register and the part of the Patient register that concerns inpatient care. In addition to matching by age and gender, the groups that were compared were also matched geographically using register data from LISA (the longitudinal integration database for health insurance and labour market studies). The deaths that took place in the groups during the study period were almost exclusively related to cardiovascular disease. Individuals with diabetes have previously shown to suffer a risk of cardiovascular disease and early death that was between two and five times as high as in the general population. "One of the main findings of the study is that both deaths and the incidence of cardiovascular disease is decreasing in the population, both in matching control groups and among persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. One paradoxical finding is that individuals with type 2 diabetes have seen a smaller improvement over time regarding deaths compared to the controls, while persons with type 1 diabetes have made an equal improvement to the controls," notes Aidin Rawshani. The positive trends that have been observed in the study are most likely due to an increased use of preventative cardiovascular medicines, advances in the revascularisation of atherosclerotic disease and improved use of instruments for continual blood sugar monitoring, and the fact that Swedish diabetes care has generally worked well with good treatment guidelines and quality assurance efforts. "Out study and analysis does not include explanations of these trends, but we believe that it is a matter of better control of risk factors, better education patients, better integrated treatment systems for individuals with chronic illnesses and individual care for persons with diabetes. There is often an entire team working with a patient, ensuring that their needs are met," says Aidin Rawshani.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A stringently designed web form with questions about foot ulcers, deformities and neuropathy will soon be brought into use to better protect the feet of people with diabetes. The tool is a result of research conducted at Sahlgrenska Academy. "One of the reasons why patients in the risk zone are not detected in time is that there is no standardised procedure of foot examination which means risk assessment is subjective," says Doctor of Philosophy Ulla Hellstrand Tang, a certified prosthetist and orthotist with long experience in the care of diabetes patients with feet problems. "Foot ulcers are a common cause of amputation for people with diabetes. The National Board of Health and Welfare recommends diabetics to have their feet checked but routines are inadequate and there are large regional differences," says Ulla Hellstrand Tang. In her research, Hellstrand Tang has now developed a simple, standardised e-health tool for the risk assessment of feet. Clear descriptions and pictures guide the person through the 22 self-examination steps so there can be no uncertainty about the patient's status. The patient is asked questions about, for example, mobility, foot ulcers, numbness and degree of perspiration. Reduced foot perspiration may indicate a nerve injury. Likewise, the presence of a bunion (hallux valgus), hammer toe or other deformity is examined, and so on. All the question variables have been scientifically tested so that a certain condition is always given the same classification and treatment recommendation. In the autumn, Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg will start to use the D-Foot tool and it is hoped that other clinics will do the same. "I am very pleased that the tool is being taken into use so soon and can thereby help patients," says Ulla Hellstrand Tang. She has also investigated which aids best protect patients' feet from unnecessarily high pressure. In a two-year study, about a hundred patients tested both prefabricated and individually designed insoles. Pressure was measured regularly at seven different measuring points under the feet. The heels were subjected to the strongest pressure. "It was shown that a personally designed insole gives a closer fit around the heel cushion, provides support to a larger area, and reduces pressure significantly more than a traditional, prefabricated insole does," says Ulla Hellstrand Tang. "However, we could also see that combinations of good shoes and prefabricated insoles created good support and acceptable pressure for some people. A patient whose feet are in relatively good shape can begin by using a cheaper and simpler insole. The advantage of this is that the patient's treatment is completed after just one visit and no return appointment after two-three weeks is necessary," she says.


News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Cancer develops by stepwise changes in growth characteristics of the cells that may be caused by genetic and epigenetic changes and environmental factors. With the use of new molecular biological methods the analyses of the biological mechanisms behind cancer development have started and generated new important knowledge. Joydeep Bhadury has in this thesis presented important translational cancer research that provides a better understanding of how genetic changes are related to the initiation and development of cancer. "The results of this research can contribute to identify new targets for future effective treatments of various cancer types", says Professor Eva Forssell-Aronsson, executive member of the Assar Gabrielsson Foundation. Assar Gabrielsson was one of the founders of Volvo. In accordance with his wishes, a foundation to provide funding for clinical research into cancer diseases was created in 1962. It primarily supports research projects which are considered to be promising but which do not yet have the necessary weight to attract grants from central funds. The Assar Gabrielsson Award will be presented Thursday May 18 between 12.30 and 14.00 in the Birgit Thilander room at the Academicum at Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg. During the ceremony the award winner will present his research. The ceremony will be held in English. Journalists who would like further information, please contact: Eva Forssell-Aronsson, Professor of Radiation Physics and Executive member of the Assar Gabrielsson Foundation phone: +46-703722626 Urban Wass, Senior Vice president, Research & Innovation policy, Volvo Group and Chair of the Assar Gabrielsson Foundation phone: +46-739028661 For more stories from the Volvo Group, please visit www.volvogroup.com/press. The Volvo Group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs about 95,000 people, has production facilities in 18 countries and sells its products in more than 190 markets. In 2016 the Volvo Group's sales amounted to about SEK 302 billion (EUR 31,9 billion). The Volvo Group is a publicly-held company headquartered in Göteborg, Sweden. Volvo shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. For more information, please visit www.volvogroup.com. This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com http://news.cision.com/volvo/r/assar-gabrielsson-award-for-effective-treatment-of-cancer,c2248561 The following files are available for download: To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/volvo---assar-gabrielsson-award-for-effective-treatment-of-cancer-300447005.html


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

A team of researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy has managed to generate cartilage tissue by printing stem cells using a 3D-bioprinter. The fact that the stem cells survived being printed in this manner is a success in itself. In addition, the research team was able to influence the cells to multiply and differentiate to form chondrocytes (cartilage cells) in the printed structure. The findings have been published in Nature's Scientific Reports. The research project is being conducted in collaboration with a team of researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology who are experts in the 3D printing of biological materials. Orthopedic researchers from Kungsbacka are also involved in the research collaboration. The team used cartilage cells harvested from patients who underwent knee surgery, and these cells were then manipulated in a laboratory, causing them to rejuvenate and revert into "pluripotent" stem cells, i.e. stem cells that have the potential to develop into many different types of cells. The stem cells were then expanded and encapsulated in a composition of nanofibrillated cellulose and printed into a structure using a 3D bioprinter. Following printing, the stem cells were treated with growth factors that caused them to differentiate correctly, so that they formed cartilage tissue. Tricked into thinking that they aren't alone The publication in Scientific Reports is the result of three years of hard work. "In nature, the differentiation of stem cells into cartilage is a simple process, but it's much more complicated to accomplish in a test tube. We're the first to succeed with it, and we did so without any animal testing whatsoever," said Stina Simonsson, Associate Professor of Cell Biology, who lead the research team's efforts. Most of the team's efforts had to do with finding a procedure so that the cells survive printing, multiply and a protocol that works that causes the cells to differentiate to form cartilage. "We investigated various methods and combined different growth factors. Each individual stem cell is encased in nanocellulose, which allows it to survive the process of being printed into a 3D structure. We also harvested mediums from other cells that contain the signals that stem cells use to communicate with each other so called conditioned medium. In layman's terms, our theory is that we managed to trick the cells into thinking that they aren't alone," clarified Stina Simonsson. Therefore the cells multiplied before we differentiated them. A key insight gained from the team's study is that it is necessary to use large amounts of live stem cells to form tissue in this manner. The cartilage formed by the stem cells in the 3D bioprinted structure is extremely similar to human cartilage. Experienced surgeons who examined the artificial cartilage saw no difference when they compared the bioprinted tissue to real cartilage, and have stated that the material has properties similar to their patients' natural cartilage. Just like normal cartilage, the lab-grown material contains Type II collagen , and under the microscope the cells appear to be perfectly formed, with structures similar to those observed in samples of human-harvested cartilage. Potential for use in osteoarthritis therapies The study represents a giant step forward in the ability to generate new, endogenous cartilage tissue. In the not too distant future, it should be possible to use 3D bioprinting to generate cartilage based on a patient's own, "backed-up" stem cells. This bioprinted tissue can be used to repair cartilage damage, or to treat osteoarthritis, in which joint cartilage degenerates and breaks down. The condition is very common -- one in four Swedes over the age of 45 suffer from some degree of osteoarthritis. In theory, this research has created the opportunity to generate large amounts of cartilage, but one major issue must be resolved before the findings can be used in practice to benefit patients. "The structure of the cellulose we used might not be optimal for use in the human body. Before we begin to explore the possibility of incorporating the use of 3D bioprinted cartilage into the surgical treatment of patients, we need to find another material that can be broken down and absorbed by the body so that only the endogenous cartilage remains, the most important thing for use in a clinical setting is safety" explained Stina Simonsson.


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A team of researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy has managed to generate cartilage tissue by printing stem cells using a 3D-bioprinter. The fact that the stem cells survived being printed in this manner is a success in itself. In addition, the research team was able to influence the cells to multiply and differentiate to form chondrocytes (cartilage cells) in the printed structure. The findings have been published in Nature's Scientific Reports magazine. The research project is being conducted in collaboration with a team of researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology who are experts in the 3D printing of biological materials. Orthopedic researchers from Kungsbacka are also involved in the research collaboration. The team used cartilage cells harvested from patients who underwent knee surgery, and these cells were then manipulated in a laboratory, causing them to rejuvenate and revert into "pluripotent" stem cells, i.e. stem cells that have the potential to develop into many different types of cells. The stem cells were then expanded and encapsulated in a composition of nanofibrillated cellulose and printed into a structure using a 3D bioprinter. Following printing, the stem cells were treated with growth factors that caused them to differentiate correctly, so that they formed cartilage tissue. Tricked into thinking that they aren't alone The publication in Scientific Reports is the result of three years of hard work. "In nature, the differentiation of stem cells into cartilage is a simple process, but it's much more complicated to accomplish in a test tube. We're the first to succeed with it, and we did so without any animal testing whatsoever," says Stina Simonsson, Associate Professor of Cell Biology, who lead the research team's efforts. Most of the team's efforts had to do with finding a procedure so that the cells survive printing, multiply and a protocol that works that causes the cells to differentiate to form cartilage. "We investigated various methods and combined different growth factors. Each individual stem cell is encased in nanocellulose, which allows it to survive the process of being printed into a 3D structure. We also harvested mediums from other cells that contain the signals that stem cells use to communicate with each other so called conditioned medium. In layman's terms, our theory is that we managed to trick the cells into thinking that they aren't alone," clarifies Stina Simonsson. Therefore the cells multiplied before we differentiated them. A key insight gained from the team's study is that it is necessary to use large amounts of live stem cells to form tissue in this manner. The cartilage formed by the stem cells in the 3D bioprinted structure is extremely similar to human cartilage. Experienced surgeons who examined the artificial cartilage saw no difference when they compared the bioprinted tissue to real cartilage, and have stated that the material has properties similar to their patients' natural cartilage. Just like normal cartilage, the lab-grown material contains Type II collagen , and under the microscope the cells appear to be perfectly formed, with structures similar to those observed in samples of human-harvested cartilage. Potential for use in osteoarthritis therapies The study represents a giant step forward in the ability to generate new, endogenous cartilage tissue. In the not too distant future, it should be possible to use 3D bioprinting to generate cartilage based on a patient's own, "backed-up" stem cells. This bioprinted tissue can be used to repair cartilage damage, or to treat osteoarthritis, in which joint cartilage degenerates and breaks down. The condition is very common -- one in four Swedes over the age of 45 suffer from some degree of osteoarthritis. In theory, this research has created the opportunity to generate large amounts of cartilage, but one major issue must be resolved before the findings can be used in practice to benefit patients. "The structure of the cellulose we used might not be optimal for use in the human body. Before we begin to explore the possibility of incorporating the use of 3D bioprinted cartilage into the surgical treatment of patients, we need to find another material that can be broken down and absorbed by the body so that only the endogenous cartilage remains, the most important thing for use in a clinical setting is safety" explains Stina Simonsson.


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

A team of researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy has managed to generate cartilage tissue by printing stem cells using a 3D-bioprinter. The fact that the stem cells survived being printed in this manner is a success in itself. In addition, the research team was able to influence the cells to multiply and differentiate to form chondrocytes (cartilage cells) in the printed structure. The findings have been published in Nature’s Scientific Reports magazine. The research project is being conducted in collaboration with a team of researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology who are experts in the 3D printing of biological materials. Orthopedic researchers from Kungsbacka are also involved in the research collaboration. The team used cartilage cells harvested from patients who underwent knee surgery, and these cells were then manipulated in a laboratory, causing them to rejuvenate and revert into “pluripotent” stem cells, i.e. stem cells that have the potential to develop into many different types of cells. The stem cells were then expanded and encapsulated in a composition of nanofibrillated cellulose and printed into a structure using a 3D bioprinter. Following printing, the stem cells were treated with growth factors that caused them to differentiate correctly, so that they formed cartilage tissue. The publication is the result of three years of hard work. “In nature, the differentiation of stem cells into cartilage is a simple process, but it’s much more complicated to accomplish in a test tube. We’re the first to succeed with it, and we did so without any animal testing whatsoever," says Stina Simonsson, Associate Professor of Cell Biology, who lead the research team’s efforts. Most of the team’s efforts had to do with finding a procedure so that the cells survive printing, multiply and a protocol that works that causes the cells to differentiate to form cartilage. "We investigated various methods and combined different growth factors. Each individual stem cell is encased in nanocellulose, which allows it to survive the process of being printed into a 3D structure. We also harvested mediums from other cells that contain the signals that stem cells use to communicate with each other so called conditioned medium. In layman’s terms, our theory is that we managed to trick the cells into thinking that they aren’t alone,” clarifies Simonsson. "Therefore, the cells multiplied before we differentiated them." A key insight gained from the team’s study is that it is necessary to use large amounts of live stem cells to form tissue in this manner. The cartilage formed by the stem cells in the 3D bioprinted structure is extremely similar to human cartilage. Experienced surgeons who examined the artificial cartilage saw no difference when they compared the bioprinted tissue to real cartilage, and have stated that the material has properties similar to their patients’ natural cartilage. Just like normal cartilage, the lab-grown material contains Type II collagen , and under the microscope the cells appear to be perfectly formed, with structures similar to those observed in samples of human-harvested cartilage. The study represents a giant step forward in the ability to generate new, endogenous cartilage tissue. In the not too distant future, it should be possible to use 3D bioprinting to generate cartilage based on a patient’s own, “backed-up” stem cells. This bioprinted tissue can be used to repair cartilage damage, or to treat osteoarthritis, in which joint cartilage degenerates and breaks down. The condition is very common – one in four Swedes over the age of 45 suffer from some degree of osteoarthritis. In theory, this research has created the opportunity to generate large amounts of cartilage, but one major issue must be resolved before the findings can be used in practice to benefit patients. “The structure of the cellulose we used might not be optimal for use in the human body. Before we begin to explore the possibility of incorporating the use of 3D bioprinted cartilage into the surgical treatment of patients, we need to find another material that can be broken down and absorbed by the body so that only the endogenous cartilage remains, the most important thing for use in a clinical setting is safety” explains Simonsson.


Next time you hear "winter is coming," get ready with your vaccine and vitamin C, because that means the flu season will follow shortly. Armed with scientific data from 20,000 virus samples and weather statistics, researchers from Sweden explained the connection between outdoor temperature and influenza outbreaks. The study compared the respiratory incidence from the medical record of patients in the Gothenburg area for three years against the weather reports from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. The researchers discovered that influenza outbreaks consistently begin a week after the first cold spell of winter, when outdoor temperature and humidity are low. "We believe that this sudden drop in temperature contributes to 'kick-start' the epidemic. Once the epidemic has started, it continues even if temperatures rise. Once people are sick and contagious, many more may become infected," said Nicklas Sundell, a researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy and infectious diseases specialist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Published in the Journal of Clinical Virology, the results of this study back up the long-standing theory that viruses attached to aerosol particles spread more rapidly during cold and dry season. In dry air, viruses absorb moisture and remain airborne. The weather condition clues can also be used to predict and prevent other known viruses aside from the seasonal flu, such as RS-virus and coronavirus. With this new information, health officials can launch flu vaccine campaigns in advance and prepare emergency wards and hospital staff for a sudden influx of patients affected with the virus. One can experience influenza at different severities. It is usually mild, but can also progress into a serious disease that may lead to death. The most common telltale signs of flu include a fever (although not all who have a flu will have a fever), cough, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, muscle pain, and excessive fatigue. In some cases, especially in children, vomiting and diarrhea are also possible. Typically, recovery from influenza usually takes only a few days to a couple of weeks. However, if the person's flu has led to complications like pneumonia or bronchitis, advanced medical attention is required. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted a slow but steady rise in reported flu cases for the months of November and early December. Aside from getting your regular flu shots, strengthen your immune system so you don't make an easy target for the flu virus is also a logical strategy. Vitamin C and zinc are some supplements that may help boost your body's flu-fighting ability. "Eat a healthy diet, take regular exercise, and drink plenty of warm drinks in the winter months," Dr. Hasmukh Joshi, vice chair of the Royal College of GPs, recommended. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Malmgren K.,Sahlgrenska Academy | Thom M.,University College London
Epilepsia | Year: 2012

Summary The association between hippocampal sclerosis (HS) and epilepsy has been known for almost two centuries. For many years, HS was studied in postmortem series; however, since the mid-20th century, surgical specimens from temporal lobe resections have provided important new knowledge. HS is the most common pathology underlying drug-resistant mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), a syndrome with a characteristic history and seizure semiology. In the early 1990s, it was recognized that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could detect HS. The standard MRI protocol for temporal lobe abnormalities uses coronal slices perpendicular to the long axis of the hippocampus. The MRI features of HS include reduced hippocampal volume, increased signal intensity on T 2-weighted imaging, and disturbed internal architecture. The histopathologic diagnosis of HS is usually straightforward, with neuronal loss and chronic fibrillary gliosis centered on the pyramidal cell layer. There are several patterns or subtypes of HS recognized from surgical series based on qualitative or quantified assessments of regional neuronal loss. The pathologic changes of HS include granule cell dispersion, mossy fiber sprouting, and alterations to interneurons. There may also be more extensive sclerosis of adjacent structures in the medial temporal lobe, including the amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus. Subtle cortical neuropathologies may accompany HS. The revised classification of dysplasias in epilepsy denotes these as focal cortical dysplasias type IIIa. Sometimes, HS occurs with a second lesion, either in the temporal lobe or extratemporal, most often ipsilateral to the HS. HS on preoperative MRI strongly predicts good seizure outcome following temporal lobe resection (TLR). If adequate MRI shows no structural correlate in patients with MTLE, functional imaging studies are valuable, especially if they are in agreement with ictal electroencephalography (EEG) findings. Focal hypometabolism on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) ipsilateral to the symptomatic temporal lobe predicts a good surgical outcome; the added value of 11C-Flumazenil-PET (FMZ-PET) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is less clear. Surgical methods have evolved, particularly resecting less tissue, aiming to preserve function without compromising seizure outcome. Around two thirds of patients operated for MTLE with HS obtain seizure freedom. However, the best surgical approach to optimize seizure outcome remains controversial. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2012 International League Against Epilepsy.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

After decades of increasing childhood obesity, things are now going in the opposite direction. A study from Sahlgrenska Academy shows that among 8-year-old boys in Sweden, the percentage of boys suffering from overweight or obesity has decreased to their lowest levels since the early 1990s. "A levelling off of the childhood obesity epidemic has been shown before, but we are able to demonstrate clear reduction in mean BMI and also the frequency of childhood overweight and obesity," says Maria Bygdell, researcher and PhD student at the department of internal medicine and clinical nutrition. The research is based on data from the population-based study, BMI Epidemiology Study (BEST) in Gothenburg, with detailed information from the school health care regarding the height and weight of children born from 1946 and onwards. This time, researchers chose to study boys. The idea it to conduct a corresponding study on girls. In all, thirteen age groups were included, born at five year intervals during the period 1946-2006. Each age group studied consisted of 425 boys. When the researchers noted the trend reversal, they wanted to look into the most recent period in greater detail and therefore expanded the number of individuals in several of the younger age groups to approximately 6,500 boys per group of children "We noticed an indication of a decrease, but wanted to confirm that it really was a decline," says Maria Bygdell. The results were clear - there is a reduction in mean BMI, overweight and obesity. After an all-time-high in boys born in 1991, where 22.6 percent were overweight or obese at the age of 8, the numbers of overweight and obese have fallen successively. In the group of boys born in 2006, 19.4 percent were overweight or obese in the year of their 8th birthday. "There is a trend reversal and that is positive. However, I don't think we can sound the all-clear in any way. The levels are still very high, equivalent to those seen before the highest level," says Maria Bygdell. If we only look at the percentage with obesity, levels decreased from 9.3 percent in the group of 8-year-old boys born in 1991, to 7.6 percent among 8-year-old boys born in 2006. "Based on the data we have, I can't explain what caused the decrease. Increased awareness of the risks of overweight and obesity in children might have contributed, but this is sheer speculation. And we still have to continue working on reducing the percentage of children suffering from overweight and obesity," says Maria Bygdell. The study is published in International Journal of Obesity.

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