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Open access

Navid Tabriz, Kilian Gloy, Astrid Schantzen, Dennis Fried, Dirk Weyhe, and Verena Uslar

Objectives

Validation of a German version of the ThyPRO-39 questionnaire for quality of life (QoL) in patients with benign thyroid diseases.

Design

Internal consistency, retest reliability, and validity were to be assessed in a test-retest study.

Methods

The ThyPRO-39 was translated based on standard methodology. A sample of 98 patients with benign thyroid diseases was tested with the ThyPRO-39de and the generic EuroQol 5D-5L. Forty-four patients with stable symptoms after 2 weeks formed the repeated measures sample. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated for the ThyPRO-39de composite score and for each disease-specific scale. Intraclass correlations between the original and the repeated measures sample were calculated for each scale as well as Pearson correlations between various ThyPRO scales and the EuroQol. T-tests were used to test for differences in the goiter and hyperthyroid symptom scales between relevant patient groups and other patients.

Results

Internal consistency was between satisfactory and good, except for two scales (tiredness and cosmetic complaints/appearance). The test-retest correlation was between 0.62 and 0.8 for most scales, but below 0.5 for two scales (tiredness and impaired social life). There were significant correlations between the EuroQol index score and most aspects of the ThyPRO-39de. Only the hyperthyroid symptoms scale was specific for the relevant patient group (Graves’ disease).

Conclusion

The ThyPRO-39de may be recommended for use in clinical and research settings, especially with regards to the composite score. However, the underlying thyroid disease should always be kept in mind when interpreting the test results. A larger sample would be needed to implement further improvements.

Open access

Sandra Pereira, Jessy Moore, Jia-Xu Li, Wen Qin Yu, Husam Ghanim, Filip Vlavcheski, Yemisi Deborah Joseph, Paresh Dandona, Allen Volchuk, Carolyn L Cummins, Evangelia Tsiani, and Adria Giacca

Plasma free fatty acids (FFAs) are elevated in obesity and can induce insulin resistance via endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. However, it is unknown whether hepatic insulin resistance caused by the elevation of plasma FFAs is alleviated by chemical chaperones. Rats received one of the following i.v. treatments for 48 h: saline, intralipid plus heparin (IH), IH plus the chemical chaperone 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA), or PBA alone and a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp was performed during the last 2 h. PBA co-infusion normalized IH-induced peripheral insulin resistance, similar to our previous findings with an antioxidant and an IκBα kinase β (IKKβ) inhibitor. Different from our previous results with the antioxidant and IKKβ inhibitor, PBA also improved IH-induced hepatic insulin resistance in parallel with activation of Akt. Unexpectedly, IH did not induce markers of ER stress in the liver, but PBA prevented IH-induced elevation of phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor-2α protein in adipose tissue. PBA tended to decrease circulating fetuin-A and significantly increased circulating fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) without affecting markers of activation of hepatic protein kinase C-δ or p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase that we have previously involved in hepatic insulin resistance in this model. In conclusion: (i) PBA prevented hepatic insulin resistance caused by prolonged plasma FFA elevation without affecting hepatic ER stress markers; (ii) the PBA effect is likely due to increased FGF21 and/or decreased fetuin-A, which directly signal to upregulate Akt activation.

Open access

Jing Hong, Wen-Yue Liu, Xiang Hu, Fei-Fei Jiang, Ze-Ru Xu, Fang Li, Fei-Xia Shen, and Hong Zhu

Background

A prolonged heart rate-corrected QT interval (QTc) has been associated with peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the general population. However, no study to date has identified a link between prolonged QTc and the severity of PAD in patients with diabetes mellitus and foot ulcers (DFUs). This study aimed to investigate this relationship.

Methods

This multicenter study enrolled 281 patients with DFUs. The severity of PAD was classified into no severe PAD group (without stenosis or occlusion) and severe PAD group (with stenosis or occlusion) based on duplex ultrasonography. The association of prolonged QTc with severe PAD was evaluated in a multivariable mixed-effect logistic regression model, with the hospital as a random effect. Directed acyclic graphs were used to drive the selection of variables to fit the regression model.

Results

Patients with severe PAD had longer QTc than those without. Based on the multivariable mixed-effect logistic regression model, a prolonged QTc was positively associated with severe PAD (odds ratio (OR) = 2.61; 95% CI: 1.07–6.35) and severe DFUs (Wagner grade score ≥ 3) (OR = 2.87; 95% CI: 1.42–5.81).

Conclusions

A prolonged QTc was associated with severe PAD in patients with DFUs. Further research is required to ascertain whether the association is causal.

Open access

Reshma Aziz Merchant, Michael Wong Wai Kit, Jia Yi Lim, and John E Morley

Objective

To investigate the association of normal BMI with central obesity (CO), high BMI with CO, high BMI without CO, and normal BMI without CO, with function and cognition in older adults.

Methods

Cross-sectional study involving 754 participants ≥ 65 years. Data collected include demographics, cognition, and physical measurements.

Results

Females had a higher prevalence of high BMI with CO and a lower prevalence of high BMI without CO than males (61.0% vs 44.6% and 4.6% vs 15.0%, respectively). Within gender, CO groups, regardless of BMI, had lower mini-mental state examination (MMSE), handgrip strength (HGS), and longer timed-up-and-go (TUG) scores. Overall, the high BMI without CO group had the highest MMSE scores, HGS, and shortest TUG. Amongst males, HGS was significantly lower in the normal BMI with CO group (B −3.28, 95% CI −6.32 to −0.23, P = 0.04). CO, regardless of normal/high BMI, had significantly longer TUG time (B 2.65, 95% CI 0.45 to 4.84, P = 0.02; B 1.07, 95% CI 0.25 to 1.88, P = 0.01, respectively) than normal BMI without CO group. CO was associated with lower MMSE scores in both genders but significant only in males with normal BMI and CO (B −1.60, 95% CI −3.15 to −0.06, P = 0.04).

Conclusion

CO may be a better predictor of obesity and adverse outcomes in older adults. High BMI without CO was associated with better outcomes especially in males but require further validation. Prospective longitudinal studies are needed to ascertain the impact of BMI and/or CO on function, cognition, mortality, and gender differences.

Open access

Chenjia Tang, Yanting Dong, Lusi Lu, and Nan Zhang

Objective

This study was designed to explore the relationships between the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with subacute thyroiditis (SAT).

Design

This is a single-center retrospective study.

Patients

Eighty-nine patients with SAT who were hospitalized in the Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in Zhejiang, China, from October 2014 to September 2020 were included.

Methods

The Mann–Whitney U-test, chi-square test, and Cox regression analysis were conducted to identify the relationships between clinical characteristics and outcomes. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to determine the optimal cutoff levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

Results

The hypothyroidism and recurrence rates were 15.7 and 16.9%, respectively. CRP (≥72.0 mg/L), TSH (<0.02 mIU/L), and free triiodothyronine (fT3) (≥4.10 pg/mL) were associated with hypothyroidism. The cutoff level was 97.80 mg/L for CRP (area under the curve (AUC), 0.717, P = 0.014; sensitivity, 57.1%; specificity, 84.0%) and 0.10 mIU/L for TSH (AUC, 0.752, P = 0.004; sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 46.0%) by ROC curve analysis for hypothyroidism. The factors under study were not associated with recurrence.

Conclusion

CRP and TSH were risk factors for hypothyroidism in SAT. Thyroid functions should be monitored closely for the early detection of hypothyroidism, especially in patients with CRP levels of more than 97.80 mg/L and TSH levels of less than 0.10 mIU/L.

Open access

Valeria Hirschler, Claudia Molinari, Silvia Lapertosa, Gustavo Maccallini, and Claudio D Gonzalez

Background

The association between central obesity and cardiometabolic complications justifies exploring its association in normal-weight and overweight/obese (OW/OB) schoolchildren.

Objective

To describe cardiometabolic markers in four groups according to BMI/WC categories: (i) normal weight with central OB; (ii) normal weight without central OB; (iii) OW/OB with central OB and (iv) OW/OB without central OB, in a sample of Argentinean schoolchildren.

Methods

A cross-sectional study of 1264 Argentinean schoolchildren (624 F), aged 9.5 ± 2.2 years was performed between November 2013 and 2015. Children’s anthropometric measures, blood pressure (BP), glucose, lipids, and insulin were measured. Children were divided into four groups: (i) normal weight with central OB; (ii) normal weight without central OB; (iii) OW/OB with central OB and (iv) OW/OB without central OB.

Results

The prevalence of normal-weight children without central OB was 64.3% (796), normal weight with central OB 5% (66), OW/OB without central OB 11% (137), and OW/OB with central OB 21% (265). Normal weight with central OB had significantly higher triglycerides than normal-weight children without central OB (86 vs 70 mg/dL, respectively) and OW/OB children without central OB (81 vs 77 mg/dL). Multiple linear regression analyses showed that age, systolic BP, HDL-C, triglycerides, and maternal WC were significantly associated with children’s WC; R2 = 0.50 as well as children’s BMI; R2 = 0.37.

Conclusion

This study found that children with central OB might be at future higher cardiometabolic risk than those without central OB independently of the presence of OW/OB. However, future longitudinal studies should be performed to confirm these findings.

Open access

Jingci Chen, Yan Wu, Pengyan Wang, Huanwen Wu, Anli Tong, and Xiaoyan Chang

Introduction

Composite pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma (CP) is a rare neoplasm with most cases presented as single reports. Little is known about its pathogenesis and relationship with ordinary pheochromocytoma (PCC) or paraganglioma (PGL). Our study is aimed at analyzing the status of SDH and ATRX and identifying novel genetic changes in CP.

Methods

Eighteen CP cases were collected. SDH and ATRX status was screened by immunohistochemistry. Targeted region sequencing (TRS) was successfully performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues in two cases within 3 years. Based on the TRS result, Sanger sequencing of BRAF and HRAS was performed in fifteen cases (including the two cases with TRS performed), with three cases excluded due to the limited amount of tissue.

Results

Histopathologically, all the cases were composite PCC/PGL-ganglioneuroma (GN). The GN components were either closely admixed or juxtaposed with the PCC/PGL components, with a highly variable percentage (10–80%). All cases stained positive for SDHB and ATRX. HRAS and BRAF mutations were identified during TRS. In the subsequent Sanger sequencing, 20.0% (3/15) harbored BRAF mutations (K601E and K601N) and 46.7% (7/15) harbored HRAS mutations (Q61R, Q61L, G13R). The mutation rates were both significantly higher than reported in ordinary PCC/PGL.

Conclusions

We demonstrated that composite PCC/PGL-GN might be a unique entity with frequent HRAS and BRAF mutations rather than genetic changes of SDH and ATRX. Our findings revealed the possible pathogenesis of composite PCC/PGL-GN and provided clues for potential treatment targets.

Open access

Unni Syversen, Mats Peder Mosti, Ida Maria Mynarek, Trude Seselie Jahr Vedal, Kristin Aasarød, Trude Basso, Janne E Reseland, Per Medbøe Thorsby, Bjorn O Asvold, Erik Fink Eriksen, and Astrid Kamilla Stunes

Objective

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is associated with substantial fracture risk. Bone mineral density (BMD) is, however, only modestly reduced, suggesting impaired bone microarchitecture and/or bone material properties. Yet, the skeletal abnormalities have not been uncovered. Men with T1D seem to experience a more pronounced bone loss than their female counterparts. Hence, we aimed to examine different aspects of bone quality in men with T1D.

Design and Methods

In this cross-sectional study, men with T1D and healthy male controls were enrolled. BMD (femoral neck, total hip, lumbar spine, whole body) and spine trabecular bone score (TBS) were measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry, and bone material strength index (BMSi) was measured by in vivo impact microindentation. HbA1c and bone turnover markers were analyzed.

Results

Altogether, 33 men with T1D (43 ± 12 years) and 28 healthy male controls (42 ± 12 years) were included. Subjects with T1D exhibited lower whole-body BMD than controls (P = 0.04). TBS and BMSi were attenuated in men with T1D vs controls (P = 0.016 and P = 0.004, respectively), and T1D subjects also had a lower bone turnover. The bone parameters did not differ between subjects with or without diabetic complications. Duration of disease correlated negatively with femoral neck BMD but not with TBS or BMSi.

Conclusions

This study revealed compromised bone material strength and microarchitecture in men with T1D. Moreover, our data confirm previous studies which found a modest decrease in BMD and low bone turnover in subjects with T1D. Accordingly, bone should be recognized as a target of diabetic complications.

Open access

Siphiwe N Dlamini, Zané Lombard, Lisa K Micklesfield, Nigel Crowther, Shane A Norris, Tracy Snyman, Andrew A Crawford, Brian R Walker, and Julia H Goedecke

Circulating glucocorticoids are associated with metabolic syndrome and related cardiometabolic risk factors in non-Africans. This study investigated these associations in Africans, whose metabolic phenotype reportedly differs from Europeans. Adiposity, blood pressure, glycaemia, insulin resistance, and lipid profile, were measured in 316 African men and 788 African women living in Soweto, Johannesburg. The 2009 harmonized criteria were used to define metabolic syndrome. Serum glucocorticoids were measured using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Cortisol was associated with greater odds presenting with metabolic syndrome (odds ratio (95% CI) =1.50 (1.04, 2.17) and higher systolic (beta coefficient, β (95% CI) =0.04 (0.01, 0.08)) and diastolic (0.05 (0.02, 0.09)) blood pressure, but higher HDL (0.10 (0.02, 0.19)) and lower LDL (−0.14 (−0.24, −0.03)) cholesterol concentrations, in the combined sample of men and women. In contrast, corticosterone was only associated with higher insulin sensitivity (Matsuda index; 0.22 (0.03, 0.41)), but this was not independent of BMI. Sex-specific associations were observed, such that both cortisol and corticosterone were associated with higher fasting glucose (standardized β (95% CI): 0.24 (0.12, 0.36) for cortisol and 0.12 (0.01, 0.23) for corticosterone) and HbA1c (0.13 (0.01, 0.25) for cortisol and 0.12 (0.01, 0.24) for corticosterone) in men only, but lower HbA1c (0.10 (−0.20, −0.01) for cortisol and −0.09 (−0.18, −0.03) for corticosterone) in women only. Our study reports for the first time that associations between circulating glucocorticoid concentrations and key cardiometabolic risk factors exhibit both glucocorticoid- and sex-specificity in Africans.

Open access

Yen Kheng Tan, Yu Heng Kwan, David Choon Liang Teo, Marieke Velema, Jaap Deinum, Pei Ting Tan, Meifen Zhang, Joan Joo Ching Khoo, Wann Jia Loh, Linsey Gani, Thomas F J King, Eberta Jun Hui Tan, Shui Boon Soh, Vanessa Shu Chuan Au, Tunn Lin Tay, Lily Mae Quevedo Dacay, Keng Sin Ng, Kang Min Wong, Andrew Siang Yih Wong, Foo Cheong Ng, Tar Choon Aw, Yvonne Hui Bin Chan, Khim Leng Tong, Sheldon Shao Guang Lee, Siang Chew Chai, and Troy Hai Kiat Puar

Background

In addition to increased cardiovascular risk, patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) also suffer from impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and psychological symptoms. We assessed for changes in HRQoL and depressive symptoms in a cohort of Asian patients with PA, after surgical and medical therapy.

Methods

Thirty-four patients with PA were prospectively recruited and completed questionnaires from 2017 to 2020. HRQoL was assessed using RAND-36 and EQ-5D-3L, and depressive symptoms were assessed using Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) at baseline, 6 months, and 1 year post-treatment.

Results

At 1 year post-treatment, significant improvement was observed in both physical and mental summative scores of RAND-36, +3.65, P = 0.023, and +3.41, P = 0.033, respectively, as well as four subscale domains (physical functioning, bodily pain, role emotional, and mental health). Significant improvement was also seen in EQ-5D dimension of anxiety/depression at 1 year post-treatment. Patients treated with surgery (n = 21) had significant improvement in EQ-5D index score post-treatment and better EQ-5D outcomes compared to the medical group (n = 13) at 1 year post-treatment. 37.9, 41.6 and 58.6% of patients had symptoms in the cognitive, affective and somatic domains of BDI-II, respectively. There was a significant improvement in the affective domain of BDI-II at 1 year post-treatment.

Conclusion

Both surgical and medical therapy improve HRQoL and psychological symptoms in patients with PA, with surgery providing better outcomes. This highlights the importance of early diagnosis, accurate subtyping and appropriate treatment of PA.