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Open access

Søs Dragsbæk Larsen, Christine Dalgård, Mathilde Egelund Christensen, Sine Lykkedegn, Louise Bjørkholt Andersen, Marianne Andersen, Dorte Glintborg and Henrik Thybo Christesen

Background

Low foetal vitamin D status may be associated with higher blood pressure (BP) in later life.

Objective

To examine whether serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D2+3 (s-25OHD) in cord and pregnancy associates with systolic and diastolic BP (SBP; DBP) in children up to 3 years of age.

Design

Prospective, population-based cohort study.

Methods

We included 1594 singletons from the Odense Child Cohort with available cord s-25OHD and BP data at median age 3.7 months (48% girls), 18.9 months (44% girls) or 3 years (48% girls). Maternal s-25OHD was also assessed at gestational ages 12 and 29 weeks. Multiple regression models were stratified by sex a priori and adjusted for maternal educational level, season of birth and child height, weight and age.

Results

In 3-year-old girls, SBP decreased with −0.7 mmHg (95% CI −1.1; −0.3, P = 0.001) and DBP with −0.4 mmHg (95% CI −0.7; −0.1, P = 0.016) for every 10 nmol/L increase in cord s-25OHD in adjusted analyses. Moreover, the adjusted odds of having SBP >90th percentile were reduced by 30% for every 10 nmol/L increase in cord s-25OHD (P = 0.004) and by 64% for cord s-25OHD above the median 45.1 nmol/L (P = 0.02). Similar findings were observed between pregnancy s-25OHD and 3-year SBP, cord s-25OHD and SBP at 18.9 months, and cord s-25OHD and DBP at 3 years. No consistent associations were observed between s-25OHD and BP in boys.

Conclusion

Cord s-25OHD was inversely associated with SBP and DBP in young girls, but not in boys. Higher vitamin D status in foetal life may modulate BP in young girls. The sex difference remains unexplained.

Open access

Yuan Fang, Xuehong Zhang, Huilin Xu, Stephanie A Smith-Warner, Dongli Xu, Hong Fang and Wang Hong Xu

The excess risk of cancer observed in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) may have been influenced by detection bias. The aim of this study was to examine the real association by evaluating time-varying site-specific cancer risks in newly diagnosed T2DM patients. A total of 51,324 registered cancer-free individuals newly diagnosed with T2DM between 2004 and 2014 were linked with the Shanghai Cancer Registry and the Vital Statistics through September 2015. A total of 2920 primary, invasive cancer cases were identified during 325,354 person-years period. Within 1 year following diabetes onset, participants with T2DM had higher risks of total, lung and rectal cancer in men and total, liver, pancreas, thyroid, breast and uteri cancer in women. Thereafter the incidence for overall cancer decreased and then increased along with follow-up time, with the upward trend varying by cancer, suggesting potential detection bias. After the initial 1-year period, standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and 95% CIs for overall cancer were 0.80 (95% CI 0.76–0.85) in men and 0.93 (95% CI 0.88–0.99) in women, but a higher risk of breast and thyroid cancers were observed in women, with SIR and 95% CI being 1.13 (1.01, 1.28) and 1.37 (1.11, 1.63), respectively. Our results suggest that T2DM patients are at higher risk of certain cancers; this risk particularly increases shortly after diabetes diagnosis, which is likely to be due to detection bias caused by increased ascertainment. Prevention of female breast and thyroid cancers should be paid attention in Chinese individuals with T2DM.

Open access

Zhen-yu Song, Qiuming Yao, Zhiyuan Zhuo, Zhe Ma and Gang Chen

Previous studies investigating the association of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D level with prognosis of prostate cancer yielded controversial results. We conducted a dose–response meta-analysis to elucidate the relationship. PubMed and EMBASE were searched for eligible studies up to July 15, 2018. We performed a dose–response meta-analysis using random-effect model to calculate the summary hazard ratio (HR) and 95% CI of mortality in patients with prostate cancer. Seven eligible cohort studies with 7808 participants were included. The results indicated that higher vitamin D level could reduce the risk of death among prostate cancer patients. The summary HR of prostate cancer-specific mortality correlated with an increment of every 20 nmol/L in circulating vitamin D level was 0.91, with 95% CI 0.87–0.97, P = 0.002. The HR for all-cause mortality with the increase of 20 nmol/L vitamin D was 0.91 (95% CI: 0.84–0.98, P = 0.01). Sensitivity analysis suggested the pooled HRs were stable and not obviously changed by any single study. No evidence of publications bias was observed. This meta-analysis suggested that higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was associated with a reduction of mortality in prostate cancer patients and vitamin D is an important protective factor in the progression and prognosis of prostate cancer.

Open access

Laura van Iersel, Sarah C Clement, Antoinette Y N Schouten-van Meeteren, Annemieke M Boot, Hedi L Claahsen-van der Grinten, Bernd Granzen, K Sen Han, Geert O Janssens, Erna M Michiels, A S Paul van Trotsenburg, W Peter Vandertop, Dannis G van Vuurden, Hubert N Caron, Leontien C M Kremer and Hanneke M van Santen

Objective

The incidence of cranial radiotherapy (cRT)–induced central hypothyroidism (TSHD) in childhood brain tumor survivors (CBTS) is reported to be low. However, TSHD may be more frequent than currently suspected, as its diagnosis is challenging due to broad reference ranges for free thyroxine (FT4) concentrations. TSHD is more likely to be present when FT4 levels progressively decline over time. Therefore, we determined the incidence and latency time of TSHD and changes of FT4 levels over time in irradiated CBTS.

Design

Nationwide, 10-year retrospective study of irradiated CBTS.

Methods

TSHD was defined as ‘diagnosed’ when FT4 concentrations were below the reference range with low, normal or mildly elevated thyrotropin levels, and as ‘presumed’ when FT4 declined ≥ 20% within the reference range. Longitudinal FT4 concentrations over time were determined in growth hormone deficient (GHD) CBTS with and without diagnosed TSHD from cRT to last follow-up (paired t-test).

Results

Of 207 included CBTS, the 5-year cumulative incidence of diagnosed TSHD was 20.3%, which occurred in 50% (25/50) of CBTS with GHD by 3.4 years (range, 0.9–9.7) after cRT. Presumed TSHD was present in 20 additional CBTS. The median FT4 decline in GH-deficient CBTS was 41.3% (P < 0.01) to diagnosis of TSHD and 12.4% (P= 0.02) in GH-deficient CBTS without diagnosed TSHD.

Conclusions

FT4 concentrations in CBTS significantly decline over time after cRT, also in those not diagnosed with TSHD, suggesting that TSHD occurs more frequently and earlier than currently reported. The clinical relevance of cRT-induced FT4 decline over time should be investigated in future studies.

Open access

Devis Pascut, Sofia Tamini, Silvia Bresolin, Pablo Giraudi, Giuseppe Basso, Alessandro Minocci, Claudio Tiribelli, Graziano Grugni and Alessandro Sartorio

Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) represents the most common genetic-derived obesity disorder caused by the loss of expression of genes located on the paternal chromosome 15q11.2-q13. The PWS phenotype shows peculiar physical, endocrine and metabolic characteristics compared to those observed in non-syndromic essential obesity. Since miRNAs have now a well-established role in many molecular pathways, including regulatory networks related to obesity, this pilot study was aimed to characterize the expression of circulating miRNAs in PWS compared to essential obesity. The circulating miRNome of 10 PWS and 10 obese subjects, adequately matched for age, BMI and sex, was profiled throughout Genechip miRNA 4.0 microarray analysis. We identified 362 out of 2578 mature miRNAs to be expressed in serum of the studied population. The circulating miRNA signature significantly characterising the two populations include 34 differently expressed RNAs. Among them, miR-24-3p, miR-122 and miR-23a-3p highly differ between the two groups with a FC >10 in obese compared to PWS. In the obese subjects, miR-7107-5p, miR-6880-3p, miR-6793-3p and miR-4258 were associated to the presence of steatosis. A different signature of miRNAs significantly distinguished PWS with steatosis from PWS without steatosis, involving miR-619-5p, miR-4507, miR-4656, miR-7847-3p and miR-6782-5p. The miRNA target GO enrichment analysis showed the different pathway involved in these two different forms of obesity. Although the rarity of PWS actually represents a limitation to the availability of large series, the present study provides novel hints on the molecular pathogenesis of syndromic and non-syndromic obesity.

Open access

Legh Wilkinson, Nicolette J D Verhoog and Ann Louw

The development of resistance to glucocorticoids (GCs) in therapeutic regimens poses a major threat. Generally, GC resistance is congenital or acquired over time as a result of disease progression, prolonged GC treatment or, in some cases, both. Essentially, disruptions in the function and/or pool of the glucocorticoid receptor α (GRα) underlie this resistance. Many studies have detailed how alterations in GRα function lead to diminished GC sensitivity; however, the current review highlights the wealth of data concerning reductions in the GRα pool, mediated by disease-associated and treatment-associated effects, which contribute to a significant decrease in GC sensitivity. Additionally, the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in driving reductions in the GRα pool is discussed. After highlighting the importance of maintaining the level of the GRα pool to combat GC resistance, we present current strategies and argue that future strategies to prevent GC resistance should involve biased ligands with a predisposition for reduced GR dimerization, a strategy originally proposed as the SEMOGRAM–SEDIGRAM concept to reduce the side-effect profile of GCs.

Open access

T P Parikh, B Stolze, Y Ozarda, J Jonklaas, K Welsh, L Masika, M Hill, A DeCherney and S J Soldin

Objective

Accurate measurement of steroid hormones remains challenging. Mass spectrometry affords a reliable means for quantitating steroid profiles accurately. Our objective was to establish and define (1) the extent of diurnal fluctuations in steroid concentrations that potentially necessitate strict adherence to time of sample acquisition and (2) time-dependent steroid reference intervals.

Design

Nine steroid markers were examined in couplets in males and females.

Methods

Using isotope dilution high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometric (LC–MS/MS) analysis, we developed a multi-steroid profile requiring only a minimal volume of serum (0.1 mL). Couplet (AM and PM) measurements of steroid hormones for 120 healthy females (F) and 62 healthy males (M) were obtained. Patients were recruited from several participating centers.

Results

The following diurnal values were noted to be significantly different in both females and males: cortisone, cortisol, corticosterone, 11 deoxycortisol (11 DOC), androstenedione, 17a-hydroxyprogesterone (17 OHP) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Testosterone was only found to have significant diurnal variance in males. Progesterone showed no significant difference in AM and PM values for either groups and thus may provide an internal control.

Conclusions

When diagnosing endocrine disorders, it is imperative to acknowledge the 24-h diurnal variation of the biochemical steroid markers. We highlight the importance of standardization of collection times and appropriate implementation of reference intervals.

Precis

We identify diurnal fluctuations in steroid concentrations with time of day and emphasize the importance of adhering to firm time of sample acquisition.

Open access

Zhou-Qing Kang, Jia-Ling Huo and Xiao-Jie Zhai

Background

The optimal glycemic target during the perioperative period is still controversial. We aimed to explore the effects of tight glycemic control (TGC) on surgical mortality and morbidity.

Methods

PubMed, EMBASE and CENTRAL were searched from January 1, 1946 to February 28, 2018. Appropriate trails comparing the postoperative outcomes (mortality, hypoglycemic events, acute kidney injury, etc.) between different levels of TGC and liberal glycemic control were identified. Quality assessments were performed with the Jadad scale combined with the allocation concealment evaluation. Pooled relative risk (RR) and 95% CI were calculated using random effects models. Heterogeneity was detected by the I 2 test.

Results

Twenty-six trials involving a total of 9315 patients were included in the final analysis. The overall mortality did not differ between tight and liberal glycemic control (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.78–1.07; I 2 = 20.1%). Among subgroup analyses, obvious decreased risks of mortality were found in the short-term mortality, non-diabetic conditions, cardiac surgery conditions and compared to the very liberal glycemic target. Furthermore, TGC was associated with decreased risks for acute kidney injury, sepsis, surgical site infection, atrial fibrillation and increased risks of hypoglycemia and severe hypoglycemia.

Conclusions

Compared to liberal control, perioperative TGC (the upper level of glucose goal ≤150 mg/dL) was associated with significant reduction of short-term mortality, cardic surgery mortality, non-diabetic patients mortality and some postoperative complications. In spite of increased risks of hypoglycemic events, perioperative TGC will benefits patients when it is done carefully.

Open access

Gareth Leng

The brain hosts a vast and diverse repertoire of neuropeptides, a class of signalling molecules often described as neurotransmitters. Here I argue that this description entails a catalogue of misperceptions, misperceptions that feed into a narrative in which information processing in the brain can be understood only through mapping neuronal connectivity and by studying the transmission of electrically conducted signals through chemical synapses. I argue that neuropeptide signalling in the brain involves primarily autocrine, paracrine and neurohormonal mechanisms that do not depend on synaptic connectivity and that it is not solely dependent on electrical activity but on mechanisms analogous to secretion from classical endocrine cells. As in classical endocrine systems, to understand the role of neuropeptides in the brain, we must understand not only how their release is regulated, but also how their synthesis is regulated and how the sensitivity of their targets is regulated. We must also understand the full diversity of effects of neuropeptides on those targets, including their effects on gene expression.

Open access

Julie Refardt, Clara Odilia Sailer, Bettina Winzeler, Matthias Johannes Betz, Irina Chifu, Ingeborg Schnyder, Martin Fassnacht, Wiebke Fenske, Mirjam Christ-Crain and for the CODDI-Investigators

The pathomechanism of primary polydipsia is poorly understood. Recent animal data reported a connection between fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21) and elevated fluid intake independently of hormonal control by the hormone arginine-vasopressin (AVP) and osmotic stimulation. We therefore compared circulating FGF-21 levels in patients with primary polydipsia to patients with AVP deficiency (central diabetes insipidus) and healthy volunteers. In this prospective cohort study, we analyzed FGF-21 levels of 20 patients with primary polydipsia, 20 patients with central diabetes insipidus and 20 healthy volunteers before and after stimulation with hypertonic saline infusion targeting a plasma sodium level ≥150 mmol/L. The primary outcome was the difference in FGF-21 levels between the three groups. Baseline characteristics were similar between the groups except for patients with central diabetes insipidus being heavier. There was no difference in baseline FGF-21 levels between patients with primary polydipsia and healthy volunteers (122 pg/mL (52,277) vs 193 pg/mL (48,301), but higher levels in patients with central diabetes insipidus were observed (306 pg/mL (114,484); P = 0.037). However, this was not confirmed in a multivariate linear regression analysis after adjusting for age, sex, BMI and smoking status. Osmotic stimulation did not affect FGF-21 levels in either group (difference to baseline: primary polydipsia −23 pg/mL (−43, 22); central diabetes insipidus 17 pg/mL (−76, 88); healthy volunteers −6 pg/mL (−68, 22); P = 0.45). To conclude, FGF-21 levels are not increased in patients with primary polydipsia as compared to central diabetes insipidus or healthy volunteers. FGF-21 therefore does not seem to be causal of elevated fluid intake in these patients.