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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

Patricia Iozzo and Maria Angela Guzzardi

The prevalence of obesity has reached epidemic proportions and keeps growing. Obesity seems implicated in the pathogenesis of cognitive dysfunction, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and vice versa. Growing scientific efforts are being devoted to the identification of central mechanisms underlying the frequent association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction. Glucose brain handling undergoes dynamic changes during the life-course, suggesting that its alterations might precede and contribute to degenerative changes or signaling abnormalities. Imaging of the glucose analog 18F-labeled fluorodeoxyglucose (18FDG) by positron emission tomography (PET) is the gold-standard for the assessment of cerebral glucose metabolism in vivo. This review summarizes the current literature addressing brain glucose uptake measured by PET imaging, and the effect of insulin on brain metabolism, trying to embrace a life-course vision in the identification of patterns that may explain (and contribute to) the frequent association between obesity and cognitive dysfunction. The current evidence supports that brain hypermetabolism and brain insulin resistance occur in selected high-risk conditions as a transient phenomenon, eventually evolving toward normal or low values during life or disease progression. Associative studies suggest that brain hypermetabolism predicts low BDNF levels, hepatic and whole body insulin resistance, food desire and an unfavorable balance between anticipated reward from food and cognitive inhibitory control. Emerging mechanistic links involve the microbiota and the metabolome, which correlate with brain metabolism and cognition, deserving attention as potential future prevention targets.

Open access

Richard H Tuligenga

The aim of this meta-analysis was to compare the effect of intensive vs standard glycaemic control on cognitive decline in type 2 diabetic patients. A systematic search of PubMed and ALOIS was conducted from inception up to October 30, 2014. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of type 2 diabetic patients comparing the rate of change in cognitive function among participants assigned to intensive vs standard glycaemic control were included. An inverse-variance-weighted random effects model was used to calculate standardised mean differences (SMDs) and 95% CIs. A total of 24 297 patients from five RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. Follow-up ranged from 3.3 to 6.2 years. The result from the pooled analysis showed that intensive glycaemic control was not associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline in patients with type 2 diabetes, compared with standard glycaemic control (SMD=0.02; 95% CI=−0.03 to 0.08) although there was some heterogeneity across individual studies (I 2=68%, P for heterogeneity=0.01). There are few diabetes control trials including cognitive endpoints and a small number of trials comparing intensive and standard treatment strategies. Currently, intensive glycaemic control should not be recommended for prevention of cognitive decline in patients with type 2 diabetes because there is no evidence of its effectiveness. Moreover, the use of intensive diabetes treatment results in an increase of risk of hypoglycaemia, which is linked to a greater risk of poor cognition.

Open access

Ghazala Zaidi, Vijayalakshmi Bhatia, Saroj K Sahoo, Aditya Narayan Sarangi, Niharika Bharti, Li Zhang, Liping Yu, Daniel Eriksson, Sophie Bensing, Olle Kämpe, Nisha Bharani, Surendra Kumar Yachha, Anil Bhansali, Alok Sachan, Vandana Jain, Nalini Shah, Rakesh Aggarwal, Amita Aggarwal, Muthuswamy Srinivasan, Sarita Agarwal, and Eesh Bhatia

Objective

Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS1) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by progressive organ-specific autoimmunity. There is scant information on APS1 in ethnic groups other than European Caucasians. We studied clinical aspects and autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene mutations in a cohort of Indian APS1 patients.

Design

Twenty-three patients (19 families) from six referral centres in India, diagnosed between 1996 and 2016, were followed for [median (range)] 4 (0.2–19) years.

Methods

Clinical features, mortality, organ-specific autoantibodies and AIRE gene mutations were studied.

Results

Patients varied widely in their age of presentation [3.5 (0.1–17) years] and number of clinical manifestations [5 (2–11)]. Despite genetic heterogeneity, the frequencies of the major APS1 components (mucocutaneous candidiasis: 96%; hypoparathyroidism: 91%; primary adrenal insufficiency: 55%) were similar to reports in European series. In contrast, primary hypothyroidism (23%) occurred more frequently and at an early age, while kerato-conjunctivitis, urticarial rash and autoimmune hepatitis were uncommon (9% each). Six (26%) patients died at a young age [5.8 (3–23) years] due to septicaemia, hepatic failure and adrenal/hypocalcaemic crisis from non-compliance/unexplained cause. Interferon-α and/or interleukin-22 antibodies were elevated in all 19 patients tested, including an asymptomatic infant. Eleven AIRE mutations were detected, the most common being p.C322fsX372 (haplotype frequency 37%). Four mutations were novel, while six others were previously described in European Caucasians.

Conclusions

Indian APS1 patients exhibited considerable genetic heterogeneity and had highly variable clinical features. While the frequency of major manifestations was similar to that of European Caucasians, other features showed significant differences. A high mortality at a young age was observed.

Open access

Lia Ferreira, João Silva, Susana Garrido, Carlos Bello, Diana Oliveira, Hélder Simões, Isabel Paiva, Joana Guimarães, Marta Ferreira, Teresa Pereira, Rita Bettencourt-Silva, Ana Filipa Martins, Tiago Silva, Vera Fernandes, Maria Lopes Pereira, and Adrenal Tumors Study Group of the Portuguese Society of Endocrinology

Introduction

Primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) is a rare but severe and potentially life-threatening condition. No previous studies have characterized Portuguese patients with PAI.

Aims

To characterize the clinical presentation, diagnostic workup, treatment and follow‐up of Portuguese patients with confirmed PAI.

Methods

This multicentre retrospective study examined PAI patients in 12 Portuguese hospitals.

Results

We investigated 278 patients with PAI (55.8% were females), with a mean age of 33.6 ± 19.3 years at diagnosis. The most frequent presenting clinical features were asthenia (60.1%), mucocutaneous hyperpigmentation (55.0%) and weight loss (43.2%); 29.1% of the patients presented with adrenal crisis. Diagnosis was established by high plasma ACTH and low serum cortisol in most patients (43.9%). The most common aetiology of PAI was autoimmune adrenalitis (61.0%). There were 38 idiopathic cases. Autoimmune comorbidities were found in 70% of the patients, the most frequent being autoimmune thyroiditis (60.7%) and type 1 diabetes mellitus (17.3%). Seventy-nine percent were treated with hydrocortisone (mean dose 26.3 ± 8.3 mg/day) mostly in three (57.5%) or two (37.4%) daily doses. The remaining patients were treated with prednisolone (10.1%), dexamethasone (6.2%) and methylprednisolone (0.7%); 66.2% were also on fludrocortisone (median dose of 100 µg/day). Since diagnosis, 33.5% of patients were hospitalized for disease decompensation. In the last appointment, 17.2% of patients had complaints (7.6% asthenia and 6.5% depression) and 9.7% had electrolyte disturbances.

Conclusion

This is the first multicentre Portuguese study regarding PAI. The results emphasize the need for standardization in diagnostic tests and etiological investigation and provide a framework for improving treatment.

Open access

Hauke Thomsen, Xinjun Li, Kristina Sundquist, Jan Sundquist, Asta Försti, and Kari Hemminki

Design

Addison’s disease (AD) is a rare autoimmune disease (AID) of the adrenal cortex, present as an isolated AD or part of autoimmune polyendocrine syndromes (APSs) 1 and 2. Although AD patients present with a number of AID co-morbidities, population-based family studies are scarce, and we aimed to carry out an unbiased study on AD and related AIDs.

Methods

We collected data on patients diagnosed with AIDs in Swedish hospitals and calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) in families for concordant AD and for other AIDs, the latter as discordant relative risks.

Results

The number of AD patients was 2852, which accounted for 0.4% of all hospitalized AIDs. A total of 62 persons (3.6%) were diagnosed with familial AD. The SIR for siblings was remarkably high, reaching 909 for singleton siblings diagnosed before age 10 years. It was 32 in those diagnosed past age 29 years and the risk for twins was 323. SIR was 9.44 for offspring of affected parents. AD was associated with 11 other AIDs, including thyroid AIDs and type 1 diabetes and some rarer AIDs such as Guillain–Barre syndrome, myasthenia gravis, polymyalgia rheumatica and Sjögren’s syndrome.

Conclusions

The familial risk for AD was very high implicating genetic etiology, which for juvenile siblings may be ascribed to APS-1. The adult part of sibling risk was probably contributed by recessive polygenic inheritance. AD was associated with many common AIDs; some of these were known co-morbidities in AD patients while some other appeared to more specific for a familial setting.

Open access

Mírian Romitti, Vitor C Fabris, Patricia K Ziegelmann, Ana Luiza Maia, and Poli Mara Spritzer

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most prevalent endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age. PCOS has been associated with distinct metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and with autoimmune conditions, predominantly autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). AITD has been reported in 18–40% of PCOS women, depending on PCOS diagnostic criteria and ethnicity. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to summarize the available evidence regarding the likelihood of women with PCOS also having AITD in comparison to a reference group of non-PCOS women. We systematically searched EMBASE and MEDLINE for non-interventional case control, cross-sectional or cohort studies published until August 2017. The Ottawa–Newcastle Scale was used to assess the methodological quality of studies. Statistical meta-analysis was performed with R. Thirteen studies were selected for the present analysis, including 1210 women diagnosed with PCOS and 987 healthy controls. AITD was observed in 26.03 and 9.72% of PCOS and control groups respectively. A significant association was detected between PCOS and chance of AITD (OR = 3.27, 95% CI 2.32–4.63). Notably, after geographical stratification, the higher risk of AITD in PCOS women persisted for Asians (OR = 4.56, 95% CI 2.47–8.43), Europeans (OR = 3.27, 95% CI 2.07–5.15) and South Americans (OR = 1.86, 95% CI 1.05–3.29). AIDT is a frequent condition in PCOS patients and might affect thyroid function. Thus, screening for thyroid function and thyroid-specific autoantibodies should be considered in patients with PCOS even in the absence of overt symptoms. This systematic review and meta-analysis is registered in PROSPERO under number CRD42017079676.

Open access

Elin Kahlert, Martina Blaschke, Knut Brockmann, Clemens Freiberg, Onno E Janssen, Nikolaus Stahnke, Domenika Strik, Martin Merkel, Alexander Mann, Klaus-Peter Liesenkötter, and Heide Siggelkow

Objective

Turner syndrome (TS) is characterized by the complete or partial loss of the second sex chromosome and associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations. We aimed to assess the medical care of adult patients with TS in Germany.

Design

Retrospective multicenter observational study.

Methods

Data were collected from medical records of 258 women with TS treated between 2001 and 2017 in five non-university endocrinologic centers in Germany.

Results

Mean age was 29.8 ± 11.6 years, mean height 152 ± 7.7 cm, and mean BMI 26.6 ± 6.3 kg/m2. The karyotype was known in 50% of patients. Information on cholesterol state, liver enzymes, and thyroid status was available in 81–98% of women with TS; autoimmune thyroiditis was diagnosed in 37%. Echocardiography was performed in 42% and cardiac MRI in 8.5%, resulting in a diagnosis of cardiovascular disorder in 28%. Data on growth hormone therapy were available for 40 patients (15%) and data concerning menarche in 157 patients (61%).

Conclusion

In 258 women with TS, retrospective analysis of healthcare data indicated that medical management was focused on endocrine manifestations. Further significant clinical features including cardiovascular disease, renal malformation, liver involvement, autoimmune diseases, hearing loss, and osteoporosis were only marginally if at all considered. Based on this evaluation and in accordance with recent guidelines, we compiled a documentation form facilitating the transition from pediatric to adult care and further medical management of TS patients. The foundation of Turner Centers in March 2019 will improve the treatment of TS women in Germany.

Open access

John E M Midgley, Rolf Larisch, Johannes W Dietrich, and Rudolf Hoermann

Several influences modulate biochemical responses to a weight-adjusted levothyroxine (l-T4) replacement dose. We conducted a secondary analysis of the relationship of l-T4 dose to TSH and free T3 (FT3), using a prospective observational study examining the interacting equilibria between thyroid parameters. We studied 353 patients on steady-state l-T4 replacement for autoimmune thyroiditis or after surgery for malignant or benign thyroid disease. Peripheral deiodinase activity was calculated as a measure of T4–T3 conversion efficiency. In euthyroid subjects, the median l-T4 dose was 1.3 μg/kg per day (interquartile range (IQR) 0.94,1.60). The dose was independently associated with gender, age, aetiology and deiodinase activity (all P<0.001). Comparable FT3 levels required higher l-T4 doses in the carcinoma group (n=143), even after adjusting for different TSH levels. Euthyroid athyreotic thyroid carcinoma patients (n=50) received 1.57 μg/kg per day l-T4 (IQR 1.40, 1.69), compared to 1.19 μg/kg per day (0.85,1.47) in autoimmune thyroiditis (P<0.01, n=76) and 1.08 μg/kg per day (0.82, 1.44) in patients operated on for benign disease (P< 0.01, n=80). Stratifying patients by deiodinase activity categories of <23, 23–29 and >29 nmol/s revealed an increasing FT3–FT4 dissociation; the poorest converters showed the lowest FT3 levels in spite of the highest dose and circulating FT4 (P<0.001). An l-T4-related FT3–TSH disjoint was also apparent; some patients with fully suppressed TSH failed to raise FT3 above the median level. These findings imply that thyroid hormone conversion efficiency is an important modulator of the biochemical response to l-T4; FT3 measurement may be an additional treatment target; and l-T4 dose escalation may have limited success to raise FT3 appropriately in some cases.

Open access

Suvanjaa Sivalingam, Marianne Thvilum, Thomas Heiberg Brix, Laszlo Hegedüs, and Frans Brandt

Background

Season of birth, an exogenous indicator of early life environment, has been linked with a higher risk of adverse health outcomes such as autoimmune thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia later in life. Whether the development and cause of hyperthyroidism is influenced by season of birth is unclarified. We aimed, at a nationwide level, to investigate whether season of birth influences the risk of hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease (GD) and/or toxic nodular goitre (TNG).

Method

Register-based nationwide cohort study. By record-linkage between Danish health registers, 36,087 and 20,537 patients with GD and TNG, respectively, were identified. Each case was matched with four controls without thyroid disease, according to age and sex. Differences in month of birth across the year were evaluated by the Walter–Elwood test. Hazard ratios, for the risk of GD and TNG in individuals born in a certain month or season of the year, were calculated using Cox regression models.

Results

Neither for GD nor for TNG could we demonstrate a significant difference in birth rate across months or seasons of the year (Walter–Elwood’s test; X2 = 5.92 and X2 = 1.27, P = 0.052 and P = 0.53, respectively).

Conclusion

Irrespective of its cause, our findings do not support the hypothesis that season of birth is significantly related to the development of hyperthyroidism.