International Science Index

International Journal of Medical and Health Sciences

Prevalence of Atrial Fibrillation in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia Primary Care: A Survey by Makassar Telemedicine Study
Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common clinical problem with increased risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The prevalence of AF in primary care in Indonesia remains unknown. The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of AF in primary care patients in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, that analyzed through telemedicine service by cardiologists. Methods: A total of 9,872 electrocardiograms (ECGs) from 46 primary health care that transmitted to telemedicine service between August 2015 and January 2018 were studied. All ECGs were reviewed by two cardiologists. Results: 51.8% (5,095) patients were male; mean age was 53.77 ± 8.83 years (range 27-86 years). There was 1.12% (110 subjects) with AF; mean age was 60.75 ± 9.30 years. The prevalence of AF was 11.11% (1/9) in subject less than 40 years, 0.69% (51/7423) in those 40–64 years, and 2.42% (58/2395) in aged 65 years or more. The prevalence in male and female were 0.59% and 0.53%, respectively. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to establish the prevalence of AF in primary health care in Indonesia through telemedicine service. Further studies are necessary in order to analyze the risk factors of AF in the study population and to evaluate the implementation of telemedicine service related to patient outcome.
Phoenix Orthoses: Smart Memory Alloy and 3D Printing in Upper-Limb Exoskeleton Development for Post-Stroke Rehabilitation
Background: Permanent post-stroke disability is a serious problem worldwide. The affected population is getting younger, thus the effective neurorehabilitation is crucial to diminish the loss of active years after a cerebrovascular injury. Recently the robot–assisted motor rehabilitation therapy became a novel method to meet the requirements in advanced medical care. Aims: Our aim was to develop an active, upper limb human exoskeleton with a complete and simple production workflow plan, which satisfies patients’ needs and could be personalized individually. Moreover, we would like to provide a fast, cost effective solution for rehabilitation of post-stroke patients. Our hypothesis is that NiTinol with shape memory effect and superplasticity is sufficient as an active part of the device, and additive manufacturing enables to create a new type of orthoses for improving neurorehabilitation. Methods: We used selective laser sintering (SLS) with polyamide material to create the frame of the prototype and NiTinol alloy for the active parts, heated by cobalt heating wires. We performed static and dynamic material tests, based on ASTM and ISO standards to determine the mechanical properties of the printed frame. After the physical testing we used computer assisted design software to personalize the device to healthy volunteers’ hand. All volunteers used the device for 3 days, 4 hours per day. After the trial, we assessed the personal responses according to Likert-scale and Semantic Differential (SD) scale specifically designed for the device. Results and Conclusion: Our results suggest that, SLS and NiTinol is suitable for prototyping and manufacturing a personalized, active upper limb exoskeleton, which is appropriate for post–stroke patients’ needs. According to the clinical findings, our orthoses serves the patients’ rehabilitation requirements in aesthetic, technical and medical approach as well, along with enhanced compliance to the rehabilitation protocol. Further clinical trials with extended patient population are required to evaluate the effect of the device in different medical conditions and to improve the novel technology.
Evaluation of Dental Practitioners’ Awareness of Oral Cancer in Turkey
Purpose:The aim of this questionnaire-based study is to evaluate oral cancer related awareness and knowledge levels and general clinical experiences of dental practitioners in Turkey. Material- methods: A total of 160 dental practitioners were included in the study. Participation was on a voluntary basis. The questionnaires were filled out in person. The questionnaire was designed to evaluate the dental practitioners’ self-assessment of their education and knowledge; their general clinical practices and experiences; their awareness of suspicious lesions/conditions and risk factors and their knowledge of treatment alternatives related to oral cancer. Statistical analysis of obtained data was carried out with the use of the SPSS 20.0 for Windows. The significance level was determined as p < 0.05. Results: Out of 160 dentists 80 (50%) were male and 80 (50%) were female. Mean age was 36,60. 61,88% of the subjects were dentally qualified for 15 years or less. 83,76% felt well informed about oral cancer. Non-healing ulcers and red patches were most known suspicious lesions; and tobacco products, human papilloma virus (HPV) and alcohol consumption were most known risk factors among the participants. Interestingly, ill-fitting prosthesis use was the least known suspicious condition; and spicy and hot food was the least known risk factor related to oral cancer. Conclusions:This study demonstrated that knowledge and awareness of dental practitioners in Turkey were not good enough and a need for continuing education courses about lesions/conditions and risk factors related to oral cancer was determined.
Socioeconomic Disparities in the Prevalence of Obesity in Adults with Diabetes in Israel
Background: Obesity is both a risk factor and common comorbidity of diabetes. Obesity impedes the achievement of glycemic control, and enhances damage caused by hyperglycemia to blood vessels; thus it increases diabetes-related complications. This study assessed the prevalence of obesity and morbid obesity among Israeli adults with diabetes, and estimated disparities associated with sex and socioeconomic position (SEP). Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the setting of the Israeli National Program for Quality Indicators in Community Healthcare. Data on all the Israeli population is retrieved from electronic medical records of the four health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The study population included all Israeli patients with diabetes aged 20-64 with documented body mass index (BMI) in 2016 (N=180,451). Diabetes was defined as the existence of one or more of the following criteria: (a) Plasma glucose level >200 mg% in at least two tests conducted at least one month apart in the previous year; (b) HbA1c>6.5% at least once in the previous year (c) at least three prescriptions of diabetes medications were dispensed during the previous year. Two measures were included: the prevalence of obesity (defined as last BMI≥ 30 kg/m2 and
A Quantitative Case Study Analysis of Store Format Contributors to U.S. County Obesity Prevalence in Virginia
Food access; the availability, affordability, convenience, and desirability of food and beverage products within communities, is influential on consumers’ purchasing and consumption decisions. These variables may contribute to lower dietary quality scores and a higher obesity prevalence documented among rural and disadvantaged populations in the United States (U.S.). Current research assessing linkages between food access and obesity outcomes has primarily focused on distance to a traditional grocery/supermarket store as a measure of optimality. However, low-income consumers especially, including U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, seem to utilize non-traditional food store formats with greater frequency for household dietary needs. Non-traditional formats have been associated with less nutritious food and beverage options and consumer purchases that are high in saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium. Authors’ formative research indicated differences by U.S. region and rurality in the distribution of traditional and non-traditional SNAP-authorized food store formats. Therefore, using Virginia as a case study, the purpose of this research was to determine if a relationship between store format, rurality, and obesity exists. This research applied SNAP-authorized food store data (food access points for SNAP as well as non-SNAP consumers) and obesity prevalence data by Virginia county using publicly available databases: (1) SNAP Retailer Locator, and; (2) U.S. County Health Rankings. The alpha level was set a priori at 0.05. All Virginia SNAP-authorized stores (n=6,461) were coded by format – grocery, drug, mass merchandiser, club, convenience, dollar, supercenter, specialty, farmers market, independent grocer, and non-food store. Simple linear regression was applied primarily to assess the relationship between store format and obesity. Thereafter, multiple variables were added to the regression to account for potential moderating relationships (e.g., county income, rurality). Convenience, dollar, non-food or restaurant, mass merchandiser, farmers market, and independent grocer formats were significantly, positively related to obesity prevalence. Upon controlling for urban-rural status and income, results indicated the following formats to be significantly related to county obesity prevalence with a small, positive effect: convenience (p=0.010), accounting for 0.3% of the variance in obesity prevalence; dollar (p=0.005; 0.5% of the variance), and; non-food (p=0.030; 1.3% of the variance) formats. These results align with current literature on consumer behavior at non-traditional formats. For example, consumers’ food and beverage purchases at convenience and dollar stores are documented to be high in saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium. Further, non-food stores (i.e., quick-serve restaurants) often contribute to a large portion of U.S. consumers’ dietary intake and thus poor dietary quality scores. Current food access research investigates grocery/supermarket access and obesity outcomes. These results suggest more research is needed that focuses on non-traditional food store formats. Nutrition interventions within convenience, dollar, and non-food stores, for example, that aim to enhance not only healthy food access but the affordability, convenience, and desirability of nutritious food and beverage options may impact obesity rates in Virginia. More research is warranted utilizing the presented investigative framework in other U.S. and global regions to explore the role and the potential of non-traditional food store formats to prevent and reduce obesity.
The Distribution of Prevalent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Authorized Food Store Formats Differ by U.S. Region and Rurality: Implications for Food Access and Obesity Linkages
United States (U.S.) Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants are low-income Americans receiving federal dollars for supplemental food and beverage purchases. Participants use a variety of (traditional/non-traditional) SNAP-authorized stores for household dietary purchases - also representing food access points for all Americans. Importantly consumers' food and beverage purchases from non-traditional store formats tend to be higher in saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium when compared to purchases from traditional (e.g., grocery/supermarket) formats. Overconsumption of energy-dense and low-nutrient food and beverage products contribute to high obesity rates and adverse health outcomes that differ in severity among urban/rural U.S. locations and high/low-income populations. Little is known about the SNAP-authorized food store format landscape nationally, regionally, or by urban-rural status, as traditional formats are currently used as the gold standard in food access research. This research utilized publicly available U.S. databases to fill this large literature gap and to provide insight into modes of food access for vulnerable U.S. populations: (1) SNAP Retailer Locator which provides a list of all authorized food stores in the U.S., and; (2) Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCC) that categorize U.S. counties as urban (RUCC 1-3) or rural (RUCC 4-9). Frequencies were determined for the highest occurring food store formats nationally and within two regionally diverse U.S. states – Virginia in the east and California in the west. Store format codes were assigned (e.g., grocery, drug, convenience, mass merchandiser, supercenter, dollar, club, or other). RUCC was applied to investigate state-level differences in urbanity-rurality regarding prevalent food store formats and Chi Square test of independence was used to determine if food store format distributions significantly (p < 0.05) differed by region or rurality. The resulting research sample that represented highly prevalent SNAP-authorized food stores nationally included 41.25% of all SNAP stores in the U.S. (N=257,839), comprised primarily of convenience formats (31.94%) followed by dollar (25.58%), drug (19.24%), traditional (10.87%), supercenter (6.85%), mass merchandiser (1.62%), non-food store or restaurant (1.81%), and club formats (1.09%). Results also indicated that the distribution of prevalent SNAP-authorized formats significantly differed by state. California had a lower proportion of traditional (9.96%) and a higher proportion of drug (28.92%) formats than Virginia- 11.55% and 19.97%, respectively (p < 0.001). Virginia also had a higher proportion of dollar formats (26.11%) when compared to California (10.64%) (p < 0.001). Significant differences were also observed for rurality variables (p < 0.001). Prominently, rural Virginia had a significantly higher proportion of dollar formats (41.71%) when compared to urban Virginia (21.78%) and rural California (21.21%). Non-traditional SNAP-authorized formats are highly prevalent and significantly differ in distribution by U.S. region and rurality. The largest proportional difference was observed for dollar formats where the least nutritious consumer purchases are documented in the literature. Researchers/practitioners should investigate non-traditional food stores at the local level using these research findings and similar applied methodologies to determine how access to various store formats impact obesity prevalence. For example, dollar stores may be prime targets for interventions to enhance nutritious consumer purchases in rural Virginia while targeting drug formats in California may be more appropriate.
Trends in Socioeconomic Disparities in the Prevalence of Obesity among 5-6-Year-Old Children in Israel
Background: As childhood obesity has escalated worldwide, and is associated with increased risks of many adverse health conditions, this study assesses the prevalence of obesity among children in Israel, and its association with socioeconomic position (SEP). Methods: Data originate from the National Program for Quality Indicators in Community Healthcare (QICH), which operates in full collaboration with Israel's four health maintenance organizations (HMO). The study population included all Israeli residents aged 5-6 years during 2014-2015, with documented measured body mass index (BMI) components (N= 121,023). For children whose BMI components were measured more than once during this period, the most recent documentation of height and weight was included. Prevalence of obesity was defined using World Health Organization (WHO) cut-off values (BMI percentile ≥ 97.7) for age and sex. Data were collected from patient electronic medical records (EMR) in accordance with each HMO, and aggregated by two variables: gender and SEP. SEP was based on statistical areas ranking by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, enhanced with more updated information on education, income, living conditions and demographics, and divided into 10 categories, ranging from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). Results: In this cross-sectional study, BMI component documentation in the study population was high overall, and similar in both sexes (Boys 79.9%, Girls 79.3%). Documentation was highest in the lowest SEP group and decreased as SEP level increased (SEP level 1: 93.3%, level 10: 74.1%). The overall prevalence rate of obesity was 7.65% and was slightly higher in boys compared to girls (8.1% vs. 7.2%). The rate of obesity was highest amongst those in SEP levels 3 through 5 (9.0%), and lower at both extremes of SEP levels (5.6% in SEP level 1, 6.1% in SEP level 10). Conclusions: SEP inequalities in obesity exist and are most compelling among the mid-lower class. These findings highlight the importance of monitoring childhood obesity across SEP, and the need for greater consideration of different population groups when implementing obesity prevention policy and interventions.
The Potential of Acanthaster Plancii Fractions as Anti-Atherosclerotic Agent by Inhibiting the Expression of Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin-Kexin Type 9
Atherosclerosis which leads to cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction, unstable angina (ischemic heart pain), sudden cardiac death and stroke is the principal cause of death worldwide. It has been a very critical issue as current common drug treatment, statin therapy has left bad side effects like rhabdomyolysis, atrial fibrillation, liver disease, abdominal and chest pain. Interestingly, the discoveries of proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 have paved a new way in the treatment of atherosclerosis. This serine protease is believed to involve in the regulation of LDL- uptake by LDL-receptor. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate the potential of Acanthaster plancii fractions to reduce the transcriptional activity of the PCSK9 promoter. In this study, the marine organism which is Acanthaster plancii has been used as the source for marine compounds in inhibiting PCSK9. The cytotoxicity activity of ten fractions from the methanol extracts of Acanthaster plancii was investigated on HepG2 cell lines using MTS assay and dual glo luciferase assay was carried out later to analyses the effects of the samples in reducing the transcriptional activity of the PCSK9 promoter. Both assays used fractions with five different concentrations, 3.13µg/mL, 6.25µg/mL, 12.5µg/mL, 25µg/mL, and 50µg/mL. MTS assay indicated that the fractions are non-cytotoxic towards HepG2 cell lines as their IC50 value is greater than 30µg/mL. Whilst, for the dual glo luciferase assay, among all the fractions, Enhance Fraction 2 (EF2) showed the best potential in reducing the transcriptional activity of the PCSK9 promoter. The results indicated that this EF2 gave the lowest PCSK9 promoter expression at low concentration which is 0.2 fold change at 6.25µg/mL. This finding suggested that further analysis should be done to validate the potential of Acanthaster plancii as the source of anti-atherosclerotic agent.
Frequency of BCR-ABL Fusion Transcript Types with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia by Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction in Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen Thailand
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is characterized by the consistent involvement of the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph), which is derived from a reciprocal translocation between chromosome 9 and 22, the main product of the t(9;22) (q34;q11) translocation, is found in the leukemic clone of at least 95% of CML patients. There are two major forms of the BCR/ABL fusion gene, involving ABL exon 2, but including different exons of BCR gene. The transcripts b2a2 (e13a2) or b3a2 (e14a2) code for a p210 protein. Another fusion gene leads to the expression of an e1a2 transcript, which codes for a p190 protein. Other less common fusion genes are b3a3 or b2a3, which codes for a p203 protein and e19a2 (c3a2) transcript, which codes for a p230 protein. Its frequency varies in different populations. In this study, we aimed to report the frequency of BCR-ABL fusion transcript types with CML by multiplex PCR (polymerase chain reaction) in Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen, Thailand. Multiplex PCR for BCR-ABL was performed on 58 patients, to detect different types of BCR-ABL transcripts of the t (9; 22). All patients examined were positive for some type of BCR/ABL rearrangement. The majority of the patients (93.10%) expressed one of the p210 BCR-ABL transcripts, b3a2 and b2a2 transcripts were detected in 53.45% and 39.65% respectively. The expression of an e1a2 transcript showed 3.75%. Co-expression of p210/p230 was detected in 3.45%. Co-expression of p210/p190 was not detected. Multiplex PCR is useful, saves time and reliable in the detection of BCR-ABL transcript types. The frequency of one or other rearrangement in CML varies in different population.
The Joint Attention Training as Early Occupational Therapy Intervention in Children with Autism
The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of joint attention training on communication skills and visual perception skills in autistic children. Eight children between 4 and six years of age participated in the study. Sociodemographic information form, Social Communication Questionnaire, Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC) and Motor-Free Visual Perception Test 4 (MVPT-4) were applied to the participants before intervention and after the intervention. Joint attention training was given three times a week for six weeks in total 18 sessions. Four of the children with autism who participate in the study (50%) were male, four (50%) were female and the mean age was 5,25±0,70. The Social Communication Scale score for children with autism was 13.62 ± 3.73 before the joint attention training and 11.37 ± 4.10 after the training. It was observed that social communication skills improved, but this improvement was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Pre-education autistic children's Autism Behavioral Control score was 55,37 ± 9,94, whereas it was 40,12 ± 15,57 after training. There was a statistically significant improvement in sensory, relationship building, body and object use, language skills, social and self-care skills of autistic children in the autistic behavior checklist subscale after joint attention training (p < 0.05). MVPT 4 score before intervention in children with autism was 14.62 ± 6.65; and 19,50 ± 5,18 after the intervention. There was a statistically significant increase in visual perceptual skills without a motor in children with autism after the intervention (p < 0.05). This abstract is the pilot study of the joint attention training involving planned long-term (12 weeks) and more autistic children. A greater number of autistic children for longer period suggest that joint attention training will also lead to statistically significant improvements in social communication skills. It is thought that the joint attention training that is applied for a longer period in early childhood occupational therapy in children with autism will be beneficial for social communication, self-care skills and visual perception skills of autistic children.
Investigation of Effectiveness of Activity-Based Postural Stability Training on Occupational Performance in Individuals with Visually Impairment: Pilot Study
The purpose of this study is an investigation of the effect of person-centered, based on activity postural stability training on occupational performance levels in visually impaired individuals. Postural stability norm studies were performed on healthy individuals who were between 18 and 35 years of age in the Biodex Balance System to determine inclusion criteria before blind individuals were included in the study. Healthy young adult subjects who participated in the study were 127 (81 female, 46 male) aged 18-35 years with an average age of 22,49 ± 3,66 years. Postural stability was assessed with the Biodex Stability System (Biodex Medical System, New York, USA). In case of standing on two legs; static and dynamic postural stability were assessed. Nine blind individuals (4 female, 5 male) were included in the study between 18 and 35 years of age, average age 26 ± 5,85 which had a standard value above the standard value in the data obtained from this normative study and have visual acuity less than 6/60. Socio-demographic information of the individuals was recorded. Before the intervention, individuals were administered Canada Occupational Performance Scale (COPM). According to COPM, the activities that are forced in the areas of self-care, leisure time and productivity are determined. In addition, the performance and satisfaction values of COPM were determined. Individuals Hacettepe University Department of Occupational Therapy, Vocational Rehabilitation Center conducted postural stability training based on activity for 2 days a week for 12 weeks. The same measurements and evaluations were repeated after the training. The dynamic overall stability deviation of the participants before the intervention was 3.64 ± 0.97 while it was recorded as 2.25 ± 0.68 after the intervention. After the training, postural stability values such as medio-lateral stability, anterior-posterior stability ve overall stability were significantly improved (p < 0,01) in the Biodex Balance System evaluations. Participants' pre-training COPM performance scores were 4,16 ± 1,08 point, while post-training COPM performance scores increased to 6,05 ± 1,13 point, similarly, COPM satisfaction scores were 4,16 ± 1,29 point to 6,50 ± 1,11 point. It was observed that visually impaired individuals included in the study had a statistically significant increase in the positive side in the values of COPM performance and satisfaction (p < 0,01). Person-centered postural stability training based on activity in visually impaired individuals is thought to increase the occupational performance of the individual with visually impairment. It is suggested that education should be person-centered, while postural stability training based on activity is planned in visually impaired individuals.
The Relationship between Adaptive Behavior Levels of Autistic Adolescents and Life Satisfaction of Caregivers
The aim of the study is to examine the relationship between adaptive behavior levels of autistic adolescents and life satisfaction of caregivers. Material and Methods: 22 adolescents between 10 and 18 years of age and 22 caregivers between 30 and 60 years of age participated in the study. Sociodemographic information form and Life Satisfaction Scale were administered to the caregivers when the socio-demographic information form, Adaptive Behavior Scale (ABS-S: 2) were applied to the autistic adolescents participating in the study. Results and Discussion: Thirteen of the autistic adolescents participating in the study (59.1%) were male, 9 (40.9%) were female and the mean age was 11,95 ± 3,76. Twenty-one of the caregivers (95,45%) were female, 1 (4.54%) were male and the mean age was 40,95 ± 8,94. In the study, it was determined that there was a significant relationship between the adaptive behavior levels of the autistic adolescents and the life satisfaction of caregivers (p < 0.01). In addition, in autistic adolescents, there was a significant relationship between ABS-S:2' all other subparameters except menstruation, counts and time subparameters and life satisfaction of caregivers (p < 0.05). According to the study, the increase in the life skills of the autistic adolescents affects the life satisfaction of caregivers positively. It should be noted that while the practice of ergotherapy is planned, the independent living skills training given to the autistic adolescents plays an important role in improving the life satisfaction of caregivers.
A Qualitative Study of a Workplace International Employee Health Program
With opportunities to live and work abroad on the rise, effective preparation and support for international employees needs to be addressed within the work-site. International employees must build new habits, routines and social networks in an unfamiliar culture. Culture shock typically occurs within the first year and can affect both physical and psychological health. Employers have the opportunity to support staff through the adaptation process and foster healthy habits and routines. Cross-cultural training that includes a combination of instructional teaching, cultural experiences, and practice, is shown to increase the international employee adaptation process. However, little evidence demonstrates that organizations provide all of these aspects for international employees. The occupational therapy practitioner (OTP) offers a unique perspective focusing on the employee transactional relationship and engagement of meaningful occupations to enhance and enable participation in roles, habits and routines within new cultural contexts. This paper examines one such program developed and implemented by an OTP at the New England Center for Children, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The effectiveness of the program was assessed via participant feedback and concluded that an international employee support program that focuses on a variety of meaningful experiences and knowledge can empower employees to navigate healthy practices, develop habits and routines, and foster positive inter-cultural relationships in the organization and community.
Consumer, Carer and Multidisciplinary Perspectives of Consumer Leisure Time-Use on Mental Health Inpatient Units: A Scoping Review
Introduction: A core belief of occupational therapy is that engagement in occupation or leisure activities promotes physical and mental health wellbeing. Occupational engagement and related time use could be used as indicators for a person’s physical and mental health status in various settings, including inpatient units. Objective: This review aims to investigate the literature published on perspectives of consumers, carers and staff in relationship to consumer time use in mental health inpatient units. Methods: This scoping review explored journal articles and government policies related to the topic of interest. Search terms included mental health, acute, psychiatric, inpatient, occupational therapy, carer, consumer, mental illness/disorder, leisure, and time use. Results: Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria. These studies related to quality of life (1), consumer perspectives on engagement (2), time use amongst mental health consumers (1), physical activity on inpatient units (3), carer participation (3), group vs individual therapies (2), nursing attitudes, organisation and burnout (4). Nine studies that explored time use and consumer engagement indicated that consumers are generally sedentary on inpatient units and have limited access to appropriate resources. Carers perspectives indicated that a multidisciplinary team can be a barrier to consumers accessing activities and engaging in occupations in inpatient units. The literature noted that members of the multidisciplinary team spend a large portion of time engaged in documentation and form completion, as well as non-work related activities during work hours. Conclusion: According to existing published research, consumers are often found to be sedentary, with a lack of access to purposeful and meaningful activity on inpatient mental health units. Whilst consumers are on the unit, there is an opportunity to develop and deliver adaptive therapeutic skills.
The Therapeutic Effects of Acupuncture on Oral Dryness and Antibody Modification in Sjogren Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis
Oral dryness is a common chief complaint among patients with Sjőgren syndrome (SS), which is a disorder currently known as autoantibodies production; however, to author’s best knowledge, there has been no satisfying pharmacy to relieve the associated symptoms. Hence the effectiveness of other non-pharmacological interventions such as acupuncture should be accessed. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) which evaluated the effectiveness of xerostomia in SS. PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Chongqing Weipu Database (CQVIP), China Academic Journals Full-text Database, AiritiLibrary, Chinese Electronic Periodicals Service (CEPS), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) Database were searches through May 12, 2018 to select studies. Data for evaluation of subjective and objective xerostomia was extracted and was assessed with random-effects meta-analysis. After searching, a total of 541 references were yielded and five RCTs were included, covering 340 patients dry mouth resulted from SS, among whom 169 patients received acupuncture and 171 patients were control group. Acupuncture group was associated with higher subjective response rate (odds ratio 3.036, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.828 – 5.042, P < 0.001) and increased salivary flow rate (weighted mean difference [WMD] 3.066, 95% CI 2.969 – 3.164, P < 0.001), as an objective marker. In addition, two studies examined IgG levels, which were lower in the acupuncture group (WMD -166.857, 95% CI -233.138 - -100.576, P < 0.001). Therefore, in the present meta-analysis, acupuncture improves both subjective and objective markers of dry mouth with autoantibodies reduction in patients with SS and is considered as an option of non-pharmacological treatment for SS.
Applying Computer Simulation Methods to a Molecular Understanding of Flaviviruses Proteins towards Differential Serological Diagnostics and Therapeutic Intervention
The flavivirus genus has several organisms responsible for generating various diseases in humans. Special in Brazil, Zika (ZIKV), Dengue (DENV) and Yellow Fever (YFV) viruses have raised great health concerns due to the high number of cases affecting the area during the last years. Diagnostic is still a difficult issue since the clinical symptoms are highly similar. The understanding of their common structural/dynamical and biomolecular interactions features and differences might suggest alternative strategies towards differential serological diagnostics and therapeutic intervention. Due to their immunogenicity, the primary focus of this study was on the ZIKV, DENV and YFV non-structural proteins 1 (NS1) protein. By means of computational studies, we calculated the main physical chemical properties of this protein from different strains that are directly responsible for the biomolecular interactions and, therefore, can be related to the differential infectivity of the strains. We also mapped the electrostatic differences at both the sequence and structural levels for the strains from Uganda to Brazil that could suggest possible molecular mechanisms for the increase of the virulence of ZIKV. It is interesting to note that despite the small changes in the protein sequence due to the high sequence identity among the studied strains, the electrostatic properties are strongly impacted by the pH which also impact on their biomolecular interactions with partners and, consequently, the molecular viral biology. African and Asian strains are distinguishable. Exploring the interfaces used by NS1 to self-associate in different oligomeric states, and to interact with membranes and the antibody, we could map the strategy used by the ZIKV during its evolutionary process. This indicates possible molecular mechanisms that can explain the different immunological response. By the comparison with the known antibody structure available for the West Nile virus, we demonstrated that the antibody would have difficulties to neutralize the NS1 from the Brazilian strain. The present study also opens up perspectives to computationally design high specificity antibodies.
Tool Development for Assessing Antineoplastic Drugs Surface Contamination in Healthcare Services and Other Workplaces
Introduction: Healthcare workers' exposure to antineoplastic drugs (AD) is a burning issue for occupational medicine practitioners. Biological monitoring of occupational exposure (BMOE) is an essential tool for assessing AD contamination of healthcare workers. In addition to BMOE, surface sampling is a useful tool in order to understand how workers get contaminated, to identify sources of environmental contamination, to verify the effectiveness of surface decontamination way and to ensure monitoring of these surfaces. The objective of this work was to develop a complete tool including a kit for surface sampling and a quantification analytical method for AD traces detection. The development was realized with the three following criteria: the kit capacity to sample in every professional environment (healthcare services, veterinaries, etc.), the detection of very low AD traces with a validated analytical method and the easiness of the sampling kit use regardless of the person in charge of sampling. Material and method: AD mostly used in term of quantity and frequency have been identified by an analysis of the literature and consumptions of different hospitals, veterinary services, and home care settings. The kind of adsorbent device, surface moistening solution and mix of solvents for the extraction of AD from the adsorbent device have been tested for a maximal yield. The AD quantification was achieved by an ultra high-performance liquid chromatography method coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). Results: With their high frequencies of use and their good reflect of the diverse activities through healthcare, 15 AD (cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, doxorubicin, daunorubicin, epirubicin, 5-FU, dacarbazin, etoposide, pemetrexed, vincristine, cytarabine, methothrexate, paclitaxel, gemcitabine, mitomycin C) were selected. The analytical method was optimized and adapted to obtain high sensitivity with very low limits of quantification (25 to 5000ng/mL), equivalent or lowest that those previously published (for 13/15 AD). The sampling kit is easy to use, provided with a didactic support (online video and protocol paper). It showed its effectiveness without inter-individual variation (n=5/person; n= 5 persons; p=0,85; ANOVA) regardless of the person in charge of sampling. Conclusion: This validated tool (sampling kit + analytical method) is very sensitive, easy to use and very didactic in order to control the chemical risk brought by AD. Moreover, BMOE permits a focal prevention. Used in routine, this tool is available for every intervention of occupational health.
Occupational Exposure and Contamination to Antineoplastic Drugs of Healthcare Professionals in Mauritania
Context: In Mauritania, the activity of the National Center of Oncology (NCO) has steadily risen leading to an increase in the handling of antineoplastic drugs (AD) by healthcare professionals. In this context, the AD contamination of those professionals is a major concern for occupational physicians. It has been evaluated using biological monitoring of occupational exposure (BMOE). Methods: The intervention took place in 2015, in 2 care units, and evaluated nurses preparing and/or infusing AD and agents in charge of hygiene. Participants provided a single urine sample, at the end of the week, at the end of their shift. Five molecules were sought using specific high sensitivity methods (UHPLC-MS/MS) with very low limits of quantification (LOQ) (cyclophosphamide (CP), Ifosfamide (IF), methotrexate (MTX): 2.5ng/L; doxorubicin (Doxo): 10ng/L; α-fluoro-β-alanine (FBAL, 5-FU metabolite): 20ng/L). A healthcare worker was considered as 'contaminated' when an AD was detected at a urine concentration equal to or greater than the LOQ of the analytical method or at trace concentration. Results: Twelve persons participated (6 nurses, 6 agents in charge of hygiene). Twelve urine samples were collected and analyzed. The percentage of contamination was 66.6% for all participants (n=8/12), 100% for nurses (6/6) and 33% for agents in charge of hygiene (2/6). In 62.5% (n=5/8) of the contaminated workers, two to four of the AD were detected in the urine. CP was found in the urine of all contaminated workers. FBAL was found in four, MTX in three and Doxo in one. Only IF was not detected. Urinary concentrations (all drugs combined) ranged from 3 to 844 ng/L for nurses and from 3 to 44 ng/L for agents in charge of hygiene. The median urinary concentrations were 87 ng/L, 15.1 ng/L and 4.4 ng/L for FBAL, CP and MTX, respectively. The Doxo urinary concentration was found 218ng/L. Discussion: There is no current biological exposure index for the interpretation of AD contamination. The contamination of these healthcare professionals is therefore established by the detection of one or more AD in urine. These urinary contaminations are higher than the LOQ of the analytical methods, which must be as low as possible. Given the danger of AD, the implementation of corrective measures is essential for the staff. Biological monitoring of occupational exposure is the most reliable process to identify groups at risk, tracing insufficiently controlled exposures and as an alarm signal. These results show the necessity to educate professionals about the risks of handling AD and/or to care for treated patients.
Proposals for the Practical Implementation of the Biological Monitoring of Occupational Exposure for Antineoplastic Drugs
Context: Most antineoplastic drugs (AD) have a potential carcinogenic, mutagenic and/or reprotoxic effect and are classified as 'hazardous to handle' by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Their handling increases with the increase of cancer incidence. AD contamination from workers who handle AD and/or care for treated patients is, therefore, a major concern for occupational physicians. As part of the process of evaluation and prevention of chemical risks for professionals exposed to AD, Biological Monitoring of Occupational Exposure (BMOE) is the tool of choice. BMOE allows identification of at-risk groups, monitoring of exposures, assessment of poorly controlled exposures and the effectiveness and/or wearing of protective equipment, and documenting occupational exposure incidents to AD. This work aims to make proposals for the practical implementation of the BMOE for AD. The proposed strategy is based on the French good practice recommendations for BMOE, issued in 2016 by 3 French learned societies. These recommendations have been adapted to occupational exposure to AD. Results: AD contamination of professionals is a sensitive topic, and the BMOE requires the establishment of a working group and information meetings within the concerned health establishment to explain the approach, objectives, and purpose of monitoring. Occupational exposure to AD is often discontinuous and 2 steps are essential upstream: a study of the nature and frequency of AD used to select the Biological Exposure Indice(s) (BEI) most representative of the activity; a study of AD path in the institution to target exposed professionals and to adapt medico-professional information sheet (MPIS). The MPIS is essential to gather the necessary elements for results interpretation. Currently, 28 urinary specific BEIs of AD exposure have been identified, and corresponding analytical methods have been published: 11 BEIs were AD metabolites, and 17 were AD. Results interpretation is performed by groups of homogeneous exposure (GHE). There is no threshold biological limit value of interpretation. Contamination is established when an AD is detected in trace concentration or in a urine concentration equal or greater than the limit of quantification (LOQ) of the analytical method. Results can only be compared to LOQs of these methods, which must be as low as possible. For 8 of the 17 AD BEIs, the LOQ is very low with values between 0.01 to 0.05µg/l. For the other BEIs, the LOQ values were higher between 0.1 to 30µg/l. Results restitution by occupational physicians to workers should be individual and collective. Faced with AD dangerousness, in cases of workers contamination, it is necessary to put in place corrective measures. In addition, the implementation of prevention and awareness measures for those exposed to this risk is a priority. Conclusion: This work is a help for occupational physicians engaging in a process of prevention of occupational risks related to AD exposure. With the current analytical tools, effective and available, the (BMOE) to the AD should now be possible to develop in routine occupational physician practice. The BMOE may be complemented by surface sampling to determine workers' contamination modalities.
Eliminating Injury at Work Place and Realizing Vision Zero Using Accident Investigation and Analysis as Method: A Case Study
Accident investigation and analysis are useful to identify deficiencies in plant, process, and management practices and formulate preventive strategies for injury elimination. In India and other parts of the world, industrial accidents are investigated to know the causes and also to fulfill legal compliances. However, findings of investigation are seldom used appropriately to strengthen Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in expected lines. The mineral rich state of Odisha in eastern coast of India; known as a hub for Iron and Steel industries, witnessed frequent accidents during 2005-2009. This article based on study of 982 fatal ‘factory-accidents’ occurred in Odisha during the period 2001-2016, discusses the ‘turnaround-story’ resulting in reduction of fatal accident from 122 in 2009 to 45 in 2016. This paper examines various factors causing incidents; accident pattern in steel and chemical sector; role of climate and harsh weather conditions on accident causation. Software such as R, SQL, MS-Excel and Tableau were used for analysis of data. It is found that maximum fatality is caused due to ‘fall from height’ (24%); steel industries are relatively more accident prone; harsh weather conditions of summer increase chances of accident by 20%. Further, the study suggests that enforcement of partial work-restriction around lunch time during peak summer, screening and training of employees reduce accidents due to fall from height. The study indicates that learning from accident investigation and analysis can be used as a method to reduce work related accidents in the journey towards ‘Vision Zero’.
Chronic Pesticides Exposure and Certain Endocrine Functions Among Farmers in East Almnaif District, Ismailia, Egypt
Background: Exposure to pesticides is one of the most important occupational risks among farmers in developing countries. Along with the wide use of pesticides in the world, the concerns over their health impacts are rapidly growing. Objective: To investigate thyroid and reproductive hormones and fasting blood glucose levels among farmers chronically exposed to pesticide from East Almnaif district, Ismailia governorate. Methods: An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted on 43 farmers with active involvement pesticides handling and 43 participants not occupationally exposed to pesticides as the control group. A structured interview questionnaire measuring the sociodemographic characteristics, pesticides exposure characteristics, and safety measures was used. General examination including measurements of height, weight, and blood pressure was done. Moreover, levels of plasma cholinesterase enzyme (PChE), glucose, as well as reproductive and thyroid hormones (TSH, T4, and testosterone) were determined. Results: There were no statistically significant differences between both groups regarding their age, educational level, smoking status, and body mass index. The mean duration of exposure was 20.60 11.06 years. Majority of farmers (76.7%) did not use any personal protective equipment (PPE) during pesticides handling. The mean systolic blood pressure among exposed farmers was greater (134.88 17.18 mm Hg) compared to control group (125 14.69 mm Hg) with statistically significant difference (p = 0.003). The mean diastolic blood pressure was higher (84.02 8.69 mm Hg) compared to control group (78.79 8.98 mm Hg) with statistically significant difference (p = 0.006). The pesticide exposed farmers had statistically significant lower level of PChE (3969.93 1841U/L) than control group (4879.29 1950.08 U/L). Additionally, TSH level was significantly higher in exposed farmers (median =1.39µIU/ml) compared to controls (median = 0.91 µIU/ml) (p=0.032). While, the exposed group had a lower T4 level (6.91 1.91 µg/dl) compared to the control group (7.79 2.10µg/dl), with the statistically significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.045). The exposed group had significantly lower level of testosterone hormone (median=3.37 ng/ml) compared to the control group (median= 6.22 ng/ml) (p=0.003). While, the exposed farmers had statistically insignificant higher level of fasting blood glucose (median =89 mg/dl) than the controls (median=88 mg/dl). Furthermore, farmers who did not use PPE had statistically significant lower level of T4 (6.57 1.81µg/dl) than farmers who used PPE during handling of pesticides (8.01 1.89 µg/dl). Conclusion: Chronic exposure to pesticides exerts disturbing action on reproductive function and thyroid function of the male farmers.
Occupational Stress and Lipid Profile among Drivers in Ismailia City, Egypt
Background: Occupational stress plays a crucial role in professional drivers' health. They are exposed to high workloads, low physical activity, high demand and low decisions as well as poor lifestyle factors including poor diet, sedentary work, and smoking. Dyslipidemia is a well-established modifiable cardiovascular risk factor. Occupational stress and other forms of chronic stress have been associated with raised levels of atherogenic lipids. Although stress management has some evidence in improving lipid profile, the association between occupational stress and dyslipidemia is not clear. Objectives: To assess the relational between occupational stress and lipid profile among professional drivers. Methodology: A cross-sectional study conducted at a large company in Ismailia City, Egypt, where, 131 professional drivers divided into 44 car drivers, 43 bus drivers, and 44 truck drivers were eligible after applying exclusion criteria. Occupational stress index (OSI), non-occupational risk factors of dyslipidemia were assessed using interview structured questionnaire. Blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and lipid profile were measured. Results: The mean of total OSI score was 79.98 ± 6.14. The total OSI score is highest among truck drivers (82.16 ± 4.62), then bus drivers (80.26 ± 6.02) and lowest among car drivers (77.55 ± 6.79) with statistically significant. Eighty percent had Dyslipidemia. The duration of driving hours per day, exposure to passive smoking and increased BMI were the risk factors. No statistical significance between Total OSI score and dyslipidemia. Using, logistic regression analysis, occupational stress, duration of driving hours per day, and BMI were positive significant predictors for dyslipidemia. Conclusion: Professional drivers are exposed to occupational stress. A high proportion of drivers have dyslipidemia. Total OSI score doesn't have statistically significant relation with dyslipidemia.
Disentangling the Sources and Context of Daily Work Stress: Study Protocol of a Comprehensive Real-Time Modelling Study Using Portable Devices
Introduction and Aim: Chronic workplace stress and its health-related consequences like mental and cardiovascular diseases have been widely investigated. This project focuses on the sources and context of psychosocial daily workplace stress in a real-world setting. The main objective is to analyze and model real-time relationships between (1) psychosocial stress experiences within the natural work environment, (2) micro-level work activities and events, and (3) physiological signals and behaviors in office workers. Methods: An Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) protocol has been developed, partly building on machine learning techniques. Empatica® wristbands will be used for real-life detection of stress from physiological signals; micro-level activities and events at work will be based on smartphone registrations, further processed according to an automated computer algorithm. A field study including 100 office-based workers with high-level problem-solving tasks like managers and researchers will be implemented in Slovenia and Belgium (50 in each country). Data mining and state-of-the-art statistical methods – mainly multilevel statistical modelling for repeated data – will be used. Expected Results and Impact: The project findings will provide novel contributions to the field of occupational health research. While traditional assessments provide information about global perceived state of chronic stress exposure, the EMA approach is expected to bring new insights about daily fluctuating work stress experiences, especially micro-level events and activities at work that induce acute physiological stress responses. The project is therefore likely to generate further evidence on relevant stressors in a real-time working environment and hence make it possible to advise on workplace procedures and policies for reducing stress.
Effect of Diet and Life Style Modification to Control the Plasma Glucose Level in the 60 Patients of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Background: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as impaired glucose tolerance first recognized during pregnancy. Uncontrolled or untreated GDM is associated with various adverse outcomes to the maternal and fetal health. Overt diabetes mellitus may also develop in such patients. It is universally accepted fact that first and foremost management to treat GDM is dietary control and lifestyle modification even before starting any oral hypoglycemic agent (OHA) or insulin. So, proper dietary management and little changes in the patient’s lifestyle are very effective for reducing her plasma glucose level. Objectives: Proper counselling of the patients and flexibility in their lifestyle and diet can effectively control the plasma glucose level in GDM patients. Methods: Total 60 GDM patients of age > 18 years were taken. We had three counselling sessions with the patient and other members of the family like husband, parents, and in-laws at different intervals, discussed their lifestyle and diet pattern, helped them to eliminate the factors those had an adverse effect on plasma glucose level and promoted them to acquire a healthy lifestyle. We have counselled the patient and her family member separately and then together also. They have explained how increased plasma glucose level can be effectively controlled with the little modification in their diet and routine activities. They were also taught to remain stress-free during their rest of antenatal period. We have excluded the patients from our study who were diabetic before pregnancy and patients with other comorbid illnesses like hypothyroidism and valvular heart disease. Results and conclusions: Results were very rewarding as patients could acquire a lifestyle of their choice. They were happy because extra pill burden was not there. All the 60 patients were normoglycemic in remaining antenatal period, 48 patients were delivered normally and 12 patients underwent cesarean section due to various reasons.Regular counselling of the patients regarding their disease and little alterations in diet and lifestyle controlled the plasma glucose level much effectively. The things were more easier and effective when we included other family members during our counselling session because they play a major role in patient’s day to day activity and influence her life.
Ethical Framework in Organ Transplantation and the Priority Line between Law and Life
The need for organ transplantation is vigorously increasing worldwide. The numbers on the waiting lists grow, but the number of donors is not keeping up with the demand even though there is a legal possibility of decreasing the gap between the demand and supply. Most countries around the globe are facing an organ donation problem (living or deceased); however, the extent of the problem differs based on how well developed a country is. The determining issues seem to be centered on how aware the society is about the concept of organ donation, as well as cultural and religious factors. Even if people are aware of the benefits of organ donation, they may still have fears that keep them from being in complete agreement with the idea. Some believe that in the case of deceased organ donation: “the brain dead human body may recover from its injuries” or “the sick might get less appropriate treatment if doctors know they are potential donors.” In the case of living organ donations, people sometimes fear that after the donation, “it might reduce work efficiency, cause health deterioration or even death.” Another major obstacle in the organ shortage is a lack of a well developed ethical framework. In reality, there are truly an immense number of people on the waiting list, and they have only two options in order to receive a suitable organ. First is the legal way, which is to wait until their turn. Sadly, numerous patients die while on the waiting list before an appropriate organ becomes available for transplant. The second option is an illegal way: seeking an organ in a country where they can possibly get. To tell the truth, in people’s desire to live, they may choose the second option if their resources are sufficient. This process automatically involves “organ brokers.” These are people who get organs from vulnerable poor people by force or betrayal. As mentioned earlier, the high demand and low supply leads to human trafficking. The subject of the study was the large number of society from different backgrounds of their belief, culture, nationality, level of education, socio-economic status. The great majority of them interviewed online used “Google Drive Survey” and others in person. All statistics and information gathered from trusted sources annotated in the reference list and above mentioned considerable testimonies shared by the respondents are the fundamental evidence of a lack of the well developed ethical framework. In conclusion, the continuously increasing number of people on the waiting list and an irrelevant ethical framework, lead people to commit to atrocious, dehumanizing crimes. Therefore, world society should be equally obligated to think carefully and make vital decisions together for the advancement of an organ donations and its ethical framework.
Orthodontic Treatment Using CAD/CAM System
The correct positioning of the brackets is essential for the success of orthodontic treatment. Indirect bracket placing technique has the main objective of eliminating the positioning errors, which commonly occur in the technique of direct system of brackets. The objective of this study is to demonstrate that the exact positioning of the brackets is of extreme relevance for the success of the treatment. The present work shows a case report of an adult female patient who attended the clinic with the complaint of being in orthodontic treatment for more than 5 years without noticing any progress. As a result of the intra-oral clinical examination and documentation analysis, a class III malocclusion, an anterior open bite, and absence of all third molars and first upper and lower bilateral premolars were observed. For the treatment, the indirect bonding technique with self-ligating ceramic braces was applied. The preparation of the trays was done after the intraoral digital scanning and printing of models with a 3D printer. Brackets were positioned virtually, using a specialized software. After twelve months of treatment, correction of the malocclusion was observed, as well as the closing of the anterior open bite. It is concluded that the adequate and precise positioning of brackets is necessary for a successful treatment.
Association between Bottle-Feeding Habit and Occlusal Disorders in Children 4-6 Years Old
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of occlusal disorders associated with bottle feeding habits in children aged 4-6 years old. A cross-sectional study was performed in a sample of 466 preschool children aged 4-6 years, attending state preschools in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Parents and caregivers answered a questionnaire about children’s oral habits, including bottle-feeding habit, and signed the Informed Consent form. The students underwent an oral examination to evaluate occlusal disorders. Data were analyzed by the SPSS 2.2 program (IBM, USA) and treated with non-parametric chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression with a significance level of p < 0.05. There was association between bottle-feeding and occlusal disorders (OR = 3.058, 95% CI = 1.561-5.991, PI < 0.001), with a higher significance for anterior open bite (OR = 2.855, 95% CI = 1.769-4.606, PI < 0.001) and canine class II (OR = 0.667, 95% CI = 0.449-0.990, PI < 0.045). There was no relationship between bottle-feeding habit and other occlusal disorders examined. It was possible to conclude that children who were bottle fed during childhood are more likely to develop occlusal disorders, especially anterior open bite and canine class II.
Survey of Indoor Radon/Thoron Concentrations in High Lung Cancer Incidence Area in India
Mizoram state has the highest lung cancer incidence rate in India due to its high-level consumption of tobacco and its products which is supplemented by the food habits. While smoking is mainly responsible for this incidence, the effect of inhalation of indoor radon gas cannot be discarded as the hazardous nature of this radioactive gas and its progenies on human population have been well-established worldwide where the radiation damage to bronchial cells eventually can be the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking. It is also known that the effect of radiation, however, small may be the concentration, cannot be neglected as they can bring about the risk of cancer incidence. Hence, estimation of indoor radon concentration is important to give a useful reference against radiation effects as well as establishing its safety measures and to create a baseline for further case-control studies. The indoor radon/thoron concentrations in Mizoram had been measured in 41 dwellings selected on the basis of spot gamma background radiation and construction type of the houses during 2015-2016. The dwellings were monitored for one year, in 4 months cycles to indicate seasonal variations, for the indoor concentration of radon gas and its progenies, outdoor gamma dose, and indoor gamma dose respectively. A time-integrated method using Solid State Nuclear Track Detector (SSNTD) based single entry pin-hole dosimeters were used for measurement of indoor Radon/Thoron concentration. Gamma dose measurements for indoor as well as outdoor were carried out using Geiger Muller survey meters. Seasonal variation of indoor radon/ thoron concentration was monitored. The results show that the annual average radon concentrations varied from 54.07 – 144.72 Bq/m³ with an average of 90.20 Bq/m³ and the annual average thoron concentration varied from 17.39 – 54.19 Bq/m³ with an average of 35.91 Bq/m³ which are below the permissible limit. The spot survey of gamma background radiation level varies between 9 to 24 µR/h inside and outside the dwellings throughout Mizoram which are all within acceptable limits. From the above results, there is no direct indication that radon/thoron is responsible for the high lung cancer incidence in the area. In order to find epidemiological evidence of natural radiations to high cancer incidence in the area, one may need to conduct a case-control study which is beyond this scope. However, the derived data of measurement will provide baseline data for further studies.
A Case of Prosthetic Vascular-Graft Infection Due to Mycobacterium fortuitum
Case presentation: A 69-year-old Japanese man presented with a low-grade fever and fatigue that had persisted for one month. The patient had an aortic dissection on the aortic arch 13 years prior, an abdominal aortic aneurysm seven years prior, and an aortic dissection on the distal aortic arch one year prior, which were all treated with artificial blood-vessel replacement surgery. Laboratory tests revealed an inflammatory response (CRP 7.61 mg/dl), high serum creatinine (Cr 1.4 mg/dL), and elevated transaminase (AST 47 IU/L, ALT 45 IU/L). The patient was admitted to our hospital on suspicion of prosthetic vascular graft infection. Following further workups on the inflammatory response, an enhanced chest computed tomography (CT) and a non-enhanced chest DWI (MRI) were performed. The patient was diagnosed with a pulmonary fistula and a prosthetic vascular graft infection on the distal aortic arch. After admission, the patient was administered Ceftriaxion and Vancomycine for ten days, but his fever and inflammatory response did not improve. On day 13 of hospitalization, a lung fistula repair surgery and an omental filling operation were performed, and Meropenem and Vancomycine were administered. The fever and inflammatory response continued, and therefore we took repeated blood cultures. M. fortuitum was detected in a blood culture on day 16 of hospitalization. As a result, we changed the treatment regimen to Amikacin (400 mg/day), Meropenem (2 g/day), and Cefmetazole (4 g/day), and the fever and inflammatory response began to decrease gradually. We performed a test of sensitivity for Mycobacterium fortuitum, and found that the MIC was low for fluoroquinolone antibacterial agent. The clinical course was good, and the patient was discharged after a total of 8 weeks of intravenous drug administration. At discharge, we changed the treatment regimen to Levofloxacin (500 mg/day) and Clarithromycin (800 mg/day), and prescribed these two drugs as a long life suppressive therapy. Discussion: There are few cases of prosthetic vascular graft infection caused by mycobacteria, and a standard therapy remains to be established. For prosthetic vascular graft infections, it is ideal to provide surgical and medical treatment in parallel, but in this case, surgical treatment was difficult and, therefore, conservative treatment was chosen. We attempted to increase the treatment success rate of this refractory disease by conducting a susceptibility test for mycobacteria and treating with different combinations of antimicrobial agents, which was ultimately effective. With our treatment approach, a good clinical course was obtained and continues at the present stage. Conclusion: Although prosthetic vascular graft infection resulting from mycobacteria is a refractory infectious disease, it may be curative to administer appropriate antibiotics based on the susceptibility test in addition to surgical treatment.
Still Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk Despite Proper Treatment of Chronic Viral Hepatitis
Chronic viral hepatitis B, C, and D can cause hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), cirrhosis and death. The proper treatment reduce the risk of development of HCC importantly, but not to zero point. Materials and Methods: We analysed retrospectively our chronic viral hepatitis B, C and D patients who attended to our Infectious Diseases policlinic between 2004-2018. From 589 biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis patients 3 have hepatocellular carcinoma on our follow up. First case is 74 years old patient. His HCV infection diagnosis was made 8 years ago. First treatment was pegylated interferon plus ribavirin only 28 weeks, because of HCV RNA breakthrough under treatment. In 2013 he was retreated with telaprevir, pegylated interferon plus ribavirin 24 weeks. But at the end of the therapy HCV RNA was found 1.290.000 IU/mL. He has abdominal ultrasonography (US) controls and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) at 6 months intervals. All seemed normal until 2015 then he has an abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and found HCC by chance. His treatment began in Oncology Clinic after verified with biopsy of HCC. And then sofosbuvir/ledipasvir was given to him for HCV 24 weeks. Sustained virologic response (SVR) was obtained. He is on cure for HCV infection and under control of Oncology for HCC. Second patient is 36 years old man. He knows his HBV infection since 2008. HBsAg and HBeAg positive; HDV RNA negative. Liver biopsy revealed grade:4, stage 3-4 according modified Knodell scoring system. In 2010 tenofovir treatment was began. His abdominal US and AFP were normal. His controls took place at 6 months intervals and HBV DNA negative, US, and AFP were normal until 2016 continuously. AFP found 37 above the normal range and then HCC was found in MRI. Third patient is 57 years old man. As hepatitis B infection was first diagnosed; he has cirrhosis and was began tenofovir as treatment. In short time he has HCC despite normal AFP values. Conclusion: In Mediterranian countries including Turkey naturally occurring pre-S/S variants are more than 75% of all chronic hepatitis B patients. This variants may contribute to the development of progressive liver damage and hepatocarcinogenesis. HCV-induced development of HCC is a gradual process and is affected by the duration of disease and viral genotype. All the chronic viral hepatitis patients should be followed up in 6 months intervals not only with US and AFP for HCC. Despite they have proper treatment there is always the risk development of HCC. Chronic hepatitis patients cannot be dropped from follow up even treated well.