Special Issue "Global Women's Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Women's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Kuo-Hu Chen
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Buddhist Taipei Tzu-Chi General Hospital, Taiwan
School of Medicine, Tzu-Chi University, Taiwan
Interests: minimally invasive gynecology; high-risk pregnancy; public health; maternal-fetal medicine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I am organizing a Special Issue on "Global Women’s Health" in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, a peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, please refer to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Women’s health is a major concern all over the world. During pregnancies, women may encounter complications, including preterm births, spontaneous or artificial abortion, gestational hypertension and diabetes. For the rest of their lifetime, they may face problems that potentially threaten their health, such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, genital prolapse, and gynecologic cancers. In addition, fertility, contraception, the effect of environmental hormones (endocrine disruptors) on women’s diseases, and health disparities of females are all important issues. According to a WHO report, health disparities of females exist in many countries as a result of both biological and gender-related differences. In many countries, women are disadvantaged by discrimination rooted in sociocultural factors which prevent them from benefiting from quality health services, including unequal power relationships between genders, social norms that decrease education and paid employment opportunities, an exclusive focus on women’s reproductive roles, and potentially physical, sexual, and emotional violence.

This Special Issue solicits any original contributions and reviews that explore the natures of diseases and health impact on women in different countries and communities. Studies discussing health issues of global women mentioned above are welcomed. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Prof. Kuo-Hu Chen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Preterm birth
  • Abortion, spontaneous or artificial
  • Gestational hypertension
  • Diabetes, overt or gestational
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery
  • Fertility and contraception
  • Genital prolapse
  • Environmental hormones (endocrine disruptor) and women’s diseases
  • Health disparities of females

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Ethiopian Health Care Workers’ Insights into and Responses to Intimate Partner Violence in Pregnancy—A Qualitative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3745; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103745 - 25 May 2020
Abstract
Violence against women is a global pandemic, with the potential to spread through generations. Intimate partner violence has impacts on women’s sexual, reproductive, and psycho-social health. It can occur during pregnancy and adversely affect the health of both mother and child. Health care [...] Read more.
Violence against women is a global pandemic, with the potential to spread through generations. Intimate partner violence has impacts on women’s sexual, reproductive, and psycho-social health. It can occur during pregnancy and adversely affect the health of both mother and child. Health care workers involved in antenatal care can have a unique role in identifying intimate partner violence and in intervening, preventing, and mitigating its consequences. In this study, the objective was to explore Ethiopian health care workers’ insights of and responses to intimate partner violence in pregnancy. Using an exploratory design, this qualitative study includes ten semi-structured interviews of health care workers representing different antenatal care centers in Jimma, Ethiopia. The content analyses of translated interview notes were conducted with Atlas.ti7 software, (Atlas.ti Scientific Software Development Gmbh, Berlin). The health care workers shared their insights of the consequences of intimate partner violence during pregnancy in addition to their experience with and responses to the victims. There was a limited understanding of the extent of the adverse impacts of intimate partner violence on pregnancy outcomes, as well as the potential long-term health implications. The informants described how they only gave medical treatment for obstetric complications or visible trauma during pregnancy. There was no formal referral to or linkages with other resources. Women’s empowerment and systemic changes in the health care, including training and capacity building, clear guidelines addressing management of intimate partner violence in pregnancy, and inclusion of intimate partner violence screening tools in the Ethiopian antenatal care chart/card, were recommended by the informants. The adverse impacts of intimate partner violence on pregnancy outcomes were poorly understood by the Ethiopian health care workers in this study. They offered limited assistance to the victims and recommended changes in the routine antenatal care (ANC) and health care systems. They identified various policy initiatives focusing on women’s empowerment to reduce intimate partner violence and its complications especially during pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
Open AccessArticle
Prepregnancy Endocrine, Autoimmune Disorders and the Risks of Gestational Hypertension-Preeclampsia in Primiparas: A Nationwide Population-Based Study in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3657; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103657 - 22 May 2020
Abstract
(1) Objective: To assess the risks of gestational hypertension/preeclampsia (GH-PE) in women with prepregnancy endocrine and autoimmune disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). (2) Methods: In a nationwide population-based longitudinal study, data were retrieved from the 1998 [...] Read more.
(1) Objective: To assess the risks of gestational hypertension/preeclampsia (GH-PE) in women with prepregnancy endocrine and autoimmune disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). (2) Methods: In a nationwide population-based longitudinal study, data were retrieved from the 1998 to 2012 Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. ICD9-CM codes 256.4, 710.0, and 642.X were identified for the corresponding diagnoses of PCOS, SLE, and GH-PE, respectively, which were further confirmed by inspection of medical claims data for ultrasonography findings, laboratory tests, blood pressure measurements and examinations of urine protein to ensure the accuracy of the diagnoses. To clarify the risks of primiparous GH-PE, the study excluded women diagnosed with PCOS or SLE at <15 or >45 years of age, pre-existing chronic hypertension, GH-PE before PCOS and SLE, and abortion or termination before 20 weeks’ gestation. For women affected by prepregnancy PCOS or SLE individually, each pregnant woman was age-matched to four pregnant women without PCOS or SLE. Logistic regression analyses were applied to report odds ratios (ORs) for the risks of GH-PE after adjustment for age, occupation, urbanization, economic status, and other co-morbidities. (3) Results: Among 8070 and 2430 women with prepregnancy PCOS and SLE retrieved from a population of 1,000,000 residents, 1953 (24.20%) and 820 (33.74%) had subsequent primiparous pregnancies that were analyzable and compared with 7812 and 3280 pregnancies without prepregnancy PCOS and SLE, respectively. GH-PE occurred more frequently in pregnancies with prepregnancy PCOS (5.79% vs. 2.23%, p < 0.0001) and SLE (3.41% vs. 1.80%, p < 0.01) as compared to those without PCOS and SLE. Further analysis revealed that prepregnancy PCOS (adjusted OR = 2.36; 95%CI: 1.83–3.05) and SLE (adjusted OR = 1.95; 95%CI: 1.23–3.10) were individually associated with GH-PE. The risk of GH-PE was not reduced in women with prepregnancy PCOS receiving metformin treatment (p = 0.22). (4) Conclusions: Prepregnancy PCOS and SLE are independent and significant risk factors for the occurrence of GH-PE. Because the peripartum complications are much higher among pregnancies with GH-PE, the at-risk woman should be informed and well-prepared during her pregnancy and delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Chronic Fatigue, Physical Impairments and Quality of Life in Women with Endometriosis: A Case-Control Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3610; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103610 - 21 May 2020
Abstract
Aim: To explore endometriosis-related fatigue (ERF), health-related fitness, sleep quality, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in women with endometriosis in comparison with matched controls. Methods: Twenty-five affected women and twenty-five age and height-matched women without endometriosis were included. ERF was assessed through [...] Read more.
Aim: To explore endometriosis-related fatigue (ERF), health-related fitness, sleep quality, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in women with endometriosis in comparison with matched controls. Methods: Twenty-five affected women and twenty-five age and height-matched women without endometriosis were included. ERF was assessed through the Piper Fatigue Scale; health-related fitness was assessed through the Schöber, flamingo, and 6-min walking tests and dynamometry; and body composition was assessed through impedanciometry. Self-perceived physical fitness, sleep quality, and HRQoL were assessed through the International Fitness Scale, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and the 12-item Short Form Health Survey, respectively. Results: Affected women exhibited higher levels of ERF than controls, increased fat mass, and physical deconditioning (reduced back strength, lumbar flexibility, body balance, and functional capacity, p-values < 0.050). Moreover, cases also had poorer perceived physical fitness, sleep quality, and HRQoL (p-value < 0.050). Finally, we observed deteriorated health-related fitness, sleep quality, and HRQoL in those women with endometriosis with higher levels of ERF. Conclusions: This study constitutes the first evidence that women with endometriosis describe a generalized physical deconditioning, even more pronounced in affected women with higher levels of ERF. Further studies assessing the efficacy of rehabilitation interventions to face these physical impairments in women with endometriosis are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Neurocognitive Inhibitory Control Ability Performance and Correlations with Biochemical Markers in Obese Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2726; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082726 - 15 Apr 2020
Abstract
Inhibitory control, the ability to suppress prepotent responses and resist irrelevant stimuli, is thought to play a critical role in the maintenance of obesity. However, electrophysiological performance related to different inhibitory control processes and their relationship with motor response inhibition and cognitive interference [...] Read more.
Inhibitory control, the ability to suppress prepotent responses and resist irrelevant stimuli, is thought to play a critical role in the maintenance of obesity. However, electrophysiological performance related to different inhibitory control processes and their relationship with motor response inhibition and cognitive interference and potential biochemical mechanisms in middle-aged, obese women are as yet unclear. This work thus compared different neurocognitive Go/Nogo and Stroop task performance in healthy sedentary normal-weight and obese women, as well as their correlation with biochemical markers. Twenty-six healthy, sedentary obese women (obese group) and 26 age-matched (21–45 years old) normal-weight women (control group) were the participants, categorized by body mass index and percentage fat, as measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. They provided a fasting blood sample and performed two cognitive tasks (i.e., Go/Nogo and Stroop tasks) with concomitant electrophysiological recording. The N2 and P3 waveforms of event-related potential (ERP) were recorded. Although the between-group behavioral performance was comparable, the obese group relative to the control group showed significantly longer N2 latency and smaller P3 amplitude in the Stroop task and smaller N2 and P3 amplitudes in the Go/Nogo task. Significant inflammation response indices (e.g., CRP, leptin, adiponectin/leptin ratio) were observed in the obese group. The Nogo P3 amplitude was significantly correlated with the adiponectin/leptin ratio. These findings indicate that healthy obese women still exhibit deviant neurophysiological performance when performing Go/Nogo and Stroop tasks, where the adiponectin/leptin ratio could be one of the influencing factors for the deficit in neural processes of motor response inhibition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Psychological and Sleep Effects of Tryptophan and Magnesium-Enriched Mediterranean Diet in Women with Fibromyalgia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072227 - 26 Mar 2020
Abstract
Anxiety, mood disturbance, eating and sleep disorders, and dissatisfaction with body image are prevalent disorders in women with fibromyalgia. The authors of this study aimed to determine the effects of tryptophan (TRY) and magnesium-enriched (MG) Mediterranean diet on psychological variables (trait anxiety, mood [...] Read more.
Anxiety, mood disturbance, eating and sleep disorders, and dissatisfaction with body image are prevalent disorders in women with fibromyalgia. The authors of this study aimed to determine the effects of tryptophan (TRY) and magnesium-enriched (MG) Mediterranean diet on psychological variables (trait anxiety, mood state, eating disorders, self-image perception) and sleep quality in women with fibromyalgia (n = 22; 49 ± 5 years old). In this randomized, controlled trial, the participants were randomly assigned to the experimental group and the placebo group. The intervention group received a Mediterranean diet enriched with high doses of TRY and MG (60 mg of TRY and 60 mg of MG), whereas the control group received the standard Mediterranean diet. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Questionnaire, Body Shape Questionnaire, State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Profile of Mood States (POMS-29) Questionnaire, Eating Attitudes Test-26, and Trait Anxiety Inventory were completed before and 16 weeks after the intervention. Significant differences were observed between groups after the intervention for the mean scores of trait anxiety (p = 0.001), self-image perception (p = 0.029), mood disturbance (p = 0.001), and eating disorders (p = 0.006). This study concludes that tryptophan and magnesium-enriched Mediterranean diet reduced anxiety symptoms, mood disturbance, eating disorders, and dissatisfaction with body image but did not improve sleep quality in women with fibromyalgia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Intracervical Foley Catheter Plus Intravaginal Misoprostol vs Intravaginal Misoprostol Alone for Cervical Ripening: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1825; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061825 - 11 Mar 2020
Abstract
Currently, there is no meta-analysis comparing intravaginal misoprostol plus intracervical Foley catheter versus intravaginal misoprostol alone for term pregnancy without identifying risk factors. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials (RCTs) comparing [...] Read more.
Currently, there is no meta-analysis comparing intravaginal misoprostol plus intracervical Foley catheter versus intravaginal misoprostol alone for term pregnancy without identifying risk factors. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials (RCTs) comparing concurrent intravaginal misoprostol and intracervical Foley catheter versus intravaginal misoprostol alone for cervical ripening. We systematically searched Embase, Pubmed, and Cochrane Collaboration databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing intracervical Foley catheter plus intravaginal misoprostol and intravaginal misoprostol alone using the search terms “Foley”, “misoprostol”, “cervical ripening”, and “induction” up to 29 January 2019. Data were extracted and analyzed by two independent reviewers including study characteristics, induction time, cesarean section (C/S), clinical suspicion of chorioamnionitis, uterine tachysystole, meconium stain, and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions. Data was pooled using random effects modeling and calculated with risk ratio (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Pooled analysis from eight studies, including 1110 women, showed that labor induction using a combination of intracervical Foley catheter and intravaginal misoprostol decreased induction time by 2.71 h (95% CI −4.33 to −1.08, p = 0.001), as well as the risk of uterine tachysystole and meconium staining (RR 0.54, 95% CI 0.30–0.99 and RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.32–0.73, respectively) significantly compared to those using intravaginal misoprostol alone. However, there was no difference in C/S rate (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.78–1.11) or clinical suspicion of chorioamnionitis rate (RR 1.22, CI 0.58–2.57) between the two groups. Labor induction with a combination of intracervical Foley catheter and intravaginal misoprostol may be a better choice based on advantages in shortening induction time and reducing the risk of uterine tachysystole and meconium staining compared to intravaginal misoprostol alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Quality of Life in POP: Validity, Reliability and Responsiveness of the Prolapse Quality of Life Questionnaire (P-QoL) in Spanish Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1690; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051690 - 05 Mar 2020
Abstract
The Prolapse Quality of Life Questionnaire (P-QoL) is a specific questionnaire created to assess the impact of pelvic organ prolapse on women’s quality of life. The aim of the present study was to cross-culturally adapt and assess the psychometric properties of the P-QoL [...] Read more.
The Prolapse Quality of Life Questionnaire (P-QoL) is a specific questionnaire created to assess the impact of pelvic organ prolapse on women’s quality of life. The aim of the present study was to cross-culturally adapt and assess the psychometric properties of the P-QoL for Spanish women. The cross-cultural adaptation was conducted by a standardized translation/back-translation method. Psychometric analysis was performed by assessing the validity, reliability, responsiveness and feasibility. A total of 200 Spanish women were recruited and assigned to symptomatic and asymptomatic groups. The Spanish P-QoL version demonstrated good content validity. Convergent validity showed high intercorrelations with the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory short form and the Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire short form. The discriminant validity showed statistically significant differences between the symptomatic and the asymptomatic groups. The internal consistency was high and of acceptable values. The test-retest reliability was shown to be high in all the cases. Regarding responsiveness, the effect size and standardized response mean demonstrated moderate values. The average time for administration was 10 (3) min. The Spanish P-QoL showed considerable support for the appropriate metric properties of validity, reliability, responsiveness and feasibility to evaluate the symptom severity and its impact on the quality of life in Spanish women with urogenital prolapse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
Open AccessArticle
Women’s Health and Well-Being in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A Narrative Review of Achievements and Gaps in the Gulf States
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17031059 - 07 Feb 2020
Abstract
Background: In 2014, United Nations member states proposed a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) to help further the millennium development goals that they had proposed in New York in 2000. Of these 13 SDGs, Goal 3 (i.e., SDG 3) was titled “Good [...] Read more.
Background: In 2014, United Nations member states proposed a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) to help further the millennium development goals that they had proposed in New York in 2000. Of these 13 SDGs, Goal 3 (i.e., SDG 3) was titled “Good Health and Well-Being.” This goal highlighted women’s health and well-being via two key objectives. The first, SDG 3.1, aimed to reduce maternal mortality rates (MMR) and the second, SDG 3.7, aimed to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health care services. Drawing on all the latest reports, which have been released by Gulf Cooperation Council states (GCC), this paper sheds light on GCC states’ work on women’s wellbeing through SDG 3. Aim: the paper aims to review GCC states’ work on women’s wellbeing in SDG3, which achievements they obtained, which tools they used and which gaps still exist. The paper aims to explain the socio-cultural background behind these achievements, tools, and gaps. Methodology: For the purpose of this study, we used narrative review approach through which we reviewed reports from 2017 and 2018 on SDGs published online by the Ministry of Development and Planning of each GCC state, and latest reports of the WHO on the same states. Findings: the study found similarities and differences between different GCC states, which in turn reveals gaps and areas that are not meeting women’s needs. The findings show that MMR in GCC countries has declined by nearly half. The main strategies they adopted to address SDG 3.1 included awareness campaigns, improving access to healthcare systems and training professionals. The tools used to meet SDG 3.7 included training health professionals and raising awareness of consanguinity. The study reveals several gaps, such as a lack of discussion around challenges and barriers, and a lack of linkage between an SDG and the targets contained within it. Conclusion: The paper concludes that there is a much greater emphasis on reducing MMR, compared to providing access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. This difference is due to different socio-cultural framing of each of these two issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
Open AccessArticle
Trends and Age-Period-Cohort Effects of Fertility Rate: Analysis of 26,224 Married Women in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 4952; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244952 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Taiwan and a few Asian societies have had among the lowest fertility rates in the world for the past decade. Understanding the reasons behind the low fertility and designing policies accordingly to improve fertility has been a priority of governments in the region. [...] Read more.
Taiwan and a few Asian societies have had among the lowest fertility rates in the world for the past decade. Understanding the reasons behind the low fertility and designing policies accordingly to improve fertility has been a priority of governments in the region. It what follows we examine the low fertility rate in Taiwan by studying the trend of actual fertility rate and desired fertility rate in Taiwan using an age-period-cohort (APC) model. Using the Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP) of contraception survey data between 1973 and 2004, we applied APC analyses on the actual fertility rate and desired fertility rate of married women. We found that youngest cohorts (the mid-cohort year 1983) had 10% higher actual fertility and 15% higher desired fertility compared to those who were born in 1959–1965, respectively. Additionally, we attributed current lowest-low fertility (at or below 1.3) to late marriages. There is a lag between the actual and desired fertility rates in KAP survey due to tempo effect. Furthermore, the trends of the cohort effects of both fertility rates in KAP surveys are reversing in Taiwan. Consequently, increase total fertility rate (TFR) should encourage marriage among the marriageable population and reward married and childbearing households. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Pyruvate Kinase M2 Expression: A Potential Metabolic Biomarker to Differentiate Endometrial Precancer and Cancer that is Associated with Poor Outcomes in Endometrial Carcinoma
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4589; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234589 - 20 Nov 2019
Abstract
Background: Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) is a regulator of the processes of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, but the roles that it plays in endometrial cancer remain largely unknown. This study evaluated the PKM2 expression in normal endometrium, endometrial hyperplasia, and endometrial carcinoma, and [...] Read more.
Background: Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) is a regulator of the processes of glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, but the roles that it plays in endometrial cancer remain largely unknown. This study evaluated the PKM2 expression in normal endometrium, endometrial hyperplasia, and endometrial carcinoma, and its prognostic value was investigated in endometrial carcinoma patients. Methods: A hospital-based retrospective review was conducted to examine the immunohistochemical PKM2 distribution in 206 endometrium samples from biopsies or hysterectomies. The immunoreactivity of PKM2 was divided into groups of low and high scores according to the extent and intensity of staining. Results: Intense cytoplasmic staining was observed for the PKM2 protein in malignant endometrial lesions. A high PKM2 score was observed in many endometrial carcinoma samples (50.0%), but there was a low percentage in endometrial atypical hyperplasia (12.5%). High PKM2 expression was not found in the normal endometrium (0.0%) nor endometrial hyperplasia without atypia (0.0%). The PKM2 protein score was significantly higher in endometrial carcinoma samples than premalignant endometrial lesions (p < 0.001). Notably, higher PKM2 scores in cases of endometrial carcinoma correlated with poor overall survival (p = 0.006), and the hazard ratio for death was 3.40 (95% confidence interval, 1.35–8.56). Conclusions: Our results indicate that the prevalence of PKM2high tumor cells in endometrial carcinoma is significantly associated with worse prognostic factors and favors a poor prognosis. The expression of PKM2 is also a potential histopathological biomarker for use in the differential diagnosis of malignant and premalignant endometrial lesions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Girls’ Empowerment and Adolescent Pregnancy: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051664 - 04 Mar 2020
Abstract
Background: 21 million girls get pregnant every year. Many initiatives are empowering girls. Various studies have looked at girl empowerment, however, there is contradicting evidence, and even less literature from developing countries. Methods: We searched articles published between January 2000 to [...] Read more.
Background: 21 million girls get pregnant every year. Many initiatives are empowering girls. Various studies have looked at girl empowerment, however, there is contradicting evidence, and even less literature from developing countries. Methods: We searched articles published between January 2000 to January 2019. We followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and registered our protocol on the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews PROSPERO (CRD42019117414). Nine articles were selected for review. Quality appraisal was done using separate tools for qualitative studies, cohort and cross-sectional studies and randomized control trials. Results: Eight studies included educational empowerment, four studies included community empowerment, three studies included economic empowerment, while two studies discussed policy empowerment. Three studies were of fair quality; two qualitative and one cross-sectional study were of high quality, while three studies had low quality. Discussion. Studies showed a favorable impact of girl empowerment on adolescent pregnancies and risky sexual behaviors. Education empowerment came through formal education or health systems such as in family planning clinics. Community empowerment was seen as crucial in girls’ development, from interactions with parents to cultural practices. Economic empowerment was direct like cash transfer programs or indirect through benefits of economic growth. Policies such as contraceptive availability or compulsory school helped reduce pregnancies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Women's Health)
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