Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Genital Lymphedema and How to Deal with It: Pearls and Pitfalls from over 38 Years of Experience with Unusual Lymphatic System Impairment
Medicina 2021, 57(11), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57111175 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 981
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Conservative treatment represents an essential pillar of lymphedema management, along with debulking and physiologic surgeries. Despite the consistent number of treatment options, there is currently no agreement on their indications and possible combinations. When dealing with unusual lymphedema presentation [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Conservative treatment represents an essential pillar of lymphedema management, along with debulking and physiologic surgeries. Despite the consistent number of treatment options, there is currently no agreement on their indications and possible combinations. When dealing with unusual lymphedema presentation as in the genitalia (Genital Lymphedema—GL), treatment choice becomes even more difficult. The authors aimed to present their targeted algorithm of single and combined treatment modalities for rare GL in order to face this paucity of information. Materials and Methods: Data were collected from a prospectively maintained database since January 1983, and cases of GL that were managed in the authors’ department were selected. Only patients that were treated in the authors’ institution and presented a minimum follow-up of 3 months were admitted to the current study. Results: From January 1983 to July 2021, 19 patients with GL were recruited. All the patients were male, and their ages ranged from 21 to 73 years old (average: 52). Ten cases (52.6%) presented with ISL (International Society of Lymphology) stage I, five (26.3%) were stage II and four (21.1%) were stage III. GL was managed with conservative treatment (12 cases), LVA (LymphaticoVenous Anastomosis) (3) or surgical excision (4). In a mean follow-up of 7.5 years (range: 3 months—11 years), no major complications occurred, and all cases reached improvements in functional and quality of life terms. Conclusions: Contrary to the predominant thought of the necessity to avoid surgery in unusual lymphedema presentations such as GL, they can be managed using targeted multimodal approaches or by adapting well-known procedures in unusual ways to achieve control of disease progression and improve patients’ quality of life. Full article
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Article
Exploring Pregnancy Outcomes Associated with SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Medicina 2021, 57(8), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57080796 - 01 Aug 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1821
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The ongoing pandemic proved to be a tremendous challenge to all economic layers, healthcare, and people safety. As more than one year elapsed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a multitude of medical studies involving the SARS-CoV-2 virus [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The ongoing pandemic proved to be a tremendous challenge to all economic layers, healthcare, and people safety. As more than one year elapsed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a multitude of medical studies involving the SARS-CoV-2 virus helped researchers and medical practitioners in understanding the effects it has on all sorts of patients until effective vaccines were finally developed and distributed for mass vaccination. Still, the SARS-CoV-2 and its new variants remain a potential threat towards all categories of patients, including a more delicate group represented by pregnant women. Thus, the current study aims to investigate the potential effects on obstetrical outcomes after a positive SARS-CoV-2 infection. Materials and Methods: This single-center prospective cohort study investigated the pregnancy outcomes in a total of 1039 eligible pregnant women between 30 August 2020 and 30 January 2021. Multiple patient characteristics and obstetrical outcomes were tested and analyzed in a multivariate regression model to establish potential risks determined by a COVID-19-positive pregnancy towards the mother and the newborn. Results: In the study sample, there were 938 pregnancies included without COVID-19 and 101 pregnant women identified with a positive COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 was significantly associated with a 2-fold increase in the risk of premature rupture of membranes and 1.5 times higher risk of preterm birth with emergency c-sections and lower APGAR scores. Also, significantly more newborns were given birth prematurely, with lower APGAR scores after the mothers were infected with SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions: A third-trimester infection with SARS-CoV-2 is a significant risk factor for preterm birth via an emergency cesarean section, a premature rupture of membranes, and a lower APGAR score in newborns, as compared with pregnancies where COVID-19 was not identified. Full article
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Article
Psychosocial Impacts of the COVID-19 Quarantine: A Study of Gender Differences in 59 Countries
Medicina 2021, 57(8), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57080789 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1926
Abstract
Background and Objectives: There is strong evidence in the literature that women experience psychological disorders at significantly higher rates than men. The higher rates of psychological disorders in women may partly be attributable to gender differences in response to stressors and coping [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: There is strong evidence in the literature that women experience psychological disorders at significantly higher rates than men. The higher rates of psychological disorders in women may partly be attributable to gender differences in response to stressors and coping styles. The objective of this study was to contribute to the growing body of literature investigating gender differences in mental health outcomes and coping styles during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in a large sample of individuals from 59 countries with variable demographic and socio-cultural characteristics. Materials and Methods: Survey data were collected from the general population following a snowball sampling method, and the survey was promoted through social media platforms and mailing lists. Participants included 6882 individuals from the general population from 59 countries around the world. A combination of both standardized and adapted measures was used to create a survey, originally in English and then translated to Spanish, Italian, French, German, and Turkish. Results: Compared with men, women presented with higher levels of trauma-related distress; had a harder time decompressing; were more depressed, anxious and stressed; showed decreased frustration tolerance and reported lower quality of sleep and an increased likelihood of taking sleep medication or other natural sleep remedies. Overall, women tended to be more vulnerable during the pandemic in developing symptoms consistent with various forms of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic distress. However, they also were more likely than men to use a variety of adaptive coping strategies, including concentrating on doing something about the situation and getting emotional support from others. Conclusions: A high prevalence of mood symptoms was noted among women. In addition to meeting the physical health needs of the population, emphasis needs to be given to mental health and the prevention of psychiatric disorders, particularly in women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
Article
Safety and Tolerability of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in Dialyzed Patients. COViNEPH Project
Medicina 2021, 57(7), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57070732 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 1965
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 mRNA vaccine has demonstrated excellent efficacy and safety in phase 3 trials. However, no dialyzed patients were included, and therefore safety data for this patient group is lacking. The aim of the study was to [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) COVID-19 mRNA vaccine has demonstrated excellent efficacy and safety in phase 3 trials. However, no dialyzed patients were included, and therefore safety data for this patient group is lacking. The aim of the study was to assess the safety and tolerances of vaccinations with BNT162b2 performed in chronically dialyzed patients. Materials and Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study including a group of 190 dialyzed patients (65% male) at median age 68.0 (55–74) years. 169 (89.0%) patients were treated with hemodialysis and 21 (11.0%) with peritoneal dialysis. The control group consisted of 160 people (61% male) without chronic kidney disease at median age 63 (range 53–77) years. Both groups were vaccinated with BNT162b2 with a 21-day interval between the first and the second dose. Solicited local and systemic reactogenicity, unsolicited adverse events and antipyretic and pain medication use were assessed with a standardized questionnaire. The toxicity grading scales were derived from the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research guidelines. Results: 59.8% (dose 1), 61.4% (dose 2) and 15.9% (dose 1), 29.4% (dose 2) dialyzed patients reported at least one local and one systemic reaction respectively within seven days after the vaccination. Many local and systemic solicited reactions were observed less frequently in dialyzed patients than in the age and sex matched control group and much less frequently than reported in the pivotal study. They were mostly mild to moderate, short-lived, and more frequently reported in younger individuals and women. No related unsolicited adverse events were observed. Conclusions: We have shown here that BNT162b2, an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech against SARS-COV-2 is safe and well-tolerated by dialyzed patients. The results can be useful for the nephrological community to resolve patients’ doubts and reduce their vaccine hesitancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nephrology)
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Article
Short-Term Effects of a Conditioning Telerehabilitation Program in Confined Patients Affected by COVID-19 in the Acute Phase. A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
Medicina 2021, 57(7), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57070684 - 03 Jul 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2419
Abstract
Background and objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenge for health systems and, specifically, to physical therapists obligated to adapt their job and stop face-to-face consultations. In this situation, therapeutic exercise has been implemented in different COVID-19 patients. This study evaluated [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenge for health systems and, specifically, to physical therapists obligated to adapt their job and stop face-to-face consultations. In this situation, therapeutic exercise has been implemented in different COVID-19 patients. This study evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of a novel therapeutic exercise program through telerehabilitation tools in COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptomatology in the acute stage. Materials and Methods: A total of 40 subjects were randomized an experimental group, based on muscle conditioning, and in a control group, who did not perform physical activity. Thirty-six subjects, 18 in each group, completed the one-week intervention. We measured the six-minute walking test, multidimensional dyspnoea-12, thirty seconds sit-to-stand test, and Borg Scale. Results: Both groups were comparable at baseline. Statistically significant improvement between groups (p < 0.05) in favor of the experimental group was obtained. No differences between gender were found (p > 0.05). Ninety percent adherence was found in our program. Conclusion: A one-week telerehabilitation program based on muscle toning exercise is effective, safe, and feasible in COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptomatology in the acute stage. Full article
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Article
Acceptability of Healthcare Professionals to Get Vaccinated against COVID-19 Two Weeks before Initiation of National Vaccination
Medicina 2021, 57(6), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57060611 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
Background and Objectives The greatest challenge vaccines face is that of acceptance from the general population. Healthcare professionals’ (HCPs) recommendations have significant influence on general public vaccination behavior. The aim of this study was to assess the willingness of HCPs to get vaccinated [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives The greatest challenge vaccines face is that of acceptance from the general population. Healthcare professionals’ (HCPs) recommendations have significant influence on general public vaccination behavior. The aim of this study was to assess the willingness of HCPs to get vaccinated against COVID-19, two weeks before initiation of vaccinations. Materials and Methods: We conducted an anonymous online survey from 11–15 December 2020 among HCPs by emails delivered from the local medical and nursing stuff associations. Results: The 71.1% of 656 HCPs intended to accept vaccination, 5.9% did not and 23% were still undecided. The acceptance rate was higher in physicians (76.5%) and significantly lower in nurses (48.3%). Most of the responders who intended to accept vaccination were males (p = 0.01), physicians (p = 0.001), older (p = 0.02), married (p = 0.054) with children (p = 0.001), and had treated patients with COVID-19 (p < 0.001). In the multivariate logistic regression, the predictors of HCPs willingness to get vaccinated were parenthood (OR = 4.19, p = 0.003), being a physician (OR = 2.79, p = 0.04), and treating confirmed/suspected COVID-19 patients (OR = 2.87, p = 0.036). Conclusions: Low vaccination acceptance rate was found especially in nurses, and as this may have a negative impact in the vaccination compliance of the general public, interventional educational programs to enhance vaccination are crucial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonary)
Article
Follow-Up Analysis of Pulmonary Function, Exercise Capacity, Radiological Changes, and Quality of Life Two Months after Recovery from SARS-CoV-2 Pneumonia
Medicina 2021, 57(6), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57060568 - 03 Jun 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2034
Abstract
Background and objective: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 100 million people have already recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the possible outcomes of COVID-19. The aim of our study was to evaluate pulmonary function, [...] Read more.
Background and objective: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 100 million people have already recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the possible outcomes of COVID-19. The aim of our study was to evaluate pulmonary function, exercise capacity, residual radiological changes, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) at follow-up in a cohort of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia survivors. Materials and Methods: Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and radiologically confirmed lung injury, with no chronic lung disease prior to this infection, were included in the study. Patients’ evaluation 2 months after their discharge from hospital included spirometry (FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC), determination of lung volume (TLC, VC, RV) and diffusing capacity of lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO, adjusted for hemoglobin), 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), chest CT scan, and 36-Item Short Form General Health Survey (SF-36). Results: Fifty-one patients (25 men, 26 women) were included. The mean age was 56 years (SD-11,72). Eighteen patients (35.3%) had experienced moderate COVID-19, 21 (41.2%) severe COVID-19, and 12 (23.5%) were critically ill. The mean follow-up visit time after the discharge from hospital was 60 days (SD-17). Pulmonary function at follow-up was impaired in 24 (47.2%) patients. Reduced lung volume was observed in 15 (29.4%) patients, DLCO reduction in 15 (29.4%) patients, and only one patient displayed obstruction. Twelve patients out of 51 (12/51, 27.3%) showed reduced physical capacity in the 6 MWT, and 3/51 (9.1%) showed desaturation, with SO2 < 90%. Different levels of abnormality were found in 49/51 (96,1%) patients on follow-up chest CT; the median radiological score was 10.9 (SD ± 8.87, possible maximal score, 25). Ground-glass opacity was the most common radiological feature, found in 45 (88.2%) patients. The SF-36 scores demonstrated a reduction in health status across all domains, with the lowest scores for limitations in social activities because of physical problems, vitality, and general health. Conclusion: In the group of COVID-19 pneumonia survivors 2 months after hospital discharge, residual changes in the lungs on chest CT and in lung function and reduced physical and HRQoL status were found in a significant number of patients. To evaluate COVID-19 long-term consequences, a longer follow-up period is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonary)
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Article
Perceptions of European ME/CFS Experts Concerning Knowledge and Understanding of ME/CFS among Primary Care Physicians in Europe: A Report from the European ME/CFS Research Network (EUROMENE)
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57030208 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2620
Abstract
Background and Objectives: We have conducted a survey of academic and clinical experts who are participants in the European ME/CFS Research Network (EUROMENE) to elicit perceptions of general practitioner (GP) knowledge and understanding of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and suggestions as [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: We have conducted a survey of academic and clinical experts who are participants in the European ME/CFS Research Network (EUROMENE) to elicit perceptions of general practitioner (GP) knowledge and understanding of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and suggestions as to how this could be improved. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was sent to all national representatives and members of the EUROMENE Core Group and Management Committee. Survey responses were collated and then summarized based on the numbers and percentages of respondents selecting each response option, while weighted average responses were calculated for questions with numerical value response options. Free text responses were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Overall there were 23 responses to the survey from participants across 19 different European countries, with a 95% country-level response rate. Serious concerns were expressed about GPs’ knowledge and understanding of ME/CFS, and, it was felt, about 60% of patients with ME/CFS went undiagnosed as a result. The vast majority of GPs were perceived to lack confidence in either diagnosing or managing the condition. Disbelief, and misleading illness attributions, were perceived to be widespread, and the unavailability of specialist centres to which GPs could refer patients and seek advice and support was frequently commented upon. There was widespread support for more training on ME/CFS at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Conclusion: The results of this survey are consistent with the existing scientific literature. ME/CFS experts report that lack of knowledge and understanding of ME/CFS among GPs is a major cause of missed and delayed diagnoses, which renders problematic attempts to determine the incidence and prevalence of the disease, and to measure its economic impact. It also contributes to the burden of disease through mismanagement in its early stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ME/CFS: Causes, Clinical Features and Diagnosis)
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Article
Study on the Effects of Melatonin on Glycemic Control and Periodontal Parameters in Patients with Type II Diabetes Mellitus and Periodontal Disease
Medicina 2021, 57(2), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57020140 - 05 Feb 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1403
Abstract
Background and Objectives: There is evidence that melatonin could improve the periodontal status and also glycemic control of patients with diabetes mellitus. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of scaling and root planing plus adjunctive systemic treatment [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: There is evidence that melatonin could improve the periodontal status and also glycemic control of patients with diabetes mellitus. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effects of scaling and root planing plus adjunctive systemic treatment with melatonin on periodontal parameters and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic periodontitis. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted on 54 subjects with periodontitis and diabetes mellitus randomly assigned to the study group (n = 27, subjects with scaling and root planing + melatonin) or control group (n = 27, subjects with scaling and root planing + placebo). Periodontal parameters (probing depth—PD; clinical attachment loss—CAL; bleeding on probing—BOP; and hygiene level) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were assessed at baseline and 8 weeks after. Results: At baseline, there were no significant differences between groups, but at the second evaluation 8 weeks later the association of melatonin with the non-surgical periodontal therapy exerted statistically significant improvements, both in periodontal parameters, with a significant decrease in periodontal disease severity, and glycated hemoglobin when compared to the control subjects. Conclusions: In our study, combined non-surgical periodontal treatment and systemic treatment with melatonin provided additional improvements to severe periodontal condition and the glycemic control of patients with diabetes type 2 when compared to non-surgical periodontal treatment alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dentistry)
Article
Glycemia, Beta-Cell Function and Sensitivity to Insulin in Mildly to Critically Ill Covid-19 Patients
Medicina 2021, 57(1), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010068 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1359
Abstract
Background and objectives: Critically and non-critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection (Covid-19) may present with higher-than-expected glycemia, even in the absence of diabetes. With this study we aimed to assess glucose, glycemic gap (GlyG) and insulin secretion/sensitivity measures in patients with Covid-19. Materials [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Critically and non-critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection (Covid-19) may present with higher-than-expected glycemia, even in the absence of diabetes. With this study we aimed to assess glucose, glycemic gap (GlyG) and insulin secretion/sensitivity measures in patients with Covid-19. Materials and Methods: We studied, upon admission, 157 patients with Covid-19 (84: in wards and 73: in intensive care units; ICU); 135 had no history of diabetes. We measured blood glucose upon admission as well as glycated hemoglobin (A1c), plasma insulin and C-peptide. We calculated the GlyG and the Homeostasis Model Assessment 2 (HOMA2) estimates of steady state beta cell function (HOMA2%B) and insulin sensitivity (HOMA2%S). Statistical assessment was done with analysis or the Kruskal-Wallis test. Results: Compared to patients in the wards without diabetes, patients with diabetes in the wards, as well as patients in the ICU (without or with diabetes) had higher admission glycemia. The GlyG was significantly higher in patients without diabetes in the ICU compared to patients without diabetes in the wards, while HOMA2%B based on glucose and insulin was significantly higher in the ICU patients compared to patients in the wards. Of all the parameters, HOMA2%S based on C-peptide/glucose was higher in survivors (n = 133). Conclusions: In our series of patients with Covid-19, a substantial number of patients with and without diabetes had admission hyperglycemia and those who were critically ill may have had compromised insulin secretion and lowered sensitivity to insulin. These findings lend credence to reports of association between Covid-19 and hyperglycemia/secondary diabetes. Full article
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Article
Increased Psychological Distress, Loneliness, and Unemployment in the Spread of COVID-19 over 6 Months in Germany
Medicina 2021, 57(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010053 - 09 Jan 2021
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 4599
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic poses a challenge to global mental health. Loneliness and isolation may put people at higher risk for increased psychological distress. However, there is a lack of research investigating the development of COVID-19-related distress over time. Materials and Methods [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic poses a challenge to global mental health. Loneliness and isolation may put people at higher risk for increased psychological distress. However, there is a lack of research investigating the development of COVID-19-related distress over time. Materials and Methods: We undertook an online survey among general population (N = 1903) in Germany throughout 6 months from the peak transmission period in April to the off-peak period by September 2020. Results: We found that the average prevalence of psychological distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic significantly rose from 24% to 66% between the peak and off-peak transmission period, respectively. Unemployment rate and loneliness increased negative mental health outcomes, although the number of active COVID-19 cases decreased from April to September. Psychological distress scores increased mostly in female, young, and lonely people. Conclusions: Our results underline the importance of considering innovative alternatives to facilitate employment opportunities, distant contacts, and self-help over the course of the pandemic. Our study highlights the urgent need to pay attention to mental health services specifically targeting female, young, unemployed, and lonely people. Full article
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Article
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Endurance and Ultra-Endurance Running
Medicina 2021, 57(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010052 - 09 Jan 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2049
Abstract
Background and objectives: The COVID-19 outbreak has become a major health and economic crisis. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic in March 2020, and many sporting events were canceled. Materials and Methods: We examined the effects of the COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The COVID-19 outbreak has become a major health and economic crisis. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic in March 2020, and many sporting events were canceled. Materials and Methods: We examined the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on endurance and ultra-endurance running (UER) and analyzed finishes and events during the COVID-19 pandemic (observation period March 2020–October 2020) to the same time period pre-COVID-19 outbreak (March 2019–October 2019). Results: Endurance finishes decreased during the pandemic (459,029 to 42,656 (male: 277,493 to 25,582; female 181,536 to 17,074; all p < 0.001). Similarly, the numbers of endurance events decreased (213 vs. 61 events; p < 0.001). Average marathon finishing times decreased during the pandemic in men (5:18:03 ± 0:16:34 vs. 4:43:08 ± 0:25:08 h:min:s (p = 0.006)) and women (5:39:32 ± 0:19:29 vs. 5:14:29 ± 0:26:36 h:min:s (p = 0.02)). In UER, finishes decreased significantly (580,289 to 110,055; p < 0.001) as did events (5839 to 1791; p < 0.001). Popular event locations in United States, France, UK, and Germany decreased significantly (p < 0.05). All distance and time-limited UER events saw significant decreases (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on endurance and UER, and it is unlikely that running activities return to pre-pandemic levels any time soon. Mitigation strategies and safety protocols should be established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports Science)
Article
Physical Activity Levels and Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Preliminary Results of a Comparative Study between Convenience Samples from Brazil and Switzerland
Medicina 2021, 57(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010048 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1754
Abstract
Background and objectives: It has been suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic impaired people’s moods and general levels of physical activity, but the way in which each country is coping with the situation may result in different outcomes. The aim of the present study [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: It has been suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic impaired people’s moods and general levels of physical activity, but the way in which each country is coping with the situation may result in different outcomes. The aim of the present study was to compare the mental health and physical activity levels between residents of Brazil and Switzerland during the social distancing period associated with COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire aiming to assess personal, quarantine, physical activity, and mood state disorders data was answered by 114 participants (57 from each country) of both sexes. Results: Swiss participants presented a higher frequency of people (47.4%) not abiding by social distancing measures compared to Brazilian participants (1.8%; p < 0.001, effect size = 0.56). There were no significant differences between the participants from the two countries regarding physical activity levels (p = 0.09). The Swiss presented a higher frequency (78.9%) of people without symptoms of depression compared to Brazilians (31.6%; p < 0.001, effect size = 0.48). The Swiss also presented a higher frequency (77.2%) of people without symptoms of anxiety compared to Brazilians (35.1%; p < 0.001, effect size = 0.43). There was a significant association between the restriction level and depression symptoms (p = 0.01, effect size = 0.25) but not with anxiety symptoms (p = 0.21, effect size = 0.16). Conclusions: According to the preliminary results, Brazilians presented a much higher frequency of depression and anxiety symptoms, which can be explained by characteristics other than the restriction level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pandemic Outbreak of Coronavirus)
Article
Infodemia: Another Enemy for Romanian Frontline Healthcare Workers to Fight during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120679 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2509
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The population has been overwhelmed with false information related to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, spreading rapidly through social media and other channels. We aimed to investigate if frontline healthcare workers affected by infodemia show different psychological consequences than frontline [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The population has been overwhelmed with false information related to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, spreading rapidly through social media and other channels. We aimed to investigate if frontline healthcare workers affected by infodemia show different psychological consequences than frontline clinicians who do not declare to be affected by false news related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: One hundred twenty-six frontline healthcare workers from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Emergency Departments in Romania completed a survey to assess stress, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders, between March and April 2020. We split the sample of frontline healthcare workers into two groups based on the self-evaluated criteria: if they were or were not affected by infodemia in their activity. Results: Considering limitations such as the cross-sectional design, the lack of causality relationship, and the sample size, the results show that, the frontline medical workers who declared to be affected by false news were significantly more stressed, felt more anxiety, and suffered more from insomnia than healthcare workers who are not affected by false information related to pandemic time. Conclusions: The infodemia has significant psychological consequences such as stress, anxiety, and insomnia on already overwhelmed doctors and nurses in the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis. These findings suggest that medical misinformation’s psychological implications must be considered when different interventions regarding frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic are implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue General Anesthesia as a Multimodal Individualized Clinical Concept)
Article
The Influence of Gender and Year of Study on Stress Levels and Coping Strategies among Polish Dental
Medicina 2020, 56(10), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56100531 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1469
Abstract
Background and objectives: Stress is a common term used to describe various adverse psychological conditions. Students in the dentistry field face many negative psychological outcomes. The core factors for stress among dental students are related to their training course and social contacts [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Stress is a common term used to describe various adverse psychological conditions. Students in the dentistry field face many negative psychological outcomes. The core factors for stress among dental students are related to their training course and social contacts with peers. This research aimed to assess the stress of dental students depending on their gender and study year. Materials and methods: We used the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and Mini-COPE questionnaire. The surveys were conducted among 446 dental students (320 women and 126 men) at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice. Results: For the second-year and fifth-year students, the differences in scores were statistically significant, while in both cases, men had significantly lower values on the analysed scale. The results of the Kruskal-Wallis test indicated significantly lower values on the PSS-10 scale for the third-year and fourth-year students than in first-year students. The performed statistical analysis of the data obtained from the Mini-COPE questionnaire showed significant differences between men and women in individual years of study. In the first year, women chose more often the strategies related to turning to religion (p = 0.007), seeking emotional support (p = 0.046), seeking instrumental support (p = 0.045) and dealing with something else (p = 0.029) in coping with stress than men. Conclusions: The highest level of stress was found among first-year dental students. Moreover, women were characterised with higher stress levels than men. Men more often use psychoactive substances and resort to a sense of humour to cope with stress. On the other hand, women turn to religion, seek instrumental and emotional support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dentistry)
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Article
Non-COVID Diseases during the Pandemic: Where Have All Other Emergencies Gone?
Medicina 2020, 56(10), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56100512 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 2342
Abstract
Background and objectives: the emergency department (ED) is frequently identified by patients as a possible solution for all healthcare problems, leading to a high rate of misuse of the ED, possibly causing overcrowding. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic started in China; it [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: the emergency department (ED) is frequently identified by patients as a possible solution for all healthcare problems, leading to a high rate of misuse of the ED, possibly causing overcrowding. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic started in China; it then spread throughout Italy, with the first cases confirmed in Lombardy, Italy, in February 2020. This has totally changed the type of patients referred to EDs. The aim of this study was to analyze the reduction of ED admissions at a Second level urban teaching (Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: in this retrospective observational cross-sectional study, we reviewed and compared clinical records of all the patients consecutively admitted to our ED over a 40-day period (21 February –31 March) in the last three years (2018–2019–2020). Mean age, sex, triage urgency level, day/night admission, main presentation symptom, and final diagnosis, according to different medical specialties, hospitalization, and discharge rate, were analyzed. Results: we analyzed 16,281 patient clinical records. The overall reduction in ED admissions in 2020 was 37.6% compared to 2019. In 2020, we observed an increase in triage urgency levels for ED admissions (the main presentation symptom was a fever). We noticed a significant drop in admissions for cardio-thoracic, gastroenterological, urological, otolaryngologic/ophthalmologic, and traumatological diseases. Acute neurological conditions registered only a slight, but significant, reduction. Oncology admissions were stable. Admissions for infectious diseases were 30% in 2020, compared to 5% and 6% in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In 2020, the hospitalization rate increased to 42.9% compared to 27.7%, and 26.4% in previous years. Conclusions: the drastic reduction of ED admissions during the pandemic may be associated with fear of the virus, suggesting that patients with serious illnesses did not go to the emergency room. Moreover, there was possible misuse of the ED in the previous year. In particular, worrisome data emerged regarding a drop in cardiology and neurology admissions. Those patients postponed medical attention, possibly with fatal consequences, just for fear of exposure to COVID-19, leading to unnecessary morbidity and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emergency Medicine)
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Article
Equal Opportunities for Stroke Survivors’ Rehabilitation: A Study on the Validity of the Upper Extremity Fugl-Meyer Assessment Scale Translated and Adapted into Romanian
Medicina 2020, 56(8), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56080409 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1869
Abstract
Background and objectives: The Upper Extremity Fugl-Meyer Assessment (UEFMA) is one of the most recommended and used methods of clinical evaluation not only for post-stroke motor function disability conditions but also for physiotherapy goal-setting. Up to the present, an official Romanian version has [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The Upper Extremity Fugl-Meyer Assessment (UEFMA) is one of the most recommended and used methods of clinical evaluation not only for post-stroke motor function disability conditions but also for physiotherapy goal-setting. Up to the present, an official Romanian version has not been officially available. This study aims to carry out a translation, adaptation, and validation of UEFMA in Romanian, thus giving both patients and medical practitioners the equal opportunity of benefiting from its proficiency. Material and methods: The English version of the motor component of UEFMA was back and forth translated in the assent of best practice translation guidelines. The research was performed on a group of 64 post-stroke in-patients regarding psychometric properties for content validation and an exploratory and confirmatory factorial analysis was performed using the Bayesian model. To assess internal consistency and test–retest reliability, we used the Cronbach Alpha index and Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). We used Pearson correlation with the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Modified Rankin Scale (MRS) to determine concurrent validation. Standardized response mean (SRM) was applied to determine the responsiveness of the instrument used. Results: After performing the exploratory factor analysis, a single factor was extracted, with an Eigenvalue of 19.363, which explained 64.543% of the variation. The model was confirmed by Bayesian exploration, with Root Mean Square Residual (RMR) 0.051, Goodness-of-fit Index (GFI) 0.980, Normed-Fit Index (NFI) 0.978 and Relative Fit Index (RFI) 0.977. The Cronbach Alpha value was 0.981, the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) index for average measures was 0.992, the Pearson correlation with FIM 0.789, and MRS −0.787, while the SRM was 1.117. Conclusions: The Romanian version of the UEFMA scale is a reliable, responsive and valid tool which can be used as a standardized assessment in post-stroke patients across Romania. Full article
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Communication
UHPLC-HRMS and GC-MS Screening of a Selection of Synthetic Cannabinoids and Metabolites in Urine of Consumers
Medicina 2020, 56(8), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56080408 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1537
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The use of synthetic cannabinoids has increased around the world. As a result, the implementation of accurate analysis in human biological matrices is relevant and fundamental. Two different analytical technologies, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS) and high-sensitivity gas [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The use of synthetic cannabinoids has increased around the world. As a result, the implementation of accurate analysis in human biological matrices is relevant and fundamental. Two different analytical technologies, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS) and high-sensitivity gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were used for the determination of three synthetic cannabinoids JWH-122, JWH 210, UR-144 and their metabolites in urine of consumers. Materials and Methods: Sample preparation included an initial hydrolysis with β-glucuronidase and liquid-liquid extraction. The UHPLC-HRMS method included a Kinetex 2.6 u Biphenyl 100A (100 × 2.1 mm, 2.6 μm) (Phenomenex, Italy) column with a gradient mobile phase consisting of mobile phase A (ammonium formate 2mM in water, 0.1% formic acid) and mobile phase B (ammonium formate 2mM in methanol/acetonitrile 50:50 (v/v), 0.1% formic acid) and a full-scan data-dependent MS2 (ddMS2) mode was used (mass range 100–1000 m/z). The GC-MS method employed an ultra-Inert Intuvo GC column (HP-5MS UI, 30 m × 250 µm i.d, film thickness 0.25 µm; Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA, USA) and electron-impact (EI) mass spectra were recorded in total ion monitoring mode (scan range 40–550 m/z). Results: Both methods have been successfully used for screening of parent synthetic cannabinoids and their metabolites in urine samples of consumers. Conclusions: The screening method applied JWH-122, JWH-210, UR-144 and their metabolites in urine of consumers can be applied to other compounds of the JWH family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
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Article
Association between Breakfast Skipping and the Metabolic Syndrome: The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2017
Medicina 2020, 56(8), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56080396 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1420
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Recently, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Korea has increased rapidly. Current knowledge reflects the importance of dietary control in relation to the metabolic syndrome. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of skipping breakfast on the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Recently, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Korea has increased rapidly. Current knowledge reflects the importance of dietary control in relation to the metabolic syndrome. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of skipping breakfast on the metabolic syndrome. Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017 for the second year. A total of 3864 adults aged 20 to 64 were included in the study. We stratified the study population into three groups, based on breakfast patterns: the regular group, irregular group, and skipping group. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the association between skipping breakfast and the presence of metabolic syndrome. Results: We noted an increase in the proportion of metabolic syndrome cases as follows: skipping group (3.3%), irregular group (5.4%), and regular group (8.5%) (p < 0.001). The multivariate-adjusted odds ratios of metabolic syndrome in the skipping and irregular groups compared with the regular group were 0.68 (95% CI; 0.35 to 1.35) and 0.81 (95% CI; 0.51 to 1.28), respectively. In the 40–65-year-old age group, which had a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome, the multivariate-adjusted odds ratios of metabolic syndrome in the skipping group compared with regular group were 0.78 (95%CI, 0.39 to 1.62). Conclusions: There was no significant correlation between skipping breakfast and risk factors of metabolic syndrome (after adjusting for risk factors), but a tendency of skipping breakfast to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome was observed. A rationale for these results is proposed through the association between skipping breakfast and intermittent fasting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology)
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Communication
Who Consult an Adult Psychiatric Emergency Department? Pertinence of Admissions and Opportunities for Telepsychiatry
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060295 - 13 Jun 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 1738
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Psychiatric disorders constitute frequent causes of emergency department (ED) admissions and these rates are increasing. However, referring to ED a whole range of conditions that could or should be dealt with elsewhere is imposing itself as a problematic situation. We [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Psychiatric disorders constitute frequent causes of emergency department (ED) admissions and these rates are increasing. However, referring to ED a whole range of conditions that could or should be dealt with elsewhere is imposing itself as a problematic situation. We aimed: (1) to provide a descriptive picture of the socio-demographic and diagnostic characteristics of the visits among adults at the psychiatric ED; (2) to estimate the clinical pertinence of these visits. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of diagnostic/socio-demographic characteristics and clinical trajectories of patients admitted for a psychiatric condition at the adult psychiatric ED of the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland, during a 6-week timespan. Results: In our sample (n = 763 total admissions for psychiatric conditions; n = 702 for inclusion of patients having received a medical evaluation), depression/anxiety, suicidal behavior (SB), psychotic episode, and substance use disorder (SUD), in descending order, were the most common diagnoses for referral. Patients belonged to younger age groups (≤65 years), had a familial status other than married/in couple, and did not present an unfavorable socio-demographic profile. Concerning the pertinence for a psychiatric ED, primary diagnosis of depression/anxiety is the only variable significantly associated with different grade of degree. By the examination of the patients’ trajectory from admission to discharge, the clinical pertinence for a psychiatric ED admission existed for cases assigned to the Echelle Suisse du Tri (EST®) scale degree 1 (corresponding to most urgent and severe conditions), particularly for diagnoses of depression/anxiety associated with SB, SB as primary or comorbid diagnosis, and psychotic and manic/hypomanic episode. However, diagnoses of depression/anxiety without urgent and severe features (degrees 2, 3, 4) constituted the most frequent mode of presentation. Conclusions: Ambulatory and community-integrated settings could be more appropriate for the majority of patients admitted to adult psychiatric EDs. Moreover, the implementation of telepsychiatry strategies represents a very promising opportunity to offer these patients care continuity, reduce costs and filter the demand for psychiatric ED. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatry)
Article
Acute Effects of a Heat-Not-Burn Tobacco Product on Pulmonary Function
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060292 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2316
Abstract
Background and objectives: During the last decade, conventional tobacco smoking is experiencing a decline and new smoking products have been introduced. IQOS (“I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking”) is a type of “heat-not-burn” (HNB) tobacco product. The impact of IQOS on respiratory health is currently not defined. [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: During the last decade, conventional tobacco smoking is experiencing a decline and new smoking products have been introduced. IQOS (“I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking”) is a type of “heat-not-burn” (HNB) tobacco product. The impact of IQOS on respiratory health is currently not defined. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the acute effects of IQOS on pulmonary function in non-smokers and current smokers. Materials and Methods: Fifty male healthy non-smokers and current smokers with no known co-morbidity underwent an exhaled CO measurement, oximetry (SaO2%), pulmonary function tests (flows, volumes and diffusion capacity), and a measurement of respiratory resistances with an impulse oscillometry system (IOS) before and immediately after IQOS use. Results: In the whole group of 50 participants, SaO2%, forced expiratory flow at 25% and 50% of vital capacity (FEF 25%, FEF 50%, respectively), peak expiratory flow (PEF), and diffusion lung capacity for carbon monoxide/VA (KCO) decreased significantly after IQOS use, whereas exhaled CO and airway resistance (R5 Hz, R10 Hz, r15 Hz, R20 Hz, R25 Hz, R35 Hz) increased. When the groups of smokers and non-smokers were compared, in both groups (all males, 25 smokers and 25 non-smokers), exhaled CO increased and SaO2% decreased after IQOS use (p < 0.001). In the group of non-smokers, PEF (pre 8.22 ± 2.06 vs. post 7.5 ± 2.16, p = 0.001) and FEF 25% (pre 7.6 ± 1.89 vs. 7.14 ± 2.06, p = 0.009) decreased significantly; respiratory resistances R20 Hz (pre 0.34 ± 0.1 vs. post 0.36 ± 0.09, p = 0.09) and R25 Hz (pre 0.36 ± 0.1 vs. post 0.38 ± 0.09, p = 0.08) increased almost significantly. In smokers, PEF (pre 7.69 ± 2.26 vs. post 7.12 ± 2.03, p = 0.007) and expiratory reserve volume (ERV) (pre 1.57 ± 0.76 vs. post1.23 ± 0.48, p = 0.03) decreased and R35 Hz (pre 0.36 ± 0.11 vs. post 0.39 ± 0.11, p = 0.047) increased. The differences in the changes after the use of IQOS did not differ between groups. Conclusions: IQOS had an impact on exhaled CO, SaO2%, and airways function immediately after use. Even though these changes were rather small to be considered of major clinical importance, they should raise concerns regarding the long-term safety of this product. Further research is needed for the short- and long-term effects of IQOS, especially in patients with respiratory disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonary)
Article
Submuscular and Pre-pectoral ADM Assisted Immediate Breast Reconstruction: A Literature Review
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060256 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Background and objectives: Breast cancer treatment has deeply changed in the last fifty years. Acellular dermal matrices (ADMs) were introduced for breast reconstruction, with encouraging results, but with conflicting reports too. The present paper aims to summarize the current data on breast [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Breast cancer treatment has deeply changed in the last fifty years. Acellular dermal matrices (ADMs) were introduced for breast reconstruction, with encouraging results, but with conflicting reports too. The present paper aims to summarize the current data on breast reconstruction using acellular dermal matrices. Materials and Methods: We reviewed the literature regarding the use of ADM-assisted implant-based breast reconstruction. Results: The main techniques were analyzed and described. Conclusions: Several authors have recently reported positive results. Nevertheless, an increased complications’ rate has been reported by other authors. Higher cost compared to not-ADM-assisted breast reconstruction is another concern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates in Breast Reconstruction: Review from Evidence)
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Article
Role of a Brief Intensive Observation Area with a Dedicated Team of Doctors in the Management of Acute Heart Failure Patients: A Retrospective Observational Study
Medicina 2020, 56(5), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56050251 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1083
Abstract
Background and objectives: Acute heart failure (AHF) is one of the main causes of hospitalization in Western countries. Usually, patients cannot be admitted directly to the wards (access block) and stay in the emergency room. Holding units are clinical decision units, or [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Acute heart failure (AHF) is one of the main causes of hospitalization in Western countries. Usually, patients cannot be admitted directly to the wards (access block) and stay in the emergency room. Holding units are clinical decision units, or observation units, within the ED that are able to alleviate access block and to contribute to a reduction in hospitalization. Observation units have also been shown to play a role in specific clinical conditions, like the acute exacerbation of heart failure. This study aimed to analyze the impact of a brief intensive observation (OBI) area on the management of acute heart failure (AHF) patients. The OBI is a holding unit dedicated to the stabilization of unstable patients with a team of dedicated physicians. Materials and Methods: We conducted a retrospective and single-centered observational study with retrospective collection of the data of all patients who presented to our emergency department with AHF during 2017. We evaluated and compared two cohorts of patients, those treated in the OBI and those who were not, in terms of the reduction in color codes at discharge, mortality rate within the emergency room (ER), hospitalization rate, rate of transfer to less intensive facilities, and readmission rate at 7, 14, and 30 days after discharge. Results: We enrolled 920 patients from 1st January to 31st December. Of these, 61% were transferred to the OBI for stabilization. No statistically significant difference between the OBI and non-OBI populations in terms of age and gender was observed. OBI patients had worse clinical conditions on arrival. The patients treated in the OBI had longer process times, which would be expected, to allow patient stabilization. The stabilization rate in the OBI was higher, since presumably OBI admission protected patients from “worse condition” at discharge. Conclusions: Data from our study show that a dedicated area of the ER, such as the OBI, has progressively allowed a change in the treatment path of the patient, where the aim is no longer to admit the patient for processing but to treat the patient first and then, if necessary, admit or refer. This has resulted in very good feedback on patient stabilization and has resulted in a better management of beds, reduced admission rates, and reduced use of high intensity care beds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Translational Medicine)
Article
Trauma Coagulopathy and Its Outcomes
Medicina 2020, 56(4), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56040205 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 1546
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Trauma coagulopathy begins at the moment of trauma. This study investigated whether coagulopathy upon arrival in the emergency room (ER) is correlated with increased hemotransfusion requirement, more hemodynamic instability, more severe anatomical damage, a greater need for hospitalization, and hospitalization [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Trauma coagulopathy begins at the moment of trauma. This study investigated whether coagulopathy upon arrival in the emergency room (ER) is correlated with increased hemotransfusion requirement, more hemodynamic instability, more severe anatomical damage, a greater need for hospitalization, and hospitalization in the intensive care unit (ICU). We also analyzed whether trauma coagulopathy is correlated with unfavorable indices, such as acidemia, lactate increase, and base excess (BE) increase. Material and Methods: We conducted a prospective, monocentric, observational study of all patients (n = 503) referred to the Department of Emergency and Acceptance, IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, for major trauma from 1 January 2018 to 30 January 2019. Results: Of the 503 patients, 204 had trauma coagulopathy (group 1), whereas 299 patients (group 2) did not. Group 1 had a higher hemotransfusion rate than group 2. In group 1, 15% of patients showed hemodynamic instability compared with only 8% of group 2. The shock index (SI) distribution was worse in group 1 than in group 2. Group 1 was more often hypotensive, tachycardic, and with low oxygen saturation, and had a more severe injury severity score than group 2. In addition, 47% of group 1 had three or more body districts involved compared with 23% of group 2. The hospitalization rate was higher in group 1 than in group 2 (76% vs. 58%). The length of hospitalization was >10 days for 45% of group 1 compared with 28% of group 2. The hospitalization rate in the ICU was higher in group 1 than in group 2 (22% vs. 14.8%). The average duration of ICU hospitalization was longer in group 1 than in group 2 (12.5 vs. 9.78 days). Mortality was higher in group 1 than in group 2 (3.92% vs. 0.98%). Group 1 more often had acidemia and high lactates than group 2. Group 1 also more often had BE <−6. Conclusions: Trauma coagulopathy patients, upon arrival in the ER, have greater hemotransfusion (p = 0.016) requirements and need hospitalization (p = 0.032) more frequently than patients without trauma coagulopathy. Trauma coagulopathy seems to be more present in patients with a higher injury severity score (ISS) (p = 0.000) and a greater number of anatomical districts involved (p = 0.000). Head trauma (p = 0.000) and abdominal trauma (p = 0.057) seem related to the development of trauma coagulopathy. Males seem more exposed than females in developing trauma coagulopathy (p = 0.018). Upon arrival in the ER, the presence of tachycardia or alteration of SI and its derivatives can allow early detection of patients with trauma coagulopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emergency Medicine)
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Article
Does Function Determine the Structure? Changes in Flexor Hallucis Longus Muscle and the Associated Performance Related to Dance Modality: A Cross-Sectional Study
Medicina 2020, 56(4), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56040186 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Flexor hallucis longus pathology is one of the most common conditions of the ankle and foot in dancers, due to the high demand of dance movements performed in an extreme plantar flexion and dorsiflexion range of motion. The objectives [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Flexor hallucis longus pathology is one of the most common conditions of the ankle and foot in dancers, due to the high demand of dance movements performed in an extreme plantar flexion and dorsiflexion range of motion. The objectives of this study were to determine the bilateral differences between the thickness and cross-sectional area of the flexor hallucis longus muscle in dancers, to establish possible differences between dance modalities, and to analyze whether there is a correlation between ultrasonographic parameters or performance variables and the dance modality. Material and Methods: A sample of 50 (29 classical and 21 contemporary) full-time pre-professional female dancers were included in the study. The thickness and cross-sectional area of the flexor hallucis longus muscle were evaluated for both limbs using ultrasound imaging. The range of movement of the first metatarsophalangeal joint was measured using functional extension with maximal ankle plantarflexion, balance was measured in a unilateral stance with the heel raised, endurance was evaluated through a modified heel rise fatigue test, and a counter movement jump to assess the vertical jump performance was measured bilaterally. Results: There were no significant differences recorded between the dominant and non-dominant limbs for each variable, within both groups. Contemporary dancers showed a greater thickness and cross-sectional area of the flexor hallucis longus muscle than classical dancers. However, classical dancers showed an increase of balance, endurance, range of movement of the first metatarsophalangeal joint, and counter movement jump with respect to contemporary dancers. Conclusion: Bilateral symmetry was identified in all variables for both groups. The size and performance of the flexor hallucis longus muscle may be influenced by the specific nature of dance modality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasound in Sports Medicine: Current Concepts and Advances)
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Article
The Influence of Socio-Demographic Factors, Lifestyle and Psychiatric Indicators on Adherence to Treatment of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Cross-Sectional Study
Medicina 2020, 56(4), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56040178 - 14 Apr 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1676
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a severe autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints accompanied by the progressive deformation and destruction of cartilage and joint bones. This study aims to gain insight into the outcomes related to adherence [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a severe autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints accompanied by the progressive deformation and destruction of cartilage and joint bones. This study aims to gain insight into the outcomes related to adherence in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Predicting the medication adherence in RA patients is a key point to improve the treatment outcome. Materials and Methods: A number of 119 Romanian patients with RA were included and divided into two groups: first group included 79 patients treated with conventional therapy and second group included 40 patients treated with biologic therapy. A CQR-9 (compliance questionnaire rheumatology with nine items) and PDSQ (psychiatric diagnostic screening questionnaire) were performed to assess correlations between medication adherence, patient sociodemographic variables, 11 psychiatric scales (major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, psychosis, agoraphobia, social phobia, drug abuse/dependence, generalized anxiety disorder, somatization disorder, hypochondriasis) and lifestyle (bulimia, alcohol intake). Results: Whilst modelling factors associated with adherence, it was found that women and patients with higher education are more adherent. From the psychiatric indicators, only major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder were found to be positively correlated with therapeutic adherence. None of the assessed lifestyle factors influenced the adherence of RA patients. Conclusion: The knowledge of factors that impact on treatment adherence can be useful for clinicians to guide patient-centred care. Full article
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Article
Prevalence of Adverse Reactions to Glutenand People Going on a Gluten-Free Diet:A Survey Study Conducted in Brazil
Medicina 2020, 56(4), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56040163 - 04 Apr 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1590
Abstract
Background: The prevalence of gluten-related disorders (GRD) and adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) remains unknown in Brazilian population and there is no published information on the scientific literature about the proportion of Brazilians that were diagnosed with a gluten-related disorder. Thus, the [...] Read more.
Background: The prevalence of gluten-related disorders (GRD) and adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) remains unknown in Brazilian population and there is no published information on the scientific literature about the proportion of Brazilians that were diagnosed with a gluten-related disorder. Thus, the aim of this work was to estimate the prevalence of GRDs and adherence to a GFD by self-report in adult Brazilian population. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was conducted in two Brazilian cities. Results: The response rate was 93.2% (1630/1749). The self-reported prevalence rates were (95% CI): adverse reactions to gluten 10.06% (8.64–11.62); gluten sensitivity 2.33% (1.65–3.18); physician-diagnosed celiac disease 0.3% (0.09–0.71); non-celiac gluten sensitivity 1.71% (1.14–2.47); wheat allergy 0.79% (0.42–1.36); adherence to gluten-free diet 7.48% (6.25–8.87); gluten avoiders 15.21% (13.5–17.05). Among those who were following a GFD (n = 122), 65.6% (n = 80) of them reported that they did not develop symptoms after wheat/gluten ingestion and 50% (n = 61) were following the diet without medical/dietitian advice. The main motivation for following a GFD in the self-reported and non-self-reported gluten sensitivity groups were the symptoms triggered after wheat/gluten ingestion (86.8%) and weight control (57.1%), respectively. Conclusions: Implementation of programs to increase awareness about GRDs among healthcare professionals and giving scientifically sound information to the general population about the risks and benefits for following a GFD are desirable actions in Brazil. The results also add to the growing body of evidence for highlighting the under-diagnosis of GRD and the trend for following a GFD in Latin America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Celiac Disease and Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity)
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Article
Evaluation of the Direct Economic Cost per Eradication Treatment Regimen against Helicobacter pylori Infection in Greece: Do National Health Policy-Makers Need to Care?
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56030133 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Helicobacter pylori (Hp) management has undoubtedly resulted in a notable economic burden on healthcare systems globally, including Greece. Its cost has never been estimated so far, especially during the recent 10-year unprecedented financial crisis. Direct medical and procedural costs for one [...] Read more.
Helicobacter pylori (Hp) management has undoubtedly resulted in a notable economic burden on healthcare systems globally, including Greece. Its cost has never been estimated so far, especially during the recent 10-year unprecedented financial crisis. Direct medical and procedural costs for one attempt “outpatient” Hp eradication treatment were estimated as the following: (I) first-line regimens: 10 and 14 days standard triple, 10 and 14 days sequential, 10 and 14 days concomitant non-bismuth quadruple, 14 days hybrid, (II) second-line salvage regimens: 10 and 14 days levofloxacin-containing triple regimens. Treatment costs using prototypes and/or generic drugs were calculated. Drug prices were collected and confirmed from two official online medical databases including all medicines approved by the Greek National Organization for Medicines. Regimens based on generics were more affordable than prototypes and those including pantoprazole yielded the lowest prices (mean: 27.84 €). Paradoxically, 10-day concomitant and 14-day hybrid regimens (currently providing good (90–94%) first-line eradication rates in Greece) cost the same (mean: 34.76 €). The expenditures for Hp eradication treatment regimens were estimated thoroughly for the first time in Greece. These data should be taken into account by Public Health policymakers both in Greece and the European Union, aiming for a better and less expensive therapeutic approach. Full article
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Article
Impact of Elderly Masticatory Performance on Nutritional Status: An Observational Study
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56030130 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Masticatory limitations on the dietary habits of edentulous subjects restrict their access to adequate nutrition, exposing them to a greater risk of protein energy malnutrition. The aim of this study is to verify the existence of an association between Masticatory [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Masticatory limitations on the dietary habits of edentulous subjects restrict their access to adequate nutrition, exposing them to a greater risk of protein energy malnutrition. The aim of this study is to verify the existence of an association between Masticatory Performance (MP) and nutritional changes in the elderly. Materials and Methods: 76 participants were enrolled. MP testing was performed using the two-color chewing gum mixing test. The system used reveals the extent to which the two differently colored chewing gums mix, and allows discrimination between different MPs. The assessment of the participants’ nutritional statuses was carried out through a food interview. Anthropometric parameters were collected, and bioimpedance analysis was performed. Results: Mean MP was 0.448 ± 0.188. No statistically significant differences were detected between male and female subjects (p > 0.05). According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), obese patients had a lower MP than overweight and normal weight subjects (0.408 ± 0.225, 0.453 ± 0.169 and 0.486 ± 0.181, respectively). MP values were lower both in male and female subjects with a waist circumference above the threshold than those below it (0.455 ± 0.205 vs. 0.476 ± 0.110, respectively, in males and 0.447 ± 0.171 vs. 0.501 ± 0.138, respectively, in females). No relationship was noticed between MP and bioimpedance parameters (p > 0.05). Conclusions: A statistically significant relation was observed between MP and the number of missing teeth. A reduced MP could worsen nutritional parameters. A reduced MP did not seem to negatively affect bioimpedance parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dentistry)
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Article
Acute Coronary Syndromes in Chronic Kidney Disease: Clinical and Therapeutic Characteristics
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56030118 - 08 Mar 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2216
Abstract
Background and Objectives: This study evaluated the clinical characteristics of the acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and established prognostic values of the biomarkers and echocardiography. Materials and Methods: 273 patients admitted to the cardiology department of the Clinical [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: This study evaluated the clinical characteristics of the acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and established prognostic values of the biomarkers and echocardiography. Materials and Methods: 273 patients admitted to the cardiology department of the Clinical County Emergency Hospital of Oradea, Romania, with ACS diagnosis were studied. Two study groups were formed according to the presence of CKD (137 patients with ACS + CKD and 136 with ACS without CKD). Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) threshold was used to assess the stages of CKD. Results: Data regarding the medical history, laboratory findings, biomarkers, echocardiography, and coronary angiography were analysed for both groups. ACS parameters were represented by ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), which revealed a greater incidence in subjects without CKD (43.88%); non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), characteristic for the CKD group (28.47%, with statistically significance p = 0.04); unstable angina and myocardial infarction with nonobstructive coronary arteries (MINOCA). Diabetes mellitus, chronic heart failure, previous stroke, and chronic coronary syndrome were more prevalent in the ACS + CKD group (56.93%, p < 0.01; 41.61%, p < 0.01; 18.25%, p < 0.01; 45.26%, p < 0.01). N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) was statistically higher (p < 0.01) in patients with CKD; Killip class 3 was evidenced more frequently in the same group (p < 0.01). Single-vessel coronary artery disease (CAD) was statistically more frequent in the ACS without CKD group (29.41%, p < 0.01) and three-vessel CAD or left main coronary artery disease (LMCA) were found more often in the ACS + CKD group (27.01%, 14.6%). Conclusions: Extension of the CAD in CKD subjects revealed an increased prevalence of the proximal CAD, and the involvement of various coronary arteries is characteristic in these patients. Biomarkers and echocardiographic elements can outline the evolution and outcomes of ACS in CKD patients. Full article
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Article
Epidemiology of Lyme Disease in a Highly Endemic European Zone
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56030115 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Background and objective: Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis (LB), is a tick-borne infectious disease caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia. The risk of infection depends on the geographical area, ecological factors, and human behavior. Clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis have a [...] Read more.
Background and objective: Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis (LB), is a tick-borne infectious disease caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia. The risk of infection depends on the geographical area, ecological factors, and human behavior. Clinical manifestations of Lyme borreliosis have a wide range, but the most frequent clinical symptom, which is also a diagnostic symptom, is a skin rash called erythema migrans (EM). The disease is very common worldwide. In Lithuania, the disease frequency is 99.9 cases per 100,000 population (Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS, Lithuania, 2017). The main aim of this study was to obtain the baseline characteristics of the disease regarding the infected Lithuanian population. Materials and Methods: We analyzed data from the Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS about all Lyme disease (A69.2) diagnosed patients over a three-year period (from 2014 to 2016) in Lithuania. Results: In 2014–2016, 7424 (crude incidence rate 85.4) cases with LB were diagnosed in Lithuania. Most of them (4633 (62.4%)) were identified in women. Older people were more likely to suffer from LB. Urban residents were 2.6 times more often affected that those living in villages. Tick bites were primarily observed in high season months, from May to September (90%), with the highest peak in July. There was a higher number of observed tick bites (p = 0.003) in the urban residents. Erythema migrans occurred in 75.6% LB cases, while other symptoms did not exceed a quarter of all LB cases. There were 7353 (99.6%) cases where LB was confirmed via clinical symptoms and/or laboratory tests. Also, 1720 (23.2%) patients were tested for LB immunoglobulins. Conclusions: This study found a high incidence of Lyme disease in Lithuania. We elucidated the baseline characteristics regarding the infected Lithuanian population which may ease medical clinicians’ work on new Lyme diagnoses. Full article
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Article
Pre-Treatment and Post-Treatment Demodex Densities in Patients under Immunosuppressive Treatments
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56030107 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1221
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Demodex species are common obligatory parasites and normally present in low number in human beings. Immunosuppression was suggested to be associated with increased density of Demodex mites. Systemic glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, and azathioprine are commonly used immunosuppressive agents. We [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Demodex species are common obligatory parasites and normally present in low number in human beings. Immunosuppression was suggested to be associated with increased density of Demodex mites. Systemic glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, and azathioprine are commonly used immunosuppressive agents. We aim to determine the pre- and post-treatment Demodex densities in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy and compare with those of healthy subjects. Materials and Methods: Demodex density was investigated at the beginning, first, and third months of the immunosuppressive therapy in 45 patients who received methotrexate, cyclosporine, systemic steroid, or azathioprine treatments and in 45 healthy subjects at the same time as the patients. Five standardized skin surface biopsies were taken from cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin of the patients and control group. The presence of five or more parasites in 1 cm2 area was considered as positive. Results: Demodex test was negative at the beginning of the treatment in all patients. Demodex test was positive in one patient in the first and third months of treatment and in three patients only in the third month of treatment. In the control group, Demodex test was determined as positive in just one healthy individual at the beginning, first and third months of the study. When the patient and control groups were evaluated in terms of Demodex number, there was a statistically significant difference in Demodex density in patients treated with immunosuppressive treatment in the first and third months when compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Immunosuppressive treatment might increase the number of Demodex mites and demodicidosis should be kept in mind in patients on immunosuppressive treatment. Full article
Article
Impact of Changes in Serum Calcium Levels on In-Hospital Mortality
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56030106 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1098
Abstract
Background and objectives: Calcium concentration is strictly regulated at both the cellular and systemic level, and changes in serum calcium levels can alter various physiological functions in various organs. This study aimed to assess the association between changes in calcium levels during hospitalization [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Calcium concentration is strictly regulated at both the cellular and systemic level, and changes in serum calcium levels can alter various physiological functions in various organs. This study aimed to assess the association between changes in calcium levels during hospitalization and mortality. Materials and Methods: We searched our patient database to identify all adult patients admitted to our hospital from January 1st, 2009 to December 31st, 2013. Patients with ≥2 serum calcium measurements during the hospitalization were included. The serum calcium changes during the hospitalization, defined as the absolute difference between the maximum and the minimum calcium levels, were categorized into five groups: 0–0.4, 0.5–0.9, 1.0–1.4, 1.5–1.9, and ≥2.0 mg/dL. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess the independent association between calcium changes and in-hospital mortality, using the change in calcium category of 0–0.4 mg/dL as the reference group. Results: Of 9868 patients included in analysis, 540 (5.4%) died during hospitalization. The in-hospital mortality progressively increased with higher calcium changes, from 3.4% in the group of 0–0.4 mg/dL to 14.5% in the group of ≥2.0 mg/dL (p < 0.001). When adjusted for age, sex, race, principal diagnosis, comorbidity, kidney function, acute kidney injury, number of measurements of serum calcium, and hospital length of stay, the serum calcium changes of 1.0–1.4, 1.5–1.9, and ≥2.0 mg/dL were significantly associated with increased in-hospital mortality with odds ratio (OR) of 1.55 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15–2.10), 1.90 (95% CI 1.32–2.74), and 3.23 (95% CI 2.39–4.38), respectively. The association remained statistically significant when further adjusted for either the lowest or highest serum calcium. Conclusion: Larger serum calcium changes in hospitalized patients were progressively associated with increased in-hospital mortality. Full article
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Article
Impact of ANCA-Associated Vasculitis on Outcomes of Hospitalizations for Goodpasture’s Syndrome in the United States: Nationwide Inpatient Sample 2003–2014
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56030103 - 01 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1301
Abstract
Background and objectives: Goodpasture’s syndrome (GS) is a rare, life-threatening autoimmune disease. Although the coexistence of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) with Goodpasture’s syndrome has been recognized, the impacts of ANCA vasculitis on mortality and resource utilization among patients with GS are unclear. [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Goodpasture’s syndrome (GS) is a rare, life-threatening autoimmune disease. Although the coexistence of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) with Goodpasture’s syndrome has been recognized, the impacts of ANCA vasculitis on mortality and resource utilization among patients with GS are unclear. Materials and Methods: We used the National Inpatient Sample to identify hospitalized patients with a principal diagnosis of GS from 2003 to 2014 in the database. The predictor of interest was the presence of ANCA-associated vasculitis. We tested the differences concerning in-hospital treatment and outcomes between GS patients with and without ANCA-associated vasculitis using logistic regression analysis with adjustment for other clinical characteristics. Results: A total of 964 patients were primarily admitted to hospital for GS. Of these, 84 (8.7%) had a concurrent diagnosis of ANCA-associated vasculitis. Hemoptysis was more prevalent in GS patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis. During hospitalization, GS patients with ANCA-associated required non-significantly more mechanical ventilation and non-invasive ventilation support, but non-significantly less renal replacement therapy and plasmapheresis than those with GS alone. There was no significant difference in in-hospital outcomes, including organ failure and mortality, between GS patients with and without ANCA-associated vasculitis. Conclusions: Our study demonstrated no significant differences between resource utilization and in-hospital mortality among hospitalized patients with coexistence of ANCA vasculitis and GS, compared to those with GS alone. Full article
Article
Inhibition of Virus-Induced Cytokine Production from Airway Epithelial Cells by the Late Addition of Budesonide
Medicina 2020, 56(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56030098 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2297
Abstract
Background and objectives: Viral infection is the main cause of asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) exacerbation and accumulate inflammatory cells to airway tissue. We have reported poly I:C, a mimic product of the virus and ligand of toll-like receptor 3 [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Viral infection is the main cause of asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) exacerbation and accumulate inflammatory cells to airway tissue. We have reported poly I:C, a mimic product of the virus and ligand of toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), induced inflammatory chemokines from airway epithelial cells and found prior incubation with corticosteroids diminishes the effect of TLR3 activation. In clinical practice, mild asthma is recommended as-needed budesonide (BUD) when symptoms occur following a viral infection, etc. However, many questions still surround BUD’s usefulness if taken after a virus has already infected airway tissue. The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of BUD on inflammatory cytokines induced by viral infection. Materials and Methods: Normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells were stimulated with poly I:C or infected with human rhinovirus-16 (HRV16) and BUD was added after the initial stimulation. Expression of both thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and CCL26/eotaxin-3 was quantified by real-time RT-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. Knockdown study was performed. Results: Pre-or post-incubation with BUD inhibited both poly I:C- and HRV16-induced mRNAs and proteins of both thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and CCL26 with significance. Knockdown of the glucocorticoid receptor diminished these effects of BUD. Under the same conditions of BUD’s experiment, post-incubation with neither fluticasone propionate nor dexamethasone suppressed expression of both TSLP and CCL26, which induced by poly I:C. Conclusion: Post-addition of BUD inhibited the virus-induced TSLP and CCL26 from the airway epithelial cells. These results suggest that inhalation of BUD after viral infection has beneficial effects on asthma. Conclusion: Late addition of BUD may benefit among patient with viral infection and type 2 allergic airway disease such as asthma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Translational Medicine)
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Article
Could the Age Difference of a Single Calendar Year between Patients Undergoing IVF at 34, 35 or at 36 Years Old Affect the IVF Outcome? A Retrospective Data Analysis
Medicina 2020, 56(2), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56020092 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1612
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Clinicians are called to overcome age-related challenges in decision making during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible impact of a single calendar year difference among patients aged 34, 35 and 36 [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Clinicians are called to overcome age-related challenges in decision making during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible impact of a single calendar year difference among patients aged 34, 35 and 36 on IVF outcomes. Materials and Methods: Medical records between 2008 and 2019 were analyzed retrospectively. The study group consisted of women diagnosed with tubal factor infertility. Sample size was divided in three categories at 34, 35 and 36 years of age. Embryo transfer including two blastocysts was performed for every patient. Comparisons were performed regarding hormonal profile, response to stimulation, quality of transferred embryos, positive hCG test and clinical pregnancy rate. Results: A total of 706 women were eligible to participate. Two-hundred and forty-eight women were 34, 226 were 35 while the remaining 232 were 36 years old. Regarding the hormonal profile, the number of accumulated oocytes and the quality of embryos transferred, no statistically significant difference was documented between the three age groups. Women aged 34 and 35 years old indicated a significantly increased positive hCG rate in comparison to women aged 36 years old (p-value = 0.009, p-value = 0.023, respectively). Women aged 34 and 35 years old presented with a higher clinical pregnancy rate in comparison to those aged 36 years old (p-value = 0.04, p-value = 0.05, respectively). Conclusion: A calendar year difference between patients undergoing IVF treatment at 34 or 35 years of age does not appear to exert any influence regarding outcome. When treatment involves patients above the age of 35, then a single calendar year may exert considerable impact on IVF outcome. This observation indicates that age 35 may serve as a valid cut-off point regarding IVF outcome. Full article
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Article
Gastrointestinal Symptoms of and Psychosocial Changes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Nursing-Led Cross-Sectional Study of Patients in Clinical Remission
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010045 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2269
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Nursing management in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is focused on global patient care. Starting from basic knowledge of diagnostic and therapeutic management, nurses can assess the impact of IBD on patients’ quality of life not only at the physical [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Nursing management in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is focused on global patient care. Starting from basic knowledge of diagnostic and therapeutic management, nurses can assess the impact of IBD on patients’ quality of life not only at the physical level, but also at the psychological, social, and emotional levels. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of gastrointestinal symptoms on psychosocial changes in IBD patients in remission through nursing-led Patient-Reported Outcomes. Materials and Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of 109 IBD patients in clinical and endoscopic remission. Specialist nurses invited patients to complete questionnaires on gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life through the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). Results: We found that the gastrointestinal symptoms that the patients reported had a significant impact on the analyzed aspects of health. More specifically, belly pain, diarrhea, and bloating were associated with depressive symptoms (p < 0.001), anxiety (p < 0.001), fatigue (p < 0.001), and sleep disturbances (p < 0.001). Moreover, these symptoms also significantly affected patients’ social dimension in terms of satisfaction with participation in social roles (p < 0.001, p < 0.05, and p < 0.001 for belly pain, diarrhea, and bloating, respectively) and physical functions (p < 0.001). The results were virtually the same in a multivariable analysis adjusted by age, gender, body mass index (BMI), and disease duration. Conclusions: Even during remission, gastrointestinal symptoms are the main factors that influence quality of life in IBD patients. This exploratory study highlights the need to adopt validated questionnaires in clinical practice, and demonstrates that PROMIS is a valid, objective, and standardized instrument that can help nursing staff to better define the consequences of the disease in a patient’s daily life. Full article
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Article
Mobbing and Violence at Work as Hidden Stressors and Work Ability among Emergency Medical Doctors in Serbia
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010031 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1573
Abstract
Background and Objectives: People employed in emergency medical services represent a professional group which encounters events beyond ordinary human experience, great work demands, the risk of professional disputes, and stressful situations. The goal of this study is to examine the presence of mobbing [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: People employed in emergency medical services represent a professional group which encounters events beyond ordinary human experience, great work demands, the risk of professional disputes, and stressful situations. The goal of this study is to examine the presence of mobbing and violence at work, as well as their influence on work ability of emergency medical doctors. Materials and Methods: The survey is conducted in Emergency Medical Service (EMS) in Niš in the period between December 2017 and January 2018. Using standardized questionnaires on psychosocial conditions in work environment (COPSOQ II) and work ability index (WAI) this study encompasses 79 doctors. For estimation of the examined factors’ influence on WAI linear regression analysis was used. Results: EMS doctors were exposed to abuse in 30.4% of the cases. The decline in WAI is significantly related with exposure to violence by patients (β = 0.727), exposure to physical violence (β = 0.896), exposure to abuse several times (β = 0.691) and exposure to ill-treatment by patients (β = 0.750). Conclusion: The results indicate that in the examined doctors mobbing and workplace violence are very much present and have a negative impact on their work, and therefore on the quality of health care. Full article
Article
Could the Combination of Two Non-Psychotropic Cannabinoids Counteract Neuroinflammation? Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Associated with Cannabigerol
Medicina 2019, 55(11), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55110747 - 18 Nov 2019
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 4263
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Neuroinflammation is associated with many neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we investigate the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-apoptotic properties of two non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids, cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidiol (CBD). Materials and Methods: The motoneuron-like cell line [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Neuroinflammation is associated with many neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, we investigate the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-apoptotic properties of two non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids, cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidiol (CBD). Materials and Methods: The motoneuron-like cell line NSC-34 differentiated by serum deprivation and with the additional treatment of all-trans retinoic acid (RA) is a valid model to investigate molecular events linked to neurodegeneration in ALS. Results: Pre-treatment with CBG (at 2.5 and 5 µM doses) alone and in combination with CBD (at 2.5 and 5 µM doses) was able to reduce neuroinflammation induced by a culture medium of LPS-stimulated macrophages. In particular, the pre-treatment with CBD at a 5 µM dose decreased TNF-α levels and increased IL10 and IL-37 expression. CBG–CBD association at a 5 µM dose also reduced NF-kB nuclear factor activation with low degradation of the inhibitor of kappaB alpha (IkBα). CBG and CBD co-administered at a 5 µM dose decreased iNOS expression and increased Nrf2 levels. Furthermore, the pre-treatment with the association of two non-psychoactive cannabinoids downregulated Bax protein expression and upregulated Bcl-2 expression. Our data show the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-apoptotic effects PPARγ-mediated. Conclusions: Our results provide preliminary support on the potential therapeutic application of a CBG–CBD combination for further preclinical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
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Article
Screen Use During Meals Among Young Children: Exploration of Associated Variables
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100688 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 1990
Abstract
Background and Objectives: There is evidence that eating meals or snacks while watching TV is an obesogenic factor. Moreover, the patterns of TV and other screen use during meals begin early and persist. However, there are only a few studies to date which [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: There is evidence that eating meals or snacks while watching TV is an obesogenic factor. Moreover, the patterns of TV and other screen use during meals begin early and persist. However, there are only a few studies to date which address the prevalence and predictors of young children’s exposure to screen during mealtimes. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the prevalence and the associated factors of screen use during meals in early childhood. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted in Lithuania. Data of 847 children aged 2 to 5 years old (51.5% boys) were analyzed in this study. Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL/1½-5) and reported their children’s daily screen time, exposure to background TV, screen use during child’s meals, child and parental height and weight, and sociodemographic data. Results: More than half of children were exposed to screen during meals: 33.7% occasionally, several times per week or per month, and 22%—daily or during every meal. Overall daily screen time, background TV, consumption of junk food, child age, and emotional and behavioral problems were related to mealtime screen use (all associations significant at p < 0.01). Longer daily screen time (OR 1.01; 95% CI 1.00–1.01), more background TV (OR 1.26; 95% CI 1.10–1.45), and elder child age (OR 1.02; 95% CI 1.00–1.03) were significant predictors of occasional use of screen during meals. Also, longer daily screen time (OR 0.99; 95% CI 0.98–0.99), background TV (OR 0.78; 95% CI 0.66–0.91) together with no siblings’ status of a child (OR 0.42; 95% CI 0.25–0.69) increased the probability that children were fed in front of screens daily. Conclusions: This study confirmed the unfavorable associations among screen use during meals, daily screen time and junk food consumption in early childhood. In addition, first-time parents should get particular health providers’ attention as they are more likely to use screens during child’s mealtime. Full article
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Article
Biomarker Potential of Plasma MicroRNA-150-5p in Prostate Cancer
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55090564 - 03 Sep 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1414
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Over decades, prostate cancer (PCa) has become one of the leading causes of cancer mortality in men. Extensive evidence exists that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are key players in PCa and a new class of non-invasive cancer biomarkers. Materials and [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Over decades, prostate cancer (PCa) has become one of the leading causes of cancer mortality in men. Extensive evidence exists that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are key players in PCa and a new class of non-invasive cancer biomarkers. Materials and Methods: We performed miRNA profiling in plasma and tissues of PCa patients and attempted the validation of candidate individual miRs as biomarkers. Results: The comparison of tissue and plasma profiling results revealed five commonly dysregulated miRs, namely, miR-130a-3p, miR-145-5p, miR-148a-3p, miR-150-5p, and miR-365a-3p, of which only three show concordant changes—miR-130a-3p and miR-150-5p were downregulated and miR-148a-3p was upregulated in both tissue and plasma samples, respectively. MiR-150-5p was validated as significantly downregulated in both plasma and tissue cancer samples, with a fold change of −2.697 (p < 0.001), and −1.693 (p = 0.035), respectively. ROC analysis showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.817 (95% CI: 0.680–0.995) for plasma samples and 0.809 (95% CI: 0.616–1.001) for tissue samples. Conclusions: We provide data indicating that miR-150-5p plasma variations in PCa patients are associated with concordant changes in prostate cancer tissues; however, given the heterogeneous nature of previous findings of miR-150-5p expression in PCa cells, additional future studies of a larger sample size are warranted in order to confirm the biomarker potential and role of miRNA-150-5p in PCa biology. Full article
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Article
Antiviral Activity of Exopolysaccharides Produced by Lactic Acid Bacteria of the Genera Pediococcus, Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus against Human Adenovirus Type 5
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55090519 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 2235
Abstract
Background and objectives: The use of antagonistic probiotic microorganisms and their byproducts represents a promising approach for the treatment of viral diseases. In the current work, the effect of exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by lactic acid bacteria from different genera on the structural [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The use of antagonistic probiotic microorganisms and their byproducts represents a promising approach for the treatment of viral diseases. In the current work, the effect of exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by lactic acid bacteria from different genera on the structural and functional characteristics of cells and the development of adenoviral infection in vitro was studied. Materials and Methods: Cytotoxicity of six EPSs of lactic acid bacteria of the genera Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc and Pediococcus was determined by MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) assay. The influence of the EPSs on the infectivity of human adenovirus type 5 (HAdV-5) and on the cell cycle under a condition of adenovirus infection was studied using plaque reduction assay and flow cytometric analysis, respectively. Results: It was shown that exopolysaccharides were non-toxic to Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells (MDBK) as they reduced their viability by 3–17%. A change in the distribution of the cell cycle phases in the non-infected cell population treated with EPSs was observed. The analysis demonstrated an increase in the number of cells in the S phase by 47% when using EPSs 15a and a decrease in the number of cells in the G1 phase by 20–27% when treated with the EPSs 15a, 33a, and 19s. The use of EPSs did not led to the normalization of the life cycle of HAdV-5 infected cells to the level of non-infected cells. The EPSs showed low virucidal activity and reduced the HAdV-5 infectivity to 85%. Among the studied exopolysaccharides, anti-adenovirus activity was found for EPS 26a that is produced by Lactobacillus spp. strain. The treatment of cells with the EPS following virus adsorption completely (100%) suppressed the formation and release of HAdV-5 infectious. Conclusions: EPS 26a possessed distinct anti-HAdV-5 activity and the obtained data demonstrate the potential of using exopolysaccharides as anti-adenoviral agents. Full article
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Article
Self-Prescribed Dietary Restrictions are Common in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients and Are Associated with Low Bone Mineralization
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55080507 - 20 Aug 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 1763
Abstract
Background and objectives: Despite the serious concerns of patients about the role of food in triggering or ameliorating their intestinal disease, there are few studies dealing with patients’ beliefs and practices regarding diet in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Despite the serious concerns of patients about the role of food in triggering or ameliorating their intestinal disease, there are few studies dealing with patients’ beliefs and practices regarding diet in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to investigate how the disease affected the dietary habits of patients with IBD, and to assess if patients’ food restrictions were responsible for low bone mineralization. Materials and Methods: For this study, 90 consecutive patients referred for IBD were interviewed regarding their dietary habits. Demographic features and clinical characteristics potentially associated with the dietary habits were collected. A validated and self-administered survey questionnaire dealing with dietary habits and patients’ beliefs and perceptions regarding food was analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed in order to identify risk factors for dietary restrictions among participants and to evaluate the relationship between dietary restrictions and low bone mineral density (BMD). Results: Among the 63 (70%) patients who claimed a self-prescribed dietary restriction, 84% avoided dairy products. Significant risk factors (adjusted odds ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (CI)) for the dietary restrictions were a younger age (p = 0.02), a higher level of education (p = 0.007), and a higher visceral sensitivity index (p = 0.009). Most (80%) of the patients displayed an inadequate calcium intake, and an abnormal result at dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan accounting for low BMD was reported in 46 (51%) of them. Dietary restrictions (p = 0.03), and in particular avoiding dairy products (p = 0.001), were significant risk factors for a low BMD, along with female gender (p = 0.001), smoking (p = 0.04), and steroid abuse (p = 0.03). Almost all (86%) patients changed their diet after IBD diagnosis, as 8% believed that foods could have been a trigger for IBD and 37% that a proper diet was more important than drugs in controlling disease. Although 61% of the patients claimed to have received nutritional advice, 78% of the participants showed interest in receiving more. Conclusions: Dietary habits of IBD patients should be investigated by healthcare professionals as part of the routine visit. Clinicians are invited to provide nutritional recommendations to these patients in order to avoid unnecessary self-prescribed dietary restrictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Diet and Treatment)
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Article
High Physical Activity Level May Reduce Menopausal Symptoms
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55080466 - 11 Aug 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3010
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Menopause is a normal physiological change occurring at a woman’s mid-life. During this time, women experience vasomotor, physical and physiological problems, which reduce their quality of life. Many women are searching for different, alternative methods to reduce the severity of [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Menopause is a normal physiological change occurring at a woman’s mid-life. During this time, women experience vasomotor, physical and physiological problems, which reduce their quality of life. Many women are searching for different, alternative methods to reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms. Physical activity (PA) is one of the recommended methods to reduce menopausal symptoms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between specific domains (physical activity during leisure time, at work, during transportation and household activities) and the menopausal symptoms. Materials and Methods: We included 305 women aged 40–65 in the study. All participants were divided into three groups according to menopausal status. The research tools used were the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) to assess physical activity level in four domains and the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) to assess the severity of menopausal symptoms. The data analysis was performed by Chi-square test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc Tuckey test. Results: Menopausal stage was significantly associated with the total MRS score (p < 0.001) and specifically the urogenital and somato–vegetative subscores (p < 0.001). Physical activity was significantly associated (p < 0.001) with leisure time (according to IPAQ domains). Most postmenopausal women had high PA level (59.66%). Significantly less women with high PA levels had severe urogenital symptoms: 10.82% of participant with a low PA level, 11.15% with a moderate PA level and 4.26% with a high PA level (p = 0.046). Conclusions: Physical activity during leisure time is associated to menopausal symptoms in Polish women. Women with high and moderate PA levels have less severe menopausal symptoms compared to inactive women. Middle-aged women with low PA levels at work suffer from more severe somato–vegetative symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Obstetrics and Gynecology)
Article
TRP Channels Expression Profile in Human End-Stage Heart Failure
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070380 - 16 Jul 2019
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 1503
Abstract
Objectives: Many studies indicate the involvement of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the development of heart hypertrophy. However, the data is often conflicted and has originated in animal models. Here, we provide systematic analysis of TRP channels expression in human failing [...] Read more.
Objectives: Many studies indicate the involvement of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the development of heart hypertrophy. However, the data is often conflicted and has originated in animal models. Here, we provide systematic analysis of TRP channels expression in human failing myocardium. Methods and results: Left-ventricular tissue samples were isolated from explanted hearts of NYHA III-IV patients undergoing heart transplants (n = 43). Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to assess the mRNA levels of TRPC, TRPM and TRPV channels. Analysis of functional, clinical and biochemical data was used to confirm an end-stage heart failure diagnosis. Compared to myocardium samples from healthy donor hearts (n = 5), we detected a distinct increase in the expression of TRPC1, TRPC5, TRPM4 and TRPM7, and decreased expression of TRPC4 and TRPV2. These changes were not dependent on gender, clinical or biochemical parameters, nor functional parameters of the heart. We detected, however, a significant correlation of TRPC1 and MEF2c expression. Conclusions: The end-stage heart failure displays distinct expressional changes of TRP channels. Our findings provide a systematic description of TRP channel expression in human heart failure. The results highlight the complex interplay between TRP channels and the need for deeper analysis of early stages of hypertrophy and heart failure development. Full article
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Article
Phytochemical Analysis, Ephedra Procera C. A. Mey. Mediated Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles, Their Cytotoxic and Antimicrobial Potentials
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070369 - 12 Jul 2019
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 2307
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The current study focuses on an eco-friendly and cost-effective method of Ephedra procera C. A. Mey. mediated green synthesis of silver nanoparticles as potential cytotoxic, antimicrobial and anti-oxidant agents. Materials and Methods: Plant aqueous extracts were screened for Total Phenolic [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The current study focuses on an eco-friendly and cost-effective method of Ephedra procera C. A. Mey. mediated green synthesis of silver nanoparticles as potential cytotoxic, antimicrobial and anti-oxidant agents. Materials and Methods: Plant aqueous extracts were screened for Total Phenolic (TPC), Total Flavonoid contents (TFC), Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging potentials. Total reducing power estimated by potassium ferricyanide colorimetric assay. The biosynthesized E. procera nanoparticles (EpNPs) were characterized by UV-spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction and Scanning electron microscopy. EpNPs were evaluated for their antimicrobial, bio-compatibility and cytotoxic potentials. Results: Initial phytocheimcal analysis of plant aqueous extract revealed TFC of 20.7 ± 0.21 µg/mg extract and TPC of 117.01 ± 0.78 µg/mg extract. TAC, DPPH free radical scavenging and reducing power were 73.8 ± 0.32 µg/mg extract, 71.8 ± 0.73% and 105.4 ± 0.65 µg/mg extract respectively. The synthesized EpNPs were observed to possess high cytotoxicity against HepG2 cancer cell lines with IC50 (61.3 µg/mL) as compared aqueous extract with IC50 of (247 µg/mL). EpNPs were found to be biocompatible and have less effect on human erythrocytes. EpNPs exhibited significant antioxidant potentials and exhibited considerable activity against Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis with Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MICs) of 11.12 μg/mL and 11.33 μg/mL respectively. Fungal species Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus were found susceptible to EpNPs. Conclusions: Results of the current study revealed that EpNPs exhibited considerable antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic potentials. Aqueous extract possesses significant anti-radical properties and thus can be useful in free radicals induced degenerative disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Biosciences in the Field of Health-Care)
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Article
Qualitative Assessment of Vaccine Hesitancy in Romania
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55060282 - 17 Jun 2019
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3315
Abstract
Background and objectives: Health systems all over the world are confronted with an alarming rise of cases in which individuals hesitate, delay, and even refuse vaccination, despite availability of quality vaccine services. In order to mitigate and combat this phenomenon, which are now [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Health systems all over the world are confronted with an alarming rise of cases in which individuals hesitate, delay, and even refuse vaccination, despite availability of quality vaccine services. In order to mitigate and combat this phenomenon, which are now defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as vaccine hesitancy (VH), we must first understand the factors that lead to its occurrence in an era characterized by wide access to safe and effective vaccines. To achieve this, we conducted field testing of the Vaccine Hesitancy Scale (VHS), as it was developed by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts Working Group (SAGE WG), in Cluj-Napoca city, Cluj County, Romania. The scale is designed to quantify VH prevalence in a population, establish which vaccines generate the highest percentage of hesitancy, and allow a qualitative assessment of the individual’s reasons for hesitance. Materials and Methods: We conducted an observational cross-sectional survey, which was comprised of descriptive, analytical, and qualitative elements regarding VH. The necessary sample size was 452 individuals. The VHS and Matrix of Determinants (recommended by SAGE WG) for reasons people gave to justify their hesitance, was interpreted by qualitative thematic analysis (QTA) to ensure the validity and reliability in detecting hesitancy across various cultural settings and permit global comparisons. Results: We found a VH of 30.3% and 11.7% of parents reported refusing to vaccinate their child. Among the VH responders, the varicella vaccine generated 35% hesitancy, measles vaccine 27.7%, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 24.1%, and mumps vaccine 23.4%, respectively. The QTA values for percent agreement ranged from 91% to 100%. Cohen’s Kappa values ranged from 0.45 to 0.95. Contextual influences identified for VH were “media,” “leaders and lobbies,” and “perception of the pharmaceutical industry.” Individual and group influences for VH were “beliefs,” “knowledge,” and “risk/benefits (perceived).” Vaccine and vaccination specific issues for VH were “risk/benefit (rational)” and “health care practitioners (trustworthiness, competence).” Conclusions: One-third of the investigated population had expressed VH, and a further one-third of these had refused a vaccine for their child. Chicken Pox, Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), and HPV vaccines generated the most hesitation. Negative information from the media was the most frequently evoked reason for VH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Promoting Vaccine Acceptance)
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Article
Self-Nanoemulsifying Drug Delivery System (SNEDDS) for Improved Oral Bioavailability of Chlorpromazine: In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050210 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 2414
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Lipid-based self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery systems (SNEDDS) have resurged the eminence of nanoemulsions by modest adjustments and offer many valuable opportunities in drug delivery. Chlorpromazine, an antipsychotic agent with poor aqueous solubility—with extensive first-pass metabolism—can be a suitable candidate for the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Lipid-based self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery systems (SNEDDS) have resurged the eminence of nanoemulsions by modest adjustments and offer many valuable opportunities in drug delivery. Chlorpromazine, an antipsychotic agent with poor aqueous solubility—with extensive first-pass metabolism—can be a suitable candidate for the development of SNEDDS. The current study was designed to develop triglyceride-based SNEDDS of chlorpromazine to achieve improved solubility, stability, and oral bioavailability. Materials and Methods: Fifteen SNEDDS formulations of each short, medium, and long chain, triglycerides were synthesized and characterized to achieve optimized formulation. The optimized formulation was characterized for several in vitro and in vivo parameters. Results: Particle size, zeta potential, and drug loading of the optimized SNEDDS (LCT14) were found to be 178 ± 16, −21.4, and 85.5%, respectively. Long chain triglyceride (LCT14) showed a 1.5-fold increased elimination half-life (p < 0.01), up to 6-fold increased oral bioavailability, and 1.7-fold decreased plasma clearance rate (p < 0.01) compared to a drug suspension. Conclusion: The findings suggest that SNEDDS based on long-chain triglycerides (LCT14) formulations seem to be a promising alternative for improving the oral bioavailability of chlorpromazine. Full article
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Article
Impact of Maternal Diet on Human Milk Composition Among Lactating Women in Latvia
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050173 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2288
Abstract
Background and objectives: Many studies indicate that the maternal diet is an important factor affecting human milk composition. Human milk composition among lactating women in Latvia, as well as the maternal diet during lactation, has not been sufficiently studied. The aim of [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Many studies indicate that the maternal diet is an important factor affecting human milk composition. Human milk composition among lactating women in Latvia, as well as the maternal diet during lactation, has not been sufficiently studied. The aim of this research was to assess dietary habits and macronutrient intake among lactating women in Latvia and to examine the effect of diet on human milk composition. Materials and Methods: Research was conducted between November 2016 and December 2017. Mature human milk samples (n = 61) along with a 72h food diary, a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and a questionnaire about maternal and infant characteristics were obtained from voluntary women who were recruited via an invitation published in a social media member group for nursing mothers. Fat content in human milk was determined by LVS ISO 2446:2008, protein content was determined by LVS EN ISO 8968-1:2014, lactose was determined by ISO 22662:2007, and the fatty acid profile was analyzed using gas chromatography. Dietary data were evaluated using the Finnish food composition database Fineli, release 19 (3 March 2018). Results: Median values for fat, protein, and lactose in mature human milk were 4.40%, 1.08%, and 6.52%, respectively. Predominant fatty acids in human milk were oleic acid (C18:1 n9c), palmitic acid (C16:0), and linoleic acid (C18:2 n6c) at 34.60%, 24.00%, and 11.00% of total fatty acids, respectively. The trans elaidic acid (C18:1 n9t) level was <0.10% in all human milk samples. Significant, positive associations (p < 0.05) were found between maternal dietary intake of linoleic, α-linolenic, docosahexaenoic, total cis-monounsaturated, total cis-polyunsaturated, and total n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, the ratio of n-6/n-3, and the level of these fatty acids in human milk. Total energy and carbohydrate intake among participants were lower, but total fat, saturated fat, and sugar intake were higher than recommended. Protein, linoleic acid, and α-linolenic acid intake were adequate, but docosahexaenoic acid intake was noticeably lower than recommended. Women should be supported with information regarding their nutritional needs during lactation and the possible impact of diet on human milk composition. Conclusion: Macronutrient (fat, protein, and lactose) content in human milk is not affected by maternal diet. Conversely, the human milk fatty acid profile is affected by the immediate diet consumed by the mother. Habitual dietary habits can also impact the fatty acid profile of human milk. Full article
Article
Optimal Homeostasis Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) Cut-Offs: A Cross-Sectional Study in the Czech Population
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050158 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 1733
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The key pathogenetic mechanism of glucose metabolism disorders, insulin resistance (IR), can be assessed using the Homeostasis Model Assessment of IR (HOMA-IR). However, its application in clinical practice is limited due to the absence of cut-offs. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The key pathogenetic mechanism of glucose metabolism disorders, insulin resistance (IR), can be assessed using the Homeostasis Model Assessment of IR (HOMA-IR). However, its application in clinical practice is limited due to the absence of cut-offs. In this study, we aimed to define the cut-offs for the Czech population. Methods: After undergoing anthropometric and biochemical studies, the sample of 3539 individuals was divided into either nondiabetics, including both subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT, n = 1947) and prediabetics (n = 1459), or diabetics (n = 133). The optimal HOMA-IR cut-offs between subgroups were determined to maximize the sum of the sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) or prediabetes. The predictive accuracy was illustrated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Logistic regression was performed to assess the association between a target variable (presence/absence of T2DM) depending on the HOMA-IR score as well as on the age and sex. Results: The HOMA-IR cut-off between nondiabetics and diabetics for both sexes together was 3.63, with a sensitivity of 0.56 and a specificity of 0.86. The area under the ROC curve was 0.73 for T2DM diagnosing in both sexes. The HOMA-IR cut-off between the NGT subjects and prediabetics was 1.82, with a sensitivity of 0.60 and a specificity of 0.66. Logistic regression showed that increased HOMA-IR is a risk factor for the presence of T2DM (odds ratio (OR) 1.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14–1.28, p < 0.0001). The predictive ability of HOMA-IR in diagnosing T2DM is statistically significantly lower in females (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.44–0.98). The results are valid for middle-aged European adults. Conclusions: The results suggest the existence of HOMA-IR cut-offs signaling established IR. Introduction of the instrument into common clinical practice, together with the known cut-offs, may contribute to preventing T2DM. Full article
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