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- Influenza vaccination in children at high risk of respiratory disease. [Journal Article]
- Ther Adv Vaccines 2013 May; 1(1):21-31.
Chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) are a heterogeneous group of diseases that can affect the pediatric population and health authorities throughout the world recommend influenza vaccination because of the significant risk of influenza-related complications. However, despite this recommendation, vaccine coverage is generally unsatisfactory. The aim of this review is to analyze the impact of influenza on children at high risk of respiratory disease, and the immunogenicity, safety and efficacy of influenza vaccination in such children. The results show that there is a significant risk of influenza-related complications in preterm neonates and infants, in whom influenza vaccines are immunogenic and safe (although their efficacy has not been specifically studied). There are conflicting data concerning the effect of influenza infection on asthma morbidity in children, and whether or not influenza vaccination helps to prevent asthma exacerbations. Recent data provide no evidence that influenza is more frequent in patients with cystic fibrosis than in healthy subjects, or that it is responsible for increased lower respiratory tract morbidity. The lack of any clear correlate of protection suggests that future studies should also consider the efficacy of the different influenza vaccines and not only evaluate them in terms of immunogenicity. Furthermore, there is a need for clinical studies to assess the effectiveness of the available vaccines in patients with other rare CRDs and other chronic underlying diseases with possibly severe respiratory involvement. It is also important to determine whether children with recurrent respiratory tract infections should be included in the list of those for whom influenza vaccination is recommended. In the meantime, given the increasing evidence of the burden of influenza on the population as a whole and the benefits associated with vaccination, annual influenza vaccinations should be recommended for all children at high risk of respiratory disease and the members of their households.
- Allergic sensitization to perennial allergens in adults and children sensitized to Japanese cedar or Japanese cypress pollen in Japan. [Journal Article]
- Int J Otolaryngol 2014.:835790.
In Japan, seasonal allergic rhinitis in the spring due to exposure to Japanese cedar or Japanese cypress pollen is common. However, the allergic profile for perennial allergens in spring pollinosis remains unclear. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the allergic profiles of 652 patients with rhinitis. Total serum IgE, serum-specific IgE, and blood eosinophil counts were measured. Allergic sensitization, determined by the serum allergen-specific IgE level, did not always correspond with the patient's symptoms. Only 27% of patients with allergic symptoms in response to spring pollens were sensitized to these allergens alone; 31% of patients were also sensitized to perennial allergens, even without symptoms due to perennial allergens. Total serum IgE and eosinophil cell counts were significantly elevated in patients sensitized to perennial allergens and spring pollens, as compared to patients sensitized only to spring pollens. Most children sensitized to spring pollen (84%) were sensitized to perennial allergens, at a higher rate than adults (49%). Patients sensitized to spring pollens are likely to be latently sensitized to perennial allergens. This is especially true for children and should be monitored closely. Improvement in seasonal allergic conditions, including latent perennial allergy, is important to prevent symptoms that could advance to asthma.
- Perioperative Landiolol Administration reduces Atrial Fibrillation after Cardiac Surgery: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Adv Ther 2014 Apr 23.
Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is one of the most common complications after cardiac surgery. Patients who develop POAF have a prolonged stay in the intensive care unit and hospital and an increased risk of postoperative stroke. Many guidelines for the management of cardiac surgery patients, therefore, recommend perioperative administration of beta-blockers to prevent and treat POAF. Landiolol is an ultra-short acting beta-blocker, and some randomized controlled trials of landiolol administration for the prevention of POAF have been conducted in Japan. This meta-analysis evaluated the effectiveness of landiolol administration for the prevention of POAF after cardiac surgery.The Medline/PubMed and BioMed Central databases were searched for randomized controlled trials comparing cardiac surgery patients who received perioperative landiolol with a control group (saline administration, no drug administration, or other treatment). Two independent reviewers selected the studies for inclusion. Data regarding POAF and safety outcomes were extracted. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the Mantel-Haenszel method (fixed effects model).Six trials with a total of 560 patients were included in the meta-analysis. Landiolol administration significantly reduced the incidence of POAF after cardiac surgery (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.17-0.40). The effectiveness of landiolol administration was similar in three groups: all patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.17-0.43), patients who underwent CABG compared with a control group who received saline or nothing (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.17-0.45), and all patients who underwent cardiac surgery compared with a control group who received saline or nothing (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.17-0.42). Only two adverse events associated with landiolol administration were observed (2/302, 0.7%): hypotension in one patient and asthma in one patient.Landiolol administration reduces the incidence of POAF after cardiac surgery and is well tolerated.
- Protective Effects of the Polyphenol Sesamin on Allergen-Induced TH2 Responses and Airway Inflammation in Mice. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(4):e96091.
Allergic asthma is a lifelong airway condition that affects people of all ages. In recent decades, asthma prevalence continues to increase globally, with an estimated number of 250,000 annual deaths attributed to the disease. Although inhaled corticosteroids and β-adrenergic receptor agonists are the primary therapeutic avenues that effectively reduce asthma symptoms, profound side effects may occur in patients with long-term treatments. Therefore, development of new therapeutic strategies is needed as alternative or supplement to current asthma treatments. Sesamin is a natural polyphenolic compound with strong anti-oxidative effects. Several studies have reported that sesamin is effective in preventing hypertension, thrombotic tendency, and neuroinflammation. However, it is still unknown whether sesamin can reduce asthma-induced allergic inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). Our study has revealed that sesamin exhibited significant anti-inflammatory effects in ovalbumin (OVA)-induced murine asthma model. We found that treatments with sesamin after OVA sensitization and challenge significantly decreased expression levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, IL-13, and serum IgE. The numbers of total inflammatory cells and eosinophils in BALF were also reduced in the sesamin-treated animals. Histological results demonstrated that sesamin attenuated OVA-induced eosinophil infiltration, airway goblet cell hyperplasia, mucus occlusion, and MUC5AC expression in the lung tissue. Mice administered with sesamin showed limited increases in AHR compared with mice receiving vehicle after OVA challenge. OVA increased phosphorylation levels of IκB-α and nuclear expression levels of NF-κB, both of which were reversed by sesamin treatments. These data indicate that sesamin is effective in treating allergic asthma responses induced by OVA in mice.
- Bitter taste receptor (TAS2R) agonists inhibit IgE-dependent mast cell activation. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Allergy Clin Immunol 2014 Apr 19.
- Asthma prevalence, knowledge, and perceptions among secondary school pupils in rural and urban costal districts in Tanzania. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- BMC Public Health 2014 Apr 23; 14(1):387.
Asthma is a common chronic disease of childhood that is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of asthma among secondary school pupils in urban and rural areas of coast districts of Tanzania. The study also aimed to describe pupils' perception towards asthma, and to assess their knowledge on symptoms, triggers, and treatment of asthma.A total of 610 pupils from Ilala district and 619 pupils from Bagamoyo district formed the urban and rural groups, respectively. Using a modified International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire, a history of "diagnosed" asthma or the presence of a wheeze in the previous 12 months was obtained from all the studied pupils, along with documentation of their perceptions regarding asthma. Pupils without asthma or wheeze in the prior 12 months were subsequently selected and underwent a free running exercise testing. A >= 20% decrease in the post-exercise Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) values was the criterion for diagnosing exercise-induced asthma.The mean age of participants was 16.8 (+/-1.8) years. The prevalence of wheeze in the past 12 months was 12.1% in Bagamoyo district and 23.1% in Ilala district (p < 0.001). Self-reported asthma was found in 17.6% and 6.4% of pupils in Ilala and Bagamoyo districts, respectively (p < 0.001). The prevalence of exercise-induced asthma was 2.4% in Bagamoyo, and 26.3% in Ilala (P < 0.002). In both districts, most information on asthma came from parents, and there was variation in symptoms and triggers of asthma reported by the pupils. Non-asthmatic pupils feared sleeping, playing, and eating with their asthmatic peers.The prevalence rates of self-reported asthma, wheezing in the past 12 months, and exercise-induced asthma were significantly higher among urban than rural pupils. Although bronchial asthma is a common disease, pupils' perceptions about asthma were associated with fear of contact with their asthmatic peers in both rural and urban schools.
- Asthma: NHLBI Workshop on the Primary Prevention of Chronic Lung Diseases. [Journal Article]
- Ann Am Thorac Soc 2014 Apr.:S139-45.
Asthma is a common disease with enormous public health costs, and its primary prevention is an ambitious and important goal. Understanding of how host and environmental factors interact to cause asthma is incomplete, but persistent questions about mechanisms should not stop clinical research efforts aimed at reducing the prevalence of childhood asthma. Achieving the goal of primary prevention of asthma will involve integrated and parallel sets of research activities in which mechanism-oriented studies of asthma inception proceed alongside clinical intervention studies to test biologically plausible prevention ideas. For example, continued research is needed, particularly in young children, to uncover biomarkers that identify asthma risk and provide potential targets of intervention, and to improve understanding of the role of microbial factors in asthma risk and disease initiation. In terms of clinical trials that could be initiated now or in the near future, we recommend three interventions for testing: (1) preventing asthma through prophylaxis against respiratory syncytial virus and human rhinovirus infections of the airway; (2) immune modulation, using prebiotics, probiotics, and bacterial lysates; and (3) prevention of allergen sensitization and allergic inflammation, using anti-IgE. These interventions should be tested while other, more universal prevention measures that may promote lung health are also investigated. These potential universal lung health measures include prevention of preterm delivery; reduced exposure of the fetus and young infant to environmental pollutants, including tobacco smoke; prevention of maternal and child obesity; and management of psychosocial stress.
- Animal models of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Expert Opin Drug Discov 2014 Apr 23.
Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading global cause of mortality and chronic morbidity. Inhalation of cigarette smoke is the principal risk factor for development of this disease. COPD is a progressive disease that is typically characterised by chronic pulmonary inflammation, mucus hypersecretion, airway remodelling and emphysema that collectively reduce lung function. There are currently no therapies that effectively halt or reverse disease progression. It is hoped that the development of animal models that develop the hallmark features of COPD, in a short time frame, will aid in the identifying and testing of new therapeutic approaches. Areas covered: The authors review the recent developments in mouse models of chronic cigarette smoke-induced COPD as well as the principal findings. Furthermore, the authors discuss the use of mouse models to understand the pathogenesis and the contribution of infectious exacerbations. They also discuss the investigations of the systemic co-morbidities of COPD (pulmonary hypertension, cachexia and osteoporosis). Expert opinion: Recent advances in the field mark a point where animal models recapitulate the pathologies of COPD patients in a short time frame. They also reveal novel insights into the pathogenesis and potential treatment of this debilitating disease.
- Disposable baby diaper--a threat to the health and environment. [Journal Article]
- J Environ Sci Eng 2012 Jul; 54(3):447-52.
There is no doubt that disposable diapers are wonderfully convenient but are they safe for the babies? It is clear that there are also a number of potential dangers. Most of the parents are not aware of the adverse effects of this product being in contact with baby's reproductive organs 24 hours a day more than two years and the long-term effects it causes to the surroundings. Disposable diapers have been implicated by diapering proponents like leak proof polymers, super absorbent polymers and some scented chemicals which are the key factors for everything from chronic diaper rash, respiratory problems like asthma, male infertility even to testicular cancer. This article gives the detailed review of the health and other related problems in using the disposable baby diapers like cancer, liver damage, skin diseases, male infertility, birth abnormalities, respiratory problems, land fills, environmental pollution, toxic chemicals used etc.
- Overview of the Publications From the Anthroposophic Medicine Outcomes Study (AMOS): A Whole System Evaluation Study. [REVIEW]
- Glob Adv Health Med 2014 Jan; 3(1):54-70.
Anthroposophic medicine is a physician-provided complementary therapy system that was founded by Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman. Anthroposophic therapy includes special medicinal products, artistic therapies, eurythmy movement exercises, and special physical therapies. The Anthroposophic Medicine Outcomes Study (AMOS) was a prospective observational multicenter study of 1631 outpatients starting anthroposophic therapy for anxiety disorders, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, low back pain, migraine, and other chronic indications under routine conditions in Germany. AMOS INCORPORATED TWO FEATURES PROPOSED FOR THE EVALUATION OF INTEGRATIVE THERAPY SYSTEMS: (1) a sequential approach, starting with the whole therapy system (use, safety, outcomes, perceived benefit), addressing comparative effectiveness and proceeding to the major system components (physician counseling, anthroposophic medicinal products, art therapy, eurythmy therapy, rhythmical massage therapy) and (2) a mix of different research methods to build an information synthesis, including pre-post analyses, prospective comparative analyses, economic analyses, and safety analyses of individual patient data. AMOS fostered two methodological innovations for the analysis of single-arm therapy studies (combined bias suppression, systematic outcome comparison with corresponding cohorts in other studies) and the first depression cost analysis worldwide comparing primary care patients treated for depression vs depressed patients treated for another disorder vs nondepressed patients. A total of 21 peer-reviewed publications from AMOS have resulted. This article provides an overview of the main research questions, methods, and findings from these publications: anthroposophic treatment was safe and was associated with clinically relevant improvements in symptoms and quality of life without cost increase; improvements were found in all age, diagnosis, and therapy modality groups and were retained at 48-month follow-up; nonrespondent bias, natural recovery, regression to the mean, and adjunctive therapies together could explain a maximum of 37% of the improvement.