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The Role of Gut Microbiome Perturbation in Fatigue Induced by Repeated Stress from Chemoradiotherapy: A Proof of Concept Study
Objectives. The objectives of this proof of concept study were to (a) examine the temporal changes in fatigue and diversity of the gut microbiome over the course of chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in adults with rectal cancers; (b) investigate whether there are differences in diversity of the gut microbiome between fatigued and nonfatigued participants at the middle and at the end of CRT; and (c) investigate whether there are differences in the relative abundance of fecal microbiota at the phylum and genus levels between fatigued and nonfatigued participants at the middle and at the end of CRT. Methods. Stool samples and symptom ratings were collected prior to the inception of CRT, at the middle (after 12–16 treatments) and at the end (after 24–28 treatments) of the CRT. Descriptive statistics and Mann–Whitney U test were computed for fatigue. Gut microbiome data were analyzed using the QIIME2 software. Results. Participants (N = 29) ranged in age from 37 to 80 years. The median fatigue score significantly changed at the end of CRT (median = 23.0) compared with the median score before the initiation of CRT for the total sample (median = 17.0; ). At the middle of CRT, the alpha diversity (abundance of Operational Taxonomic Units) was lower for fatigued participants (149.30 ± 53.1) than for nonfatigued participants (189.15 ± 44.18, t(23) = 2.08, ). A similar trend was observed for the Shannon and Faith diversity indexes at the middle of CRT. However, at the end of CRT, there were no significant differences for any alpha diversity indexes between fatigued and nonfatigued participants. Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla for fatigued participants, and Escherichia, Bacteroides, Faecalibacterium, and Oscillospira were the most abundant genera for fatigued participants. Conclusion. CRT-associated perturbation of the gut microbiome composition may contribute to fatigue.
Hospital Spiritual Care Can Complement Graduate Medical Trainee Well-Being
Background. Burnout and depression among physician trainees is increasing at an alarming rate. Promoting well-being is of utmost importance for graduate medical education. The primary objective was to determine if spiritual care staff/chaplaincy can assist in building emotional well-being and resiliency within medical residency education. Methods. For the academic year of July 2017 through June 2018, all graduate medical trainees in our institution were given the option of attending either an individual or group spiritual care session as part of a universal “Call to Wellness” curriculum. A Post-Wellness Survey was administered to measure perceptions about the program. Results. 49% (N = 258) of residents chose to participate in a spiritual care session. Prior to the session, 51% (N = 132) rated their overall well-being as neutral and 25% (N = 64) rated their overall well-being as slightly positive, positive, or very positive. After their spiritual care session, significant improvement was seen. 25% (N = 64) rated their overall well-being as neutral, and 51% (N = 132) rated their overall well-being as slightly positive, positive, or very positive (). Conclusion. Spiritual care staff/chaplaincy can have a positive influence on emotional well-being for physicians during residency training.
A Monocentric Retrospective Study about the Correlation between Histology and Cytology of Thyroid Indeterminate Nodules Classified as TIR 3A and TIR 3B, according to 2014 Italian Consensus for Classification and Reporting of Thyroid Cytology
Background. In 2014, the Italian Consensus for Classification and Reporting of Thyroid Cytology (ICCRTC) reviewed the previous cytological classification proposed in 2007 including the subdivision of TIR 3 category into low risk (TIR 3A) and high risk (TIR 3B). In Italian literature, different rates of malignancy have been correlated to these subcategories. Objectives. The aim of the study is to present our experience on this subclassification for the assessment of the malignancy risk of indeterminate thyroid nodules. We correlated the subdivision into TIR 3A and TIR 3B with the histological report by highlighting the rates of malignancy detected in the two subcategories. On the one hand, we aimed to check if the groups are associated with a real and significant difference risk of malignancy. On the other hand, we evaluated the use of this subdivision in the choice of the appropriate treatment. Study Design. This is a retrospective review of all the patients with an indeterminate nodule who underwent US-FNA and had surgery at ASL Città di Torino between January 2005 and May 2018. Results. 150 patients have been analyzed for the research; 62 (41.3%) had a malignant histological report. Rates of malignancy between TIR 3A (20.8%) and TIR 3B (60.3%) were significantly different (). The subclassification had high sensitivity (75.8%; CI 63.3–85.8%) and NPV (79.3%; CI 68–87.8%) and low specificity (64.8%; CI 53.9–74.7%) and PPV (60.3; CI 48.5–71.2%). The measurement of the accuracy (AUC = 0.7) classified the test as “moderately accurate.” Conclusions. Obtained data show a great rate of false negative (20.8%) and limited AUC (0.7). According to our logistic regression, we argue that the 2014 subclassification into TIR 3A and TIR 3B should be considered for the choice of patient treatment, but at the same time, we believe that the association with other screening tests is necessary to increase the accuracy in the future.
Correcting Hypokalemia in Hospitalized Patients Does Not Decrease Risk of Cardiac Arrhythmias
Background. It is currently standard practice to correct hypokalemia for the purpose of preventing cardiac arrhythmias in all hospitalized patients. However, the efficacy of this intervention has never been previously studied. Objective. The objective of our study was to evaluate whether patients without acute coronary syndrome or history of arrhythmias were at increased risk of clinically significant cardiac arrhythmias if their potassium level was not corrected to ≥3.5 mEq/L. Design. A retrospective case control study. Setting. A community hospital. Participants. We enrolled selected patients who had episodes of hypokalemia during their hospital stay and were monitored on telemetry. Patients were split into groups based on success of replacing serum potassium to ≥3.5 mEq/L after 24 hours. Measurements. The primary outcome was the development of an arrhythmia. Arrhythmias included supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, Mobitz type II second-degree or third-degree AV block, ventricular tachycardia, or ventricular fibrillation. A one-tailed Fisher’s exact test and logistic regression were used for analysis. Results. A total of 1338 hypokalemic patient days were recorded. Out of these days, 22 arrhythmia events (1.6% of patient days) were observed, 8 in the uncorrected group (1% patient days) and 14 in the corrected group (2.6% patient days). We found no statistically significant relationship between successfully correcting potassium to ≥3.5 mEq/L and number of arrhythmic events (, OR = 2.38 (95% CI: 0.99, 6.03)). Logistic regression revealed that correction of potassium does not seem to be significantly related to arrhythmias (β = 0.869, ). Conclusions. In the acute care setting, we found that patients with hypokalemia whose potassium level did not correct to ≥3.5 mEq/L were not at increased odds of having an arrhythmia. This study suggests that the common practice of checking and replacing potassium is likely inconsequential.
Birth Outcomes among Diabetic Mothers Who Delivered in Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Introduction. Diabetes develops in 4% of all the pregnancies worldwide, and its prevalence ranges from 1 to 14%, and 7% are complicated and results in prenatal morbidity and mortality. The disease affects women and their babies during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. However, little is known about its prevalence, birth outcomes, and associated factors in the study setting. Method. A facility-based retrospective cross-sectional study was done on all deliveries attended from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2017, to determine the prevalence of diabetes and birth outcome. The mothers who had complete data record were identified and consecutively reviewed. The data were entered in EpiData Version 4.2 and exported to SPSS Version 23.0 for analysis. Results. Of the 14039 women who gave birth during the study period, 2.6% of them had diabetes mellitus, and from reviewed data, 54.6% had gestational diabetes and 45.4% had pregestational diabetes. Out of the diabetic mothers, 57.8% delivered by cesarean section, 39.9% by spontaneous vaginal delivery, and 26% of the pregnancies ended up with pregnancy-induced hypertension. Regarding the fetal outcome, 17.9% were preterm delivery, 17.6% macrocosmic, 9.2% respiratory distress, 10.1% low birth weight, and 65% admitted to neonatal intensive care unit. Class I obesity and history of PIH were associated with adverse maternal outcomes at aOR = 95%CI 3.8 (1.29, 8.319) and aOR = 95%CI 2.1 (1.03, 4.399), respectively. Being a house wife and preterm deliveries were associated with adverse fetal outcomes at aOR = 95%CI 2.117 (1.315, 3.405) and aOR = 95%CI 9.763 (4.560, 20.902), respectively. Conclusion. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus delivered in the hospital was 2.6%. Class I obesity and previous history of pregnancy-induced hypertension were significantly associated with adverse maternal outcomes, whereas preterm delivery and being housewife were associated with adverse fetal outcome.
Nocturnal Glycemic Control with New Insulin Glargine 300 U/mL
Insulin glargine 300 U/mL (Gla-300) is a new generation basal insulin product that has been demonstrated to have more stable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics than insulin glargine 100 U/mL (Gla-100). To evaluate the real-world benefits of Gla-300 in reducing nocturnal fluctuations in blood glucose levels and nocturnal hypoglycemia, 10 Taiwanese patients using Gla-100 for insulin therapy were switched to Gla-300 and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) was applied at nighttime to monitor changes to nocturnal glycemic variability parameters. Glycemic variability parameters measured to assess between- and within-night glycemic variability included mean 6-hour nocturnal (00:00–6:00 AM) glucose levels, standard deviation (SD), and coefficient of variance (CV) of mean nocturnal glucose levels and mean glucose excursion (MAGE). In this study, Gla-300 demonstrated comparable glycemic efficacy to Gla-100 and the potential to further reduce nocturnal hypoglycemia risk. Overall, nocturnal glycemic variability parameters measured during the Gla-300 treatment period were numerically smaller than those measured during the Gla-100 treatment phase although statistical significance was not reached. In terms of within-night glucose management, SD and CV values of mean nocturnal glucose levels were found to be statistically lower during the Gla-300 treatment phase than the Gla-100 treatment phase on nights individuals displayed normal blood glucose level readings at the beginning of the night. In summary, this study represents the first of its kind from Taiwan to evaluate the real-world clinical benefits of switching Taiwanese diabetes patients from Gla-100 to Gla-300 insulin therapy in reducing nighttime glucose variability by means of CGM.