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RESUMEN Objetivo: Determinar el riesgo de padecer enfermedades respiratorias por el uso del cigarrillo electrónico. Materiales y métodos: Revisión integrativa, basada en el análisis de artículos científicos completos en bases de datos como: PubMed, Scopus y SciELO utilizando el método PRISMA, en el periodo 2018-2023, en los idiomas inglés y español. Resultados: Se obtuvo 95 artículos científicos, de los cuales se excluyeron un total de 75 por no cumplir con los criterios de selección, quedando seleccionados 20 artículos científicos que responden a los objetivos planteados. Conclusiones: Este estudio identificó los riesgos de padecer enfermedades respiratorias por el uso del cigarrillo electrónico, siendo las más relevantes: enfermedad pulmonar obstructiva crónica, neumonía, lesión pulmonar asociada al cigarrillo electrónico o al vapeo, síndrome de distrés respiratorio, hipertensión pulmonar y asma, además de acompañarse de signos y síntomas como infección de las vías aéreas, el desarrollo de enfermedades cardiovasculares, gastrointestinales y el inicio de adicciones. El estudio identificó que el sexo masculino es el predominante en exponerse más al riesgo de enfermedades respiratorias y la edad oscila entre los 14 a 35 años, convirtiéndose en un problema de salud pública que cada año va en aumento.
ABSTRACT Objective: To determine the risk of respiratory diseases due to the use of electronic cigarettes. Materials and Methods: Integrative review, based on the analysis of complete scientific articles in databases such as: PubMed, Scopus and SciELO, using the PRISMA method, in the period 2018-2023, in English and Spanish. Results: Of the 95 scientific articles that were obtained, 20 met the selection criteria and were selected to meet the stated objectives. The remaining 75 articles were excluded. Conclusions: This study identi fied the risks of suffering from respiratory diseases associated with the use of electronic cigarettes. The most significant risks include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, lung injury associated with electronic cigarettes or vaping, respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary hypertension, and asthma. Symptoms may also include signs and symptoms of respiratory infections, development of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases, and the onset of addiction. The study found that males are more susceptible to respiratory diseases, with the 14-35 age group being particularly affected. This is becoming a growing public health concern.
RESUMO Objetivo: Determinar o risco de doenças respiratórias devido ao uso de cigarros eletrônicos. Materiais e métodos: Revisão integrativa, baseada na análise de artigos científicos completos em bases de dados como: PubMed, Scopus e SciELO, utilizando o método PRISMA, no período de 2018 a 2023, em inglês e espanhol. Resultados: Foram obtidos 95 artigos científicos, dos quais um total de 75 foram excluídos por não atenderem aos critérios de seleção, restando 20 artigos científicos selecionados que respondem aos objetivos estabelecidos. Conclusões: Este estudo identificou os riscos de doenças respiratórias decorrentes do uso de cigarros eletrônicos, sendo as mais relevantes a doença pulmonar obstrutiva crônica, pneumonia, lesão pulmonar associada ao cigarro eletrônico ou vaping, síndrome do desconforto respiratório, hipertensão pulmonar e asma, além de serem acompanhadas de sinais e sintomas como infecção das vias aéreas, desenvolvimento de doença cardiovascular, doença gastrointestinal e início de dependência. O estudo identificou que o sexo masculino está predominantemente exposto ao risco de doenças respiratórias e a idade varia de 14 a 35 anos, tornando-se um problema de saúde pública que aumenta a cada ano.

Genetic polymorphisms affecting telomere length and their association with cardiovascular disease in the Heinz-Nixdorf-Recall study

by Nico Tannemann, Raimund Erbel, Markus M. Nöthen, Karl-Heinz Jöckel, Sonali Pechlivanis

Short telomeres are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). We aimed to investigate, if genetically determined telomere-length effects CVD-risk in the Heinz-Nixdorf-Recall study (HNRS) population. We selected 14 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with telomere-length (p−8) from the literature and after exclusion 9 SNPs were included in the analyses. Additionally, a genetic risk score (GRS) using these 9 SNPs was calculated. Incident CVD was defined as fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, and coronary death. We included 3874 HNRS participants with available genetic data and had no known history of CVD at baseline. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to test the association between the SNPs/GRS and incident CVD-risk adjusting for common CVD risk-factors. The analyses were further stratified by CVD risk-factors. During follow-up (12.1±4.31 years), 466 participants experienced CVD-events. No association between SNPs/GRS and CVD was observed in the adjusted analyses. However, the GRS, rs10936599, rs2487999 and rs8105767 increase the CVD-risk in current smoker. Few SNPs (rs10936599, rs2487999, and rs7675998) showed an increased CVD-risk, whereas rs10936599, rs677228 and rs4387287 a decreased CVD-risk, in further strata. The results of our study suggest different effects of SNPs/GRS on CVD-risk depending on the CVD risk-factor strata, highlighting the importance of stratified analyses in CVD risk-factors.

COVID-19 vaccination uptake and determinants of booster vaccination among persons who inject drugs in New York City

by Mehrdad Khezri, Courtney McKnight, Chenziheng Allen Weng, Sarah Kimball, Don Des Jarlais


Persons who inject drugs (PWID) may be unengaged with healthcare services and face an elevated risk of severe morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 due to chronic diseases and structural inequities. However, data on COVID-19 vaccine uptake, particularly booster vaccination, among PWID are limited. We examined COVID-19 vaccine uptake and factors associated with booster vaccination among PWID in New York City (NYC).


We recruited PWID using respondent-driven sampling from October 2021 to November 2023 in a survey that included HIV and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies testing. The questionnaire included demographics, COVID-19 vaccination and attitudes, and drug use behaviors.


Of 436 PWID, 80% received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. Among individuals who received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, 95% were fully vaccinated. After excluding participants recruited before booster authorization for general adults started in NYC, and those who had never received an initial vaccination, 41% reported having received a COVID-19 booster vaccine dose. COVID-19 booster vaccination was significantly associated with having a high school diploma or GED (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.93; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09, 3.48), ever received the hepatitis A/B vaccine (aOR 2.23; 95% CI 1.27, 3.96), main drug use other than heroin/speedball, fentanyl and stimulants (aOR 14.4; 95% CI 2.32, 280), number of non-fatal overdoses (aOR 0.35; 95% CI 0.16, 0.70), and mean vaccination attitude score (aOR 0.94; 95% CI 0.89, 0.98).


We found a suboptimal level of COVID-19 booster vaccination among PWID, which was consistent with the rates observed in the general population in NYC and the U.S. Community-based interventions are needed to improve COVID-19 booster vaccination access and uptake among PWID. Attitudes towards vaccination were significant predictors of both primary and booster vaccination uptake. Outreach efforts focusing on improving attitudes towards vaccination and educational programs are essential for reducing hesitancy and increasing booster vaccination uptake among PWID.

Identification of triciribine as a novel myeloid cell differentiation inducer

by Souma Suzuki, Susumu Suzuki, Yuri Sato-Nagaoka, Chisaki Ito, Shinichiro Takahashi

Differentiation therapy using all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is well established. However, because the narrow application and tolerance development of ATRA need to be improved, we searched for another efficient myeloid differentiation inducer. Kinase activation is involved in leukemia biology and differentiation block. To identify novel myeloid differentiation inducers, we used a Kinase Inhibitor Screening Library. Using a nitroblue tetrazolium dye reduction assay and real-time quantitative PCR using NB4 APL cells, we revealed that, PD169316, SB203580, SB202190 (p38 MAPK inhibitor), and triciribine (TCN) (Akt inhibitor) potently increased the expression of CD11b. We focused on TCN because it was reported to be well tolerated by patients with advanced hematological malignancies. Nuclear/cytoplasmic (N/C) ratio was significantly decreased, and myelomonocytic markers (CD11b and CD11c) were potently induced by TCN in both NB4 and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) M2 derived HL-60 cells. Western blot analysis using NB4 cells demonstrated that TCN promoted ERK1/2 phosphorylation, whereas p38 MAPK phosphorylation was not affected, suggesting that activation of the ERK pathway is involved in TCN-induced differentiation. We further examined that whether ATRA may affect phosphorylation of ERK and p38, and found that there was no obvious effect, suggesting that ATRA induced differentiation is different from TCN effect. To reveal the molecular mechanisms involved in TCN-induced differentiation, we performed microarray analysis. Pathway analysis using DAVID software indicated that “hematopoietic cell lineage” and “cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction” pathways were enriched with high significance. Real-time PCR analysis demonstrated that components of these pathways including IL1β, CD3D, IL5RA, ITGA6, CD44, ITGA2B, CD37, CD9, CSF2RA, and IL3RA, were upregulated by TCN-induced differentiation. Collectively, we identified TCN as a novel myeloid cell differentiation inducer, and trials of TCN for APL and non-APL leukemia are worthy of exploration in the future.

Barriers to uptake of referral services from secondary eye care to tertiary eye care and its associated determinants in L V Prasad Eye Institute network in Southern India: A cross-sectional study-Report II

by Debananda Padhy, Giridhar Pyda, Srinivas Marmamula, Rohit C. Khanna


To investigate the barriers to the uptake of referral services from secondary care centers (SC) to a higher-level tertiary care center (TC) in Southern India.


A cross-sectional study was conducted in the Mahabubnagar district of Telangana, India, between February 1, 2018 to January 31, 2019 and all those referred from SC to TC between January 1, 2013 to December 30, 2016 were identified for interview. Based on inclusion criteria, of the 960 participants identified, 681 (70.9%) participated in the study. A validated study questionnaire was administered to all participants. Information collected were the demographic details, details related to their referral and barriers to referral. The participants that presented at TC were considered compliant and who did not, were non-compliant. Reasons for non-compliance was also collected.


The mean age those interviewed was 46.1 years (SD: 17.3 years) and 429 (63%) were males and 252 (37%) were females. Overall, 516 (75.8%) were compliant, and 165 (24.2%) were non-compliant. The major factors for non-compliance were economic (16.4%) and attitudinal (44.2%) barriers. Within the attitudinal barrier category, the most prevalent individual attitudinal barriers were ‘too busy to go to the eye center for treatment (16.4%)’and ‘able to manage routine daily activities with current vision (12.1%)’. The multivariable analysis showed that the non-compliant participants had only visited the SC once prior to the referral (odds ratio: 2.82; 95% CI: 1.43–5.57) (p = 0.003).


Participants with only one SC visit, were less likely to comply with referrals and the major barriers to compliance were economical and attitudinal. It is important to address these specific barriers to provide proper counseling to participants during referrals.

Exploring novel immunotherapy biomarker candidates induced by cancer deformation

by Se Min Kim, Namu Park, Hye Bin Park, JuKyung Lee, Changho Chun, Kyung Hoon Kim, Jong Seob Choi, Hyung Jin Kim, Sekyu Choi, Jung Hyun Lee

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) demands urgent attention for the development of effective treatment strategies due to its aggressiveness and limited therapeutic options [1]. This research is primarily focused on identifying new biomarkers vital for immunotherapy, with the aim of developing tailored treatments specifically for TNBC, such as those targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway. To achieve this, the study places a strong emphasis on investigating Ig genes, a characteristic of immune checkpoint inhibitors, particularly genes expressing Ig-like domains with altered expression levels induced by "cancer deformation," a condition associated with cancer malignancy. Human cells can express approximately 800 Ig family genes, yet only a few Ig genes, including PD-1 and PD-L1, have been developed into immunotherapy drugs thus far. Therefore, we investigated the Ig genes that were either upregulated or downregulated by the artificial metastatic environment in TNBC cell line. As a result, we confirmed the upregulation of approximately 13 Ig genes and validated them using qPCR. In summary, our study proposes an approach for identifying new biomarkers applicable to future immunotherapies aimed at addressing challenging cases of TNBC where conventional treatments fall short.

Relationship between personality traits and postpartum depression in Pakistani fathers

by Najam ul Hasan Abbasi, Ahmad Bilal, Khair Muhammad, Saba Riaz, Shakeela Altaf

The previous studies have found an association between Big Five personality traits and postpartum depression in women. The present study aimed to find out an association between Big Five personality traits and postpartum depression in a sample of Pakistani fathers. A total of 400 Pakistani fathers who had birth of a child in the past 1 month to 1 year period and had been living with their married partners were recruited purposively by using Google Form based survey from the major cities of Pakistan. The Urdu translated versions of Big Five Personality Inventory (BFI) and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) were used as the main outcome measures to assess the relationship between personality traits and postpartum depression. The results found a significant negative and moderate association between Big Five personality traits and paternal postpartum depression except openness which had a weak association and neuroticism which had a positive and moderate association with PPPD (r(398) = .45). The multiple linear regression analysis found that Big Five personality traits significantly predicted paternal postpartum depression (F(5, 394) = 53.33, p = .001) except openness (B = .007, p = .98). The analysis of variance (ANOVA) found significant differences in paternal postpartum depression for age of father (F(2, 397) = 6.65, p = .001, ηp2 = .03), spouse age (F(2, 393) = 5.97, p = .003, ηp2 = .02), employment type (F(2, 395) = 9.69, p = .001, ηp2 = .04) and time spent at home (F(2, 397) = 6.23, p = .002, ηp2 = .03) while there were found no significant differences for education (F(2, 397) = 1.29, p = .27, ηp2 = .006), marital duration (F(2, 397) = 2.17, p = .11, ηp2 = .01), and birth number of recent child (F(2, 397) = 1.48, p = .22, ηp2 = .007). The study concluded that Big Five personality traits are significantly correlated with and predict paternal postpartum depression except openness which did not predict paternal postpartum depression. The occurrence of paternal postpartum depression varied significantly for age of father, age of spouse, type of employment and time spent at home.

Distribution and dynamics of <i>Anopheles gambiae</i> s.l. larval habitats in three Senegalese cities with high urban malaria incidence

by Fatou Ndiaye, Abdoulaye Diop, Joseph Chabi, Katherine Sturm-Ramirez, Massila Senghor, El Hadji Diouf, Badara Samb, Seynabou Mocote Diedhiou, Omar Thiaw, Sarah Zohdy, Ellen Dotson, Doudou Sene, Mame Birame Diouf, Valerie Koscelnik, Lilia Gerberg, Abdoulaye Bangoura, Tiffany Clark, Ousmane Faye, Ibrahima Dia, Lassana Konate, El Hadji Amadou Niang

Urban malaria has become a challenge for most African countries due to urbanization, with increasing population sizes, overcrowding, and movement into cities from rural localities. The rapid expansion of cities with inappropriate water drainage systems, abundance of water storage habitats, coupled with recurrent flooding represents a concern for water-associated vector borne diseases, including malaria. This situation could threaten progress made towards malaria elimination in sub-Saharan countries, including Senegal, where urban malaria has presented as a threat to national elimination gains. To assess drivers of urban malaria in Senegal, a 5-month study was carried out from August to December 2019 in three major urban areas and hotspots for malaria incidence (Diourbel, Touba, and Kaolack) including the rainy season (August-October) and partly dry season (November–December). The aim was to characterize malaria vector larval habitats, vector dynamics across both seasons, and to identify the primary eco- environmental entomological factors contributing to observed urban malaria transmission. A total of 145 Anopheles larval habitats were found, mapped, and monitored monthly. This included 32 in Diourbel, 83 in Touba, and 30 in Kaolack. The number of larval habitats fluctuated seasonally, with a decrease during the dry season. In Diourbel, 22 of the 32 monitored larval habitats (68.75%) were dried out by December and considered temporary, while the remaining 10 (31.25%) were classified as permanent. In the city of Touba 28 (33.73%) were temporary habitats, and of those 57%, 71% and 100% dried up respectively by October, November, and December. However, 55 (66.27%) habitats were permanent water storage basins which persisted throughout the study. In Kaolack, 12 (40%) permanent and 18 (60%) temporary Anopheles larval habitats were found and monitored during the study. Three malaria vectors (An. arabiensis, An. pharoensis and An. funestus s.l.) were found across the surveyed larval habitats, and An. arabiensis was found in all three cities and was the only species found in the city of Diourbel, while An. arabiensis, An. pharoensis, and An. funestus s.l. were detected in the cities of Touba and Kaolack. The spatiotemporal observations of immature malaria vectors in Senegal provide evidence of permanent productive malaria vector larval habitats year-round in three major urban centers in Senegal, which may be driving high urban malaria incidence. This study aimed to assess the presence and type of anopheline larvae habitats in urban areas. The preliminary data will better inform subsequent detailed additional studies and seasonally appropriate, cost-effective, and sustainable larval source management (LSM) strategies by the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP).

Patient and clinician preferences for diabetes management among older adults with co-morbid HIV: A qualitative exploration

by Allison P. Pack, Mary Clare Masters, Rachel O’Conor, Kenya Alcantara, Sophia Svoboda, Reneaki Smith, Fangyu Yeh, Guisselle Wismer, Amisha Wallia, Stacy C. Bailey


Older adults with HIV are at increased risk of developing certain chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). As the number and complexity of conditions increases, so do treatment and health care needs. We explored patient and clinician preferences for HIV+T2DM care and perceived solutions to improving care.


We conducted an exploratory qualitative study comprised of individual in-depth interviews. Participants included English-speaking patients aged 50 and older living with HIV and T2DM and infectious disease (ID) and primary care (PC) clinicians from a large academic health center in Chicago. Thematic analysis drew from the Framework Method.


A total of 19 patient and 10 clinician participants were interviewed. Many patients reported seeking HIV and T2DM care from the same clinician; they valued rapport and a ‘one-stop-shop’. Others reported having separate clinicians; they valued perceived expertise and specialty care. Nearly all clinicians reported comfort screening for T2DM and initiating first line oral therapy; ID clinicians reported placing referrals for newer, complex therapies. Patients would like educational support for T2DM management; clinicians would like to learn more about newer therapies and easier referral processes.


Patient-centered care includes managing T2DM from a variety of clinical settings for individuals with HIV, yet strategies are needed to better support clinicians. Future research should examine how best to implement these strategies.

Investigating the effect of anatomical variations in the response of the neonatal brachial plexus to applied force: Use of a two-dimensional finite element model

by Sarah J. Wright, Michele J. Grimm

The brachial plexus is a set of nerves that innervate the upper extremity and may become injured during the birthing process through an injury known as Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy. Studying the mechanisms of these injuries on infant cadavers is challenging due to the justifiable sensitivity surrounding testing. Thus, these specimens are generally unavailable to be used to investigate variations in brachial plexus injury mechanisms. Finite Element Models are an alternative way to investigate the response of the neonatal brachial plexus to loading. Finite Element Models allow a virtual representation of the neonatal brachial plexus to be developed and analyzed with dimensions and mechanical properties determined from experimental studies. Using ABAQUS software, a two-dimensional brachial plexus model was created to analyze how stresses and strains develop within the brachial plexus. The main objectives of this study were (1) to develop a model of the brachial plexus and validate it against previous literature, and (2) to analyze the effect of stress on the nerve roots based on variations in the angles between the nerve roots and the spinal cord. The predicted stress for C5 and C6 was calculated as 0.246 MPa and 0.250 MPa, respectively. C5 and C6 nerve roots experience the highest stress and the largest displacement in comparison to the lower nerve roots, which correlates with clinical patterns of injury. Even small (+/- 3 and 6 degrees) variations in nerve root angle significantly impacted the stress at the proximal nerve root. This model is the first step towards developing a complete three-dimensional model of the neonatal brachial plexus to provide the opportunity to more accurately assess the effect of the birth process on the stretch within the brachial plexus and the impact of biological variations in structure and properties on the risk of Neonatal Brachial Plexus Palsy.

Mental-somatic multimorbidity in trajectories of cognitive function for middle-aged and older adults

by Siting Chen, Corey L. Nagel, Ruotong Liu, Anda Botoseneanu, Heather G. Allore, Jason T. Newsom, Stephen Thielke, Jeffrey Kaye, Ana R. Quiñones


Multimorbidity may confer higher risk for cognitive decline than any single constituent disease. This study aims to identify distinct trajectories of cognitive impairment probability among middle-aged and older adults, and to assess the effect of changes in mental-somatic multimorbidity on these distinct trajectories.


Data from the Health and Retirement Study (1998–2016) were employed to estimate group-based trajectory models identifying distinct trajectories of cognitive impairment probability. Four time-varying mental-somatic multimorbidity combinations (somatic, stroke, depressive, stroke and depressive) were examined for their association with observed trajectories of cognitive impairment probability with age. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was conducted to quantify the association of sociodemographic and health-related factors with trajectory group membership.


Respondents (N = 20,070) had a mean age of 61.0 years (SD = 8.7) at baseline. Three distinct cognitive trajectories were identified using group-based trajectory modelling: (1) Low risk with late-life increase (62.6%), (2) Low initial risk with rapid increase (25.7%), and (3) High risk (11.7%). For adults following along Low risk with late-life increase, the odds of cognitive impairment for stroke and depressive multimorbidity (OR:3.92, 95%CI:2.91,5.28) were nearly two times higher than either stroke multimorbidity (OR:2.06, 95%CI:1.75,2.43) or depressive multimorbidity (OR:2.03, 95%CI:1.71,2.41). The odds of cognitive impairment for stroke and depressive multimorbidity in Low initial risk with rapid increase or High risk (OR:4.31, 95%CI:3.50,5.31; OR:3.43, 95%CI:2.07,5.66, respectively) were moderately higher than stroke multimorbidity (OR:2.71, 95%CI:2.35, 3.13; OR: 3.23, 95%CI:2.16, 4.81, respectively). In the multinomial logistic regression model, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic respondents had higher odds of being in Low initial risk with rapid increase and High risk relative to non-Hispanic White adults.


These findings show that depressive and stroke multimorbidity combinations have the greatest association with rapid cognitive declines and their prevention may postpone these declines, especially in socially disadvantaged and minoritized groups.

Differences in knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding hypertension by access to a community-based screening program (POSBINDU): A cross-sectional study from four districts in Indonesia

by Yusuf Ari Mashuri, Vitri Widyaningsih, Alimah Premanawasti, Jaap Koot, Zinzi Pardoel, Jeanet Landsman-Dijkstra, Maarten Postma, Ari Probandari


A high prevalence of hypertension is found in Low- and Middle-income Countries (LMICs) including in Indonesia. However, hypertension awareness, treatment, and control are relativity poor. A community-based program to screen and educate people on non-communicable disease prevention (POSBINDU) was launched by the Indonesian government. However, the association between participation in the POSBINDU program with increasing knowledge, attitude, and practice of hypertension has not been widely assessed. In this study, we compared the knowledge, attitudes, and practices among people who accessed the POSBINDU and those who did not access the POSBINDU program. Subsequently, factors associated with the knowledge, attitudes, and practices among people who accessed the POSBINDU and those who did not access the POSBINDU were explored.


This was an observational study with a cross-sectional design measuring the knowledge, attitudes, and practices for hypertension control in four districts in Indonesia from October 2019 to January 2020. A total of 1,988 respondents were included in this study. A questionnaire was used to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of hypertension. Simple logistic regression was used to investigate the correlation between the characteristics of respondents and knowledge, attitudes, and practice status. Multiple logistic regression tests were conducted to investigate factors associated with knowledge, attitudes, and practice status.


We found that people who accessed POSBINDU had higher odds of having better knowledge (aOR:1.4; 95%CI:1.2–1.8), however, accessed to POSBINDU was associated with lower attitudes (aOR:0.6; 85%CI: 0.5–0.7) and had no association with hypertension-related practice.


People who accessed POSBINDU have an association with good knowledge, but the association with good attitude and practice was less clear. Therefore, an improvement in the POSBINDU program is needed to increase the attitudes and practices of hypertension.

Comparison efficacy and safety of acupuncture and moxibustion therapies in breast cancer-related lymphedema: A systematic review and network meta-analysis

by Yawen Xu, Jiangxuan Yu, Rui Shen, Xueqi Shan, Wenlu Zhou, Junjie Wang


Although several acupuncture and moxibustion therapies have been tested in managing breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL), there is little consensus regarding the best options for treating this condition. This systematic review and network meta-analysis compared the efficacy of various acupuncture and/or moxibustion therapies for BCRL.


Seven databases and two clinical registration centers were searched from their inception to December 1st, 2023. The Cochrane Collaboration risk-of-bias assessment tool evaluated the quality of included RCTs. A pairwise meta-analysis was performed in STATA 16.0, while a network meta-analysis was performed in R 4.2.2.


18 studies were included in this analysis. Our results showed that acupuncture and moxibustion methods had great advantages in improving BCRL of patients with breast cancer. In particular, needle-warming moxibustion (NWM) could be the optimal acupuncture and moxibustion method for improving clinical effectiveness and reducing the degree of swelling of affected limbs.


Our findings suggest that NWM has great potential in treating BCRL. It may reduce arm circumference, lower swelling levels, and improve clinical effectiveness. Nevertheless, more multi-center, high-quality, and large sample RCTs will be needed in the future.

Untargeted lipidomics analysis in women with morbid obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus: A comprehensive study

by Laia Bertran, Jordi Capellades, Sonia Abelló, Carmen Aguilar, Teresa Auguet, Cristóbal Richart

There is a phenotype of obese individuals termed metabolically healthy obese that present a reduced cardiometabolic risk. This phenotype offers a valuable model for investigating the mechanisms connecting obesity and metabolic alterations such as Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). Previously, in an untargeted metabolomics analysis in a cohort of morbidly obese women, we observed a different lipid metabolite pattern between metabolically healthy morbid obese individuals and those with associated T2DM. To validate these findings, we have performed a complementary study of lipidomics. In this study, we assessed a liquid chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer untargeted lipidomic analysis on serum samples from 209 women, 73 normal-weight women (control group) and 136 morbid obese women. From those, 65 metabolically healthy morbid obese and 71 with associated T2DM. In this work, we find elevated levels of ceramides, sphingomyelins, diacyl and triacylglycerols, fatty acids, and phosphoethanolamines in morbid obese vs normal weight. Conversely, decreased levels of acylcarnitines, bile acids, lyso-phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylcholines (PC), phosphatidylinositols, and phosphoethanolamine PE (O-38:4) were noted. Furthermore, comparing morbid obese women with T2DM vs metabolically healthy MO, a distinct lipid profile emerged, featuring increased levels of metabolites: deoxycholic acid, diacylglycerol DG (36:2), triacylglycerols, phosphatidylcholines, phosphoethanolamines, phosphatidylinositols, and lyso-phosphatidylinositol LPI (16:0). To conclude, analysing both comparatives, we observed decreased levels of deoxycholic acid, PC (34:3), and PE (O-38:4) in morbid obese women vs normal-weight. Conversely, we found elevated levels of these lipids in morbid obese women with T2DM vs metabolically healthy MO. These profiles of metabolites could be explored for the research as potential markers of metabolic risk of T2DM in morbid obese women.

Accuracy of artificial intelligence-assisted endoscopy in the diagnosis of gastric intestinal metaplasia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

by Na Li, Jian Yang, Xiaodong Li, Yanting Shi, Kunhong Wang

Background and aims

Gastric intestinal metaplasia is a precancerous disease, and a timely diagnosis is essential to delay or halt cancer progression. Artificial intelligence (AI) has found widespread application in the field of disease diagnosis. This study aimed to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of AI’s diagnostic accuracy in detecting gastric intestinal metaplasia in endoscopy, compare it to endoscopists’ ability, and explore the main factors affecting AI’s performance.


The study followed the PRISMA-DTA guidelines, and the PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane, and IEEE Xplore databases were searched to include relevant studies published by October 2023. We extracted the key features and experimental data of each study and combined the sensitivity and specificity metrics by meta-analysis. We then compared the diagnostic ability of the AI versus the endoscopists using the same test data.


Twelve studies with 11,173 patients were included, demonstrating AI models’ efficacy in diagnosing gastric intestinal metaplasia. The meta-analysis yielded a pooled sensitivity of 94% (95% confidence interval: 0.92–0.96) and specificity of 93% (95% confidence interval: 0.89–0.95). The combined area under the receiver operating characteristics curve was 0.97. The results of meta-regression and subgroup analysis showed that factors such as study design, endoscopy type, number of training images, and algorithm had a significant effect on the diagnostic performance of AI. The AI exhibited a higher diagnostic capacity than endoscopists (sensitivity: 95% vs. 79%).


AI-aided diagnosis of gastric intestinal metaplasia using endoscopy showed high performance and clinical diagnostic value. However, further prospective studies are required to validate these findings.

Spatial variations in the osteocyte lacuno-canalicular network density and analysis of the connectomic parameters

by Junning Chen, Marta Aido, Andreas Roschger, Alexander van Tol, Sara Checa, Bettina M. Willie, Richard Weinkamer

Osteocyte lacuno-canalicular network (LCN) is comprised of micrometre-sized pores and submicrometric wide channels in bone. Accumulating evidence suggests multiple functions of this network in material transportation, mechanobiological signalling, mineral homeostasis and bone remodelling. Combining rhodamine staining and confocal laser scanning microscopy, the longitudinal cross-sections of six mouse tibiae were imaged, and the connectome of the network was quantified with a focus on the spatial heterogeneities of network density, connectivity and length of canaliculi. In-vivo loading and double calcein labelling on these tibiae allowed differentiating the newly formed bone from the pre-existing regions. The canalicular density of the murine cortical bone varied between 0.174 and 0.243 μm/μm3, and therefore is three times larger than the corresponding value for human femoral midshaft osteons. The spatial heterogeneity of the network was found distinctly more pronounced across the cortex than along the cortex. We found that in regions with a dense network, the LCN conserves its largely tree-like character, but increases the density by including shorter canaliculi. The current study on healthy mice should serve as a motivating starting point to study the connectome of genetically modified mice, including models of bone diseases and of reduced mechanoresponse.

Investigation of core symptoms and symptom clusters in maintenance hemodialysis patients: A network analysis



To construct a symptom network of maintenance hemodialysis patients and identify the core symptoms and core symptom clusters. Finally, this study provides a reference for accurate symptom management.

Design and Method

A correlational cross-sectional design. A total of 368 patients who underwent maintenance hemodialysis were enrolled from two hemodialysis centers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. A symptom network was constructed with the R coding language to analyze the centrality index. Symptom clusters were extracted by exploratory factor analysis, and core symptom clusters were preliminarily determined according to the centrality index of the symptom network.


The most common symptoms in maintenance hemodialysis patients were fatigue, dry skin, and pruritus. In the symptom network, headache had the highest mediation centrality (rB = 2.789) and closeness centrality (rC = 2.218) and the greatest intensity of numbness or tingling in the feet (rS = 1.952). A total of six symptom clusters were extracted, including pain and discomfort symptom clusters, emotional symptom clusters, gastrointestinal symptom clusters, sleep disorder symptom clusters, dry symptom clusters, and sexual dysfunction symptom clusters. The cumulative variance contribution rate was 69.269%.


Fatigue, dry skin, and pruritus are the sentinel symptoms of maintenance hemodialysis patients, headache is the core symptom and bridge symptom, and pain symptom clusters are the core symptom clusters of MHD patients. Nurses can develop interventions based on core symptoms and symptom clusters to improve the effectiveness of symptom management in maintenance hemodialysis patients.

Clinical Relevance

Understanding the core symptoms and symptom groups that plague maintenance hemodialysis patients is critical to providing accurate symptom management. To ensure that maintenance hemodialysis patients receive effective support during treatment, reduce the adverse effects of symptoms, and improve the quality of life of patients.

Documentation of social determinants of health across individuals from different racial and ethnic groups in home healthcare



Home healthcare (HHC) enables patients to receive healthcare services within their homes to manage chronic conditions and recover from illnesses. Recent research has identified disparities in HHC based on race or ethnicity. Social determinants of health (SDOH) describe the external factors influencing a patient's health, such as access to care and social support. Individuals from racially or ethnically minoritized communities are known to be disproportionately affected by SDOH. Existing evidence suggests that SDOH are documented in clinical notes. However, no prior study has investigated the documentation of SDOH across individuals from different racial or ethnic backgrounds in the HHC setting. This study aimed to (1) describe frequencies of SDOH documented in clinical notes by race or ethnicity and (2) determine associations between race or ethnicity and SDOH documentation.


Retrospective data analysis.


We conducted a cross-sectional secondary data analysis of 86,866 HHC episodes representing 65,693 unique patients from one large HHC agency in New York collected between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2017. We reported the frequency of six SDOH (physical environment, social environment, housing and economic circumstances, food insecurity, access to care, and education and literacy) documented in clinical notes across individuals reported as Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic, multi-racial, Native American, or White. We analyzed differences in SDOH documentation by race or ethnicity using logistic regression models.


Compared to patients reported as White, patients across other racial or ethnic groups had higher frequencies of SDOH documented in their clinical notes. Our results suggest that race or ethnicity is associated with SDOH documentation in HHC.


As the study of SDOH in HHC continues to evolve, our results provide a foundation to evaluate social information in the HHC setting and understand how it influences the quality of care provided.

Clinical Relevance

The results of this exploratory study can help clinicians understand the differences in SDOH across individuals from different racial and ethnic groups and serve as a foundation for future research aimed at fostering more inclusive HHC documentation practices.

Nursing assessment of mental health issues in the general clinical environment: A descriptive study



To evaluate the effectiveness of a mental health screening form for early identification and care escalation of mental health issues in general settings. A secondary aim was to explore general nurses' use of the form and their confidence to discuss mental health issues with patients.


A cross-sectional design comprising a review of clinical records to determine use of the form, instances of missed care and escalation to the mental health team. The survey focused on nurses' confidence in general settings to engage in discussions with patients about mental health. Data were collected from April to December 2022. The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology Statement guided this study.


Of 400 patient records, 397 were analysed; 293 (73.8%) of those had mental health screening by nurses. Age was a significant factor, with younger patients more likely to be screened although concerns were typically recognized in older patients. Of the 20 patients identified with mental health concerns, 9 (45%) were referred for further evaluation by the Clinical Liaison Team. While nurses were proactive in assessing physical risks, assessing risk factors that required deeper conversations with patients, including psychiatric history, was lacking. The survey highlighted fewer than half of the respondents (46%, n = 10) felt competent to engage in discussions about mental health; however, most (59%, n = 13) knew when to seek a mental health referral.


General nurses have a role in the early identification and referral of patients with mental health challenges. However, training is imperative to facilitate deeper patient interactions concerning mental health. Integrating mental health checks within general settings is crucial for early detection and intervention, aligning with global quality care standards.

Reporting Method

STROBE guidelines.

Patient or Public Contribution

We received feedback that shaped the research protocol from a consumer representative.