London: Increased air pollution has been linked with rise in risk of autoimmune diseases, according to a twin study.
Two abstracts presented by Dr Giovanni Adami at the 2022 EULAR Congress looked at the issue of environmental exposures and their role in disease development.
Particulate matter (PM) is defined as everything in the air that is not a gas, and includes a variety of chemicals and materials, some of which can be toxic.
Data from over 80,000 people in a retrospective observational study in Italy found a positive association between PM levels measured at local air-quality stations and the risk of autoimmune diseases.
In fact, every 10 micrograms per cubic metre increase in PM10 concentration was associated with an incremental 7 per cent risk of having autoimmune disease.
Exposure to PM10 above 30 micrograms per cubic metre and PM2.5 above 20 micrograms per cubic metre was associated with 12 per cent and 13 per cent higher risks of autoimmune disease, respectively.
When broken down by individual diseases, exposure to PM10 was associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but no other autoimmune diseases, whereas exposure to high levels of PM2.5 was associated with an increased risk of RA and inflammatory bowel disease.
Overall, chronic exposure to particulate air pollution above the threshold for human protection was associated with a 10 per cent higher risk of developing immune-mediated diseases.
In a separate study, the same team looked at the association between long-term exposure to PM and osteoporosis in almost 60,000 women at high risk of fracture.
The results showed that exposure to PM2.5 was negatively associated with low bone mass at the top of the thigh bone and lumbar spine.
Chronic exposure above 25 micrograms per cubic metre for PM2.5 and 30 micrograms per cubic metre for PM10 was associated with a 16 per cent and 15 per cent higher risk of having osteoporotic bone mass scores at any site.
The researchers concluded that long-term exposure to air pollution was associated with higher risk of osteoporosis.
Further, among the RA patients, high silica exposure was independently associated with lung abnormalities such as interstitial lung disease and mediastinal lymphadenopathy. (Agency)
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London: Dogs are more effective at detecting Covid-19 infections through human sweat samples than the existing rapid antigen tests, according to a study.
The study, published in the PLOS ONE, showed that dogs were 97 per cent effective at detecting Covid infection compared to PCR tests - the most accurate Covid test. On the other hand, the nasal antigen tests detected 84 per cent of positive Covid infections.
The findings suggest a potentially less invasive and quicker Covid testing alternative.
For the study, researchers at the Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris included PCR and sweat samples from 335 people and antigen tests from 234 people recruited in Paris from March 16 and April 9, 2021.
The researchers examined five dogs trained to sniff out Covid-19 by examining both positive and negative tests to see if they could tell.
They found canines were 100 per cent accurate in detecting positive Covid cases in asymptomatic individuals compared to PCR test results.
The canines were slightly less effective at identifying negative coronavirus infections, detecting 90 per cent of negative cases compared to antigen tests that were 97 per cent accurate.
"Non-invasive detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection by canine olfaction could be one alternative to nasopharyngeal swabs RT-PCR when it is necessary to obtain a result very quickly according to the same indications as antigenic tests in the context of mass screening," the researchers wrote in the paper.
Previous studies have shown dogs to detect malaria, prostate cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and also breast cancer. (Agency)
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Tokyo: Daily vitamin D supplements do not seem to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes in people already at high risk of the condition, finds a study.
Type 2 diabetes affects around 480 million people worldwide, and is predicted to increase to 700 million by 2045. Another half a billion people have impaired glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes, or higher than normal blood sugar levels that, if left untreated, can develop into Type 2 diabetes.
Some studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of future diabetes, but trials of Vitamin D supplements for preventing the condition have shown inconsistent results.
The new study, published by The BMJ, shows that supplements had no clinically meaningful effect in high risk adults, but suggest there may be a benefit for people with insufficient insulin secretion, although this finding remains unclear.
In the study, the team assessed whether eldecalcitol - an active form of vitamin D used to treat osteoporosis in Japan - could reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes among people with impaired glucose tolerance.
They analysed 1,256 Japanese adults with impaired glucose tolerance recruited from three hospitals in Japan and were divided into two groups: a standard daily dose of eldecalcitol (630 participants) or placebo (626 participants). They were assessed for diabetes every three months over a three-year follow-up period.
During this period, the researchers found no meaningful differences between groups in those who developed diabetes (12.5 per cent in the eldecalcitol group and 14 per cent in the placebo group) or whose blood sugar levels returned to normal (23 per cent in the eldecalcitol group and 20 per cent in the placebo group).
The team did, however, find a significant increase in both lower back and hip bone mineral densities among those taking eldecalcitol compared with placebo.
"Although treatment with eldecalcitol did not significantly reduce the incidence of diabetes among people with pre-diabetes, the results suggested the potential for a beneficial effect of eldecalcitol on people with insufficient insulin secretion," said researchers, calling for further study to determine whether vitamin D is beneficial to people with pre-diabetes. (Agency)
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न्यूयॉर्क: शोधकर्ताओं का कहना है कि 60 साल या उससे अधिक आयु के मरीजों को जितना अधिक एंटीबायोटिक दिया जायेगा, उतना ही उनके इंफ्लेमेटरी बाउल डिजीज (आईबीडी) से ग्रसित होने की संभावना बढ़ती जायेगी। न्यूयॉर्क यूनिवर्सिटी के ग्रॉसमैन स्कूल ऑफ मेडिसिन के शोधकर्ता एडम एस फाये के अनुसार, 60 साल और उससे अधिक आयु के लोगों के क्रॉन बीमारी और अल्सरेटीव कोलाइटिस से ग्रसित होने में एंटीबायोटिक दवाओं के सेवन की भूमिका रही है।
शोध अध्ययन के दौरान 23 लाख मरीजों के रिकॉर्ड की समीक्षा की गई।
शोधकर्ताओं का कहना है कि दूसरे व्यस्कों में पर्यावरणीय कारक जेनेटिक्स से अधिक महत्वपूर्ण हैं।
उन्होंने कहा कि जब क्रॉन बीमारी और अल्सरेटीव कोलाइटिस से ग्रसित युवा मरीजों के रिकॉर्ड को देखा जाये तो पता चलेगा कि उनकी फैमिली हिस्ट्री मजबूत रही है। लेकिन अधिक आयु के लोगों के मामले में ऐसा नहीं है यानी पर्यावरण में कुछ ऐसा है जिससे यह हो रहा है।
शोधकर्ताओं ने डेनमार्क के नेशनल डाटाबेस का इस्तेमाल किया। यह सभी लोगों के मेडिकल रिकॉर्ड का डाटाबेस है। शोधकर्ताओं ने 2000 से 2018 के बीच आईबीडी से ग्रसित होने वाले 60 साल और उससे अधिक आयु के लोगों को लिखी जाने वाली दवाओं के रिकॉर्ड देखे।
शोधकर्ताओं ने देखा कि उन मरीजों को एंटीबायोटिक का कौन सा कोर्स किया है और उन्होंने हाल ही में कब एंटीबायोटिक ली थी।
उन्होंने पाया कि एंटीबायोटिक के इस्तेमाल से आईबीडी से ग्रसित होने की संभावना बढ़ जाती है और जैसे-जैसे मरीज अन्य एंटीबायोटिक का कोर्स करता है, वैसे-वैसे यह संभावना भी बढ़ती जाती है।
एक कोर्स के बाद मरीज के आईबीडी से ग्रसित होने की संभावना 27 प्रतिशत अधिक बढ़ जाती है। एंटीबायोटिक का दो कोर्स करने पर यह जोखिम 55 प्रतिशत और तीन कोर्स करने पर 67 प्रतिशत बढ़ जाती है।
चार कोर्स करने पर यह संभावना 96 प्रतिशत और पांच या उससे अधिक कोर्स करने पर 236 प्रतिशत बढ़ जाती है। (एजेंसी)
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London: People with diabetes were almost twice as likely to die with Covid and almost three times as likely to be critically or severely ill compared to those without diabetes, finds a study.
The study conducted by researchers from the University of Aberdeen, UK found patients with diabetes had a significantly higher risk of requiring an intensive care admission and supplementary oxygen or being admitted in a critical condition in comparison to patients without diabetes.
However, good control of blood sugar in these patients can significantly reduce this risk.
"We found that following a Covid-19 infection, the risk of death for patients with diabetes was significantly increased in comparison to patients without diabetes," said Stavroula Kastora from the varsity.
"We also show that good glycaemic control may be a protective factor in view of Covid-19 related deaths," she added, in the paper published in the journal Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.
The team reviewed findings from 158 studies that included more than 270,000 participants from all over the world to determine how Covid affects people living with diabetes.
The pooled results showed that people with diabetes were 1.87 times more likely to die with Covid, 1.59 times more likely to be admitted to ICU, 1.44 times more likely to require ventilation, and 2.88 times more likely to be classed as severe or critical, when compared to patients without diabetes.AA
Further, the researchers found that patients in China, Korea and the Middle East were at higher risk of death than those from EU countries or the US. They suggest this may be due to differences in healthcare systems and affordability of healthcare.
Diabetes is a serious medical condition where blood sugar levels are too high.
In 2021, approximately 537 million adults between the 20-79 years were living with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
The total number of people living with diabetes is projected to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.
While diabetes increased severity of Covid, a recent study published in the journal Diabetologia, also showed people who have had Covid-19 infection are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
"In light of the ongoing pandemic, strengthening outpatient diabetes clinics, ensuring consistent follow up of patients with diabetes and optimising their glycaemic control could significantly increase the chances of survival following a Covid infection," Kastora noted. (Agency)
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Two years after infection with Covid-19, half of patients who were admitted to hospital still have at least one symptom, according to the study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
The study followed 1,192 participants in China infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the first phase of the pandemic in 2020.
While physical and mental health generally improved over time, the analysis suggests that Covid-19 patients still tend to have poorer health and quality of life than the general population.
This is especially the case for participants with long Covid, who typically still have at least one symptom including fatigue, shortness of breath, and sleep difficulties two years after initially falling ill.
"Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalised Covid-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recover fully from it," said lead author Professor Bin Cao, of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, China.
Six months after initially falling ill, 68 per cent of participants reported at least one long Covid symptom. By two years after infection, reports of symptoms had fallen to 55 per cent.
Fatigue or muscle weakness were the symptoms most often reported and fell from 52 per cent at six months to 30 per cent at two years.
Covid-19 patients were also more likely to report a number of other symptoms including joint pain, palpitations, dizziness, and headaches, pain or discomfort and anxiety or depression than non-Covid-19 participants.
Long Covid participants also more often reported problems with their mobility or activity levels than those without long Covid.
The authors also acknowledge limitations such as lack of control group of hospital survivors unrelated to Covid-19 infection.
The team emphasised the need for follow-up of Covid survivors, particularly those with symptoms of long Covid.
"There is a clear need to provide continued support to a significant proportion of people who've had Covid-19, and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments, and variants affect long-term health outcomes," Cao said.
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