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Open access

Kristina Levpuscek, Katja Goricar, Viljem Kovac, Vita Dolzan and Alenka Franko

Abstract

Background

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a rare aggressive tumour of mesothelium caused by asbestos exposure. It has been suggested that the genetic variability of proteins involved in DNA repair mechanisms affects the risk of MM. This study investigated the influence of functional polymorphisms in ERCC1 and XRCC1 genes, the interactions between these polymorphisms as well as the interactions between these polymorphisms and asbestos exposure on MM risk.

Patients and methods

In total, 237 cases with MM and 193 controls with no asbestos-related disease were genotyped for ERCC1 and XRCC1 polymorphisms.

Results

ERCC1 rs3212986 polymorphism was significantly associated with a decreased risk of MM (odds ratio [OR] = 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.41–0.91; p = 0.014). No associations were observed between other genetic polymorphisms and MM risk. Interactions between polymorphisms did not significantly influence MM risk. Interaction between ERCC1 rs11615 and asbestos exposure significantly influenced MM risk (OR = 3.61; 95% CI = 1.12–11.66; p = 0.032). Carriers of polymorphic ERCC1 rs11615 allele who were exposed to low level of asbestos had a decreased risk of MM (OR = 0.40; 95% CI = 0.19–0.84; p = 0.016). Interactions between other polymorphisms and asbestos exposure did not significantly influence MM risk.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that the genetic variability of DNA repair mechanisms could contribute to the risk of developing MM.

Open access

Jan Grosek, Jerica Novak, Katja Kitek, Alta Bajric, Ana Majdic, Jurij Ales Kosir and Ales Tomazic

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of the surgical treatment on Slovenian colorectal cancer patients’ health-related quality of life and to compare the results to the health-related quality of life of the general Slovenian population.

Patients and methods

A total of 413 patients with colorectal cancer operated on at the Abdominal Surgery Department at the Ljubljana University Medical Center between January 1st, 2016 and December 31st, 2017 were sent two standardized and validated questionnaires: the EORTC QLQ-C30 version 3 and EORTC QLQ-CR29. The questionnaires were returned by 197 patients.

Results

Compared to the general population, poorer physical (p < 0.001), role (p = 0.002), cognitive (p = 0.021), and social functioning (p < 0.001) with higher frequency of constipation (p < 0.001), diarrhea (p < 0.001), and financial difficulties (p < 0.001) were reported by the colorectal patients. Female patients reported lower cognitive (p = 0.034) and emotional (p = 0.008) functioning, as well as higher frequency of bloating (p = 0.049) and hair loss (p = 0.01). Compared to the younger group of patients, lower physical functioning (p < 0.001) and higher urinary frequency (p = 0.007), urinary incontinence (p = 0.007), buttock pain (p = 0.007), and anxiety regarding body weight (p = 0.031) were detected among the older group of colorectal patients.

Conclusions

The global health status of colorectal patients in Slovenia is comparable to that of the general Slovenian population, but there is a significantly lower level in some of the quality-of-life scales.

Open access

Faruk Abdullahi Mohammed, Kehinde Kazeem Kanmodi, Omotayo Francis Fagbule, Miracle Ayomikun Adesina, Nwafor Jacob Njideka and Hamza Abubakar Sadiq

Abstract

Objectives

To explore the reasons why shisha smokers indulge in shisha smoking habit, and to also explore their attitudes towards quitting shisha smoking habit

Methods

A total of 45 current shisha smokers participated in the study. The study tool was a paper questionnaire. Snowballing technique was the sampling method adopted in the recruitment of study participants. Data obtained was analyzed using the SPSS version 20 software

Results

The mean (±SD) age of the participants was 25.8 (±5.5) years and majority (71.1%) of them were males. The top two reasons why the participants smoke shisha were: “for pleasure” (40%); and “to feel among” (33.3%). The majority (66.7%) of the participants wanted to quit shisha smoking habits. However, only 54.5% (18/33) of them indicated that they made efforts at quitting the behavior within the past one year. Also, only 66.7% (28/42) and 65.6% (21/32) of those participants who had a close friend and a close family member/relative that smoke shisha, respectively, wanted to quit shisha smoking habit

Conclusion

This study shows diverse reasons why shisha smokers engage in shisha smoking habit. Also, many of these smokers were willing to quit shisha smoking habits but, unfortunately, they are yet to quit the habit. This demonstrates the need for social support of shisha smokers in our environment towards quitting shisha smoking habit

Open access

Karolina Kania and Maciej Kałaska

Abstract

Souks have undergone functional and spatial changes in the Moroccan medinas since colonial times due to the tourist activities. The rate of the changes increased at the end of the 20th century because of the expansion of tourism projects. However, there are no publications on the evolution of Moroccan souks in the context of tourism development. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to determine the types of transformations the souks underwent as a result of the dynamic development in this sector of economy. The research focused on two imperial cities: Marrakech and Rabat. Data for analysis was obtained through observations and field interviews in 2014 and by bibliographic query. A retrospective study was carried out which included identification of mechanisms affecting the contemporary organization and physiognomy of the commercial streets. The authors’ work allowed for an identification of development phases of the Moroccan souks under the influence of tourism.

Open access

Anna B. Pilewska-Kozak, Beata B. Dobrowolska, Anna Majewska, Grażyna Stadnicka, Agnieszka K. Pawłowska-Muc, Klaudia Pałucka, Agnieszka Bałanda-Bałdyga and Joanna Tkaczuk-Włach

Abstract

Aim. The study was to assess the level of stress and the health locus of control in parents of hospitalized newborns.

Material and methods. The study covered a group of 150 parents of 126 newborns who were hospitalized in the Neonatal Pathology Ward at the University Children’s Hospital in Lublin. The diagnostic survey method was applied with the use of an original questionnaire as well as some standardized tools: Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale (MHLC – version B).

Results. In more than a half of the subjects (54.0%), a high level of stress was observed. Every fourth (26.1%) parent was characterized by an average level of stress and nearly every fifth (19.3%) by a low level of stress. The highest indicator was characterized by the domain of the internal health control locus. Every fifth parent represented an undifferentiated type - weak or magnifying the impact of others (22.0% and 20.0% respectively). The smallest group of parents (5.3%) belonged to the externally-oriented, strong type.

Conclusions. The parents of hospitalized newborns are characterized mainly by high and average levels of stress and low level of severity of health control location within each of its domains. The highest indicator of internal locus control and the influence of others are characterized by parents with low and average levels of stress. The dominant type of locus of health control that characterizes parents is the undifferentiated type – weak and magnifying the impact of others.

Open access

Bogna Zawieja, Sylwia Lewandowska, Tomasz Mikulski and Wiesław Pilarczyk

Summary

An analysis is made of results from early stages of testing of promising hybrids. The data consist of single-replicate trials performed by Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht in 6 locations (5 in Poland and one in Germany). In total 165 hybrids were tested with 3 standard varieties. The subject of the analysis was the seed yield. Three measures of stability were used. The yield of tested hybrids is expressed as percentage of that of standard varieties. Wricke’s ecovalence expressed as a contribution to G x E interaction was used as a measure of stability. Additional characterization of the tested hybrids was performed by regressing hybrid yield on the mean yields of the experiment, as described by Finlay and Wilkinson and by Eberhart and Russel. The methods applied enabled selection of the most promising hybrids for further yield testing.

Open access

Moawia Alghalith

Summary

We develop a simple method that completely eliminates the specification error and spurious relationships in regression. Furthermore, we introduce a stronger test of causality. We apply our method to oil prices.

Open access

Stamatis Karakonstantis, Mina Koulouridi, Kyriakos Pitsillos, Eirini Kalokyri, Anna Kozyri, Galateia Gourniezaki and Charalampos Lydakis

Abstract

Introduction: Several diagnoses have been associated with leukemoid reaction (LR). In patients with LR the diagnostic and prognostic value of detailed manual blood smear counts (such as the percentage of band cells or grading of neutrophil toxic changes) has not been studied previously.

Methods: We prospectively recorded all hospitalized adult (>18 years old) patients with LR (≥30000/ul) of neutrophilic predominance, excluding patients with pre-existing leukocytosis due to hematological malignancies. We examined the diagnoses and prognosis (in-hospital mortality and post-discharge mortality up to a year after the end of the study) of these patients as well as the value of manual peripheral smear review.

Results: We recorded a total of 93 patients with LR from January 2017 to December 2017. Infection was the most common diagnosis (70%), followed by malignancy (7.5%) and bleeding (6.5%). In-hospital mortality (45%) and post-discharge mortality (35% of those discharged) were very high. Among blood smear findings, only neutrophil vacuolation was significantly more common in patients with infections (34%), although it was also observed in many patients without any infection (13%). Blood smear findings were not associated with prognosis

Conclusion: Detailed manual smear review is a labor-intensive procedure and has limited diagnostic and prognostic value in unselected hospitalized patients with neutrophilic LR.

Open access

Justyna Krukiewicz, Agnieszka Chrzan-Rodak, Aneta Kościołek, Małgorzata Brodziak and Kinga Augustowska-Kruszyńska

Abstract

Introduction. Professional aspirations appear to be the key factor, which motivates individual to take actions as well as to further self-development. According to medical professions, professional aspirations seem to be crucial because they motivate nurses and midwives to continuing education – what is believed to be the fundament of vocational professionalism.

Aim. The aim of the research was to show the professional aspirations of the graduates of bachelor degree in nursing and midwifery.

Material and methods. The research was conducted with the diagnostic survey based on the questionnaire composed by the authors, within a period from April to June 2017. The research consisted of 158 graduates of bachelor studies.

Results. The majority (89.2%) of the graduates of bachelor studies in nursing and midwifery is planning to improve their professional qualifications. Their main motives are: the desire for being a professional (69.6%), the desire for professional development (52.5%) and the desire for financial situation improvement (47.5%). The MSc studies are most frequently chosen as a way for professional qualifications improvement.

Conclusions. The graduates of the Faculty of Health Sciences express the desire for further professional development. The aspirations, which the examined graduates of bachelor studies in nursing and midwifery are led by, may have a positive impact on their carriers through the strengthening the appropriate moral attitudes, professional development and the sense of professional autonomy.

Open access

Iwona Mejza, Katarzyna Ambroży-Deręgowska, Jan Bocianowski, Józef Błażewicz, Marek Liszewski, Kamila Nowosad and Dariusz Zalewski

Summary

The main purpose of this study was the model fitting of data deriving from a three-year experiment with barley malt. Two linear models were considered: a fixed linear model with fixed effects of years and other factors, and a mixed linear model with random effects of years and fixed effects of other factors. Two cultivars of brewing barley, Sebastian and Mauritia, six methods of nitrogen fertilization and four germination times were analyzed. Three quantitative traits were observed: practical extractivity of the malt, malting productivity, and a quality coefficient Q. The starting point for the statistical analyses was the available experimental material, which consisted of barley grain samples destined for malting. The analyses were performed over a series of years with respect to fixed or random effects of years. Due to the strong differentiation of the years of the study and some significant interactions of factors with years, annual analyses were also carried out.