Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Hypertension is an important public health problem. Overweight and high salt intake are risk factors for its development. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between salt taste sensitivity threshold (STST) and blood pressure (BP) in healthy adults. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study conducted in a private institution. METHODS: 104 healthy adults (aged 18-59 years) were evaluated. Sociodemographic, clinical and dietary data were collected. Nutritional status and BP were assessed using body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). STST was assessed using graded saline solutions with sodium chloride concentrations ranging from 0.228 to 58.44 g/l. Identification of salty taste in solutions ≥ 3.652 g/l was used as the cutoff point for high STST. RESULTS: Participants with high STST presented higher daily average intakes for energy (2017.4 ± 641.5 versus 1650.5 ± 357.7 kcal/day; P = 0.01) and sodium (3070.2 ± 1195.1 versus 2435.2 ± 963.6 mg/day; P = 0.01) and higher BMI (P = 0.008) and WC (P = 0.002). After adjustment for age, sex, sodium and potassium intake, WC and family history of hypertension, the averages for SBP and DBP in subjects with high STST were higher than in those with normal STST (SBP: 138.2 ± 1.7 versus 119.7 ± 0.9 mmHg; P < 0.001; DBP: 81.2 ± 1.9 versus 75.1 ± 1.0 mmHg; P = 0.008). CONCLUSION: High STST was associated with elevated blood pressure in healthy adults, regardless of other risk factors for hypertension.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Self-Estimated Functional Inability because of Pain (SEFIP) is a questionnaire specifically designed to measure musculoskeletal pain or discomfort. OBJECTIVE: To perform translation and cross-cultural adaptation of the SEFIP for dancers (SEFIP-dance), for use in Brazilian Portuguese. In addition, as a secondary objective, we adapted the translated version of SEFIP-dance for use among athletes or exercise practitioners (SEFIP-sport). DESIGN AND SETTING: Questionnaire translation and cross-cultural adaptation study conducted at a public university. METHODS: The Brazilian version of the SEFIP-dance questionnaire was developed following the processes of translation (involving two translators with Brazilian Portuguese as their mother tongue and fluency in English), backtranslation (involving two translators with English as their mother tongue and fluency in Brazilian Portuguese), committee review and pre-testing. SEFIP-sport was developed following the processes of content and face validation. RESULTS: SEFIP-dance was applied to 30 dancers, of mean age 22.38 years (standard deviation [SD] = 3.41), among whom 14 were men (46.66%). The participants understood 100% of the SEFIP-dance items and alternatives. SEFIP-sport was applied to 30 athletes or physical exercise practitioners, of mean age 25.09 years (SD = 8.93), among whom 25 were men (86.33%). The participants understood 100% of the SEFIP-sport items and alternatives. CONCLUSION: The Brazilian Portuguese versions of SEFIP-dance, translated and cross-culturally adapted for dancers, and SEFIP-sport, adapted for athletes or physical exercise practitioners, were shown to have adequate levels of understanding.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that physical activity levels can be inversely associated with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels. However, the amount of physical activity required to maintain normal hs-CRP levels is still a matter for speculation. OBJECTIVE: To identify the amount of physical activity necessary to discriminate the hs-CRP levels in adults. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study at six teaching and research institutions. METHODS: The study sample comprised 10,231 adults aged 35 to 74 years who were participants in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to compare the amount of physical activity in two domains (leisure time and commuting) with hs-CRP levels. The sensitivity and specificity were calculated to identify the best cutoff for physical activity level that would be needed to maintain normal levels of hs-CRP (< 3 mg/l). RESULTS: The area under the ROC curve was only statistically significant for discriminating normal levels of hs-CRP according to the amount of physical activity when the two study domains were added together. The accumulated physical activity level of 200 minutes/week was the best cutoff for discriminating normal levels of hs-CRP in adults of both sex. CONCLUSIONS: Physical activity in the leisure-time and commuting domains together, of duration 200 minutes/week, was associated with normal hs-CRP values.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: People have been using psychoactive substances for a long time. Over the last few years, this practice has spread among university students, who use these substances to improve their academic performance, relieve stress and increase concentration and memory. OBJECTIVES: To estimate the use of psychoactive drugs among healthcare students at a higher education institution in the city of Passo Fundo (RS), Brazil, and to ascertain the associated demographic and lifestyle factors. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study in a higher education institution. METHODS: We included 287 undergraduate medicine and dentistry students in this study. They answered a self-administered questionnaire regarding sociodemographic, lifestyle and health variables. The statistical analysis used univariate and bivariate analyses with Pearson’s chi-square test (P-value < 0.05). Multivariate analyses were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and their respective 95% confidence intervals. The SPSS software, version 20.0, was used. RESULTS: The prevalence of use of psychoactive substances among the students was 24.7%. Among these students, high frequencies of psychoactive drugs had been prescribed by physicians (95.8%) and for the purpose of relaxation or stress relief (73.2%). Women, medical students (compared with dental students) and participants with lower academic performance were more likely to use psychoactive drugs. After the multivariate adjustment, the “course” and “academic performance” remained associated with use of psychoactive drugs. CONCLUSION: There was high prevalence of psychoactive drug use among the students at the higher education institution investigated. Some variables (female sex, medical students and low academic performance) were associated with the outcome.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Progress tests are longitudinal assessments of students’ knowledge based on successive tests. Calibration of the test difficulty is challenging, especially because of the tendency of item-writers to overestimate students’ performance. The relationships between the levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, the ability of test judges to predict the difficulty of test items and the real psychometric properties of test items have been insufficiently studied. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the psychometric properties of items according to their classification in Bloom’s taxonomy and judges’ estimates, through an adaptation of the Angoff method. DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective observational study using secondary data from students’ performance in a progress test applied to ten medical schools, mainly in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. METHODS: We compared the expected and real difficulty of items used in a progress test. The items were classified according to Bloom’s taxonomy. Psychometric properties were assessed based on their taxonomy and fields of knowledge. RESULTS: There was a 54% match between the panel of experts’ expectations and the real difficulty of items. Items that were expected to be easy had mean difficulty that was significantly lower than that of items that were expected to be medium (P < 0.05) or difficult (P < 0.01). Items with high-level taxonomy had higher discrimination indices than low-level items (P = 0.026). We did not find any significant differences between the fields in terms of difficulty and discrimination. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that items with high-level taxonomy performed better in discrimination indices and that a panel of experts may develop coherent reasoning regarding the difficulty of items.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND: Statins are used as cholesterol-lowering drugs and may also have direct antimicrobial effects. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate synergic interactions between simvastatin and both amphotericin B and fluconazole, against environmental strains of Cryptococcus neoformans isolated from captive birds’ droppings. DESIGNAND SETTING: Experimental study conducted at Federal University of Piauí, Parnaíba, in collaboration with Federal University of Triângulo Mineiro, Uberaba, Brazil. METHODS: Statin susceptibility tests of Cryptococcus neoformans samples were performed as prescribed in standards. Interactions of simvastatin with amphotericin and fluconazole were evaluated using the checkerboard microdilution method. Presence of these interactions was quantitatively detected through determining the fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI). RESULTS: Isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans were obtained from 30 of the 206 samples of dry bird excreta (14.5%) that were collected from pet shops and houses. Ten isolates were selected for susceptibility tests. All of them were susceptible to amphotericin and fluconazole. All presented minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) > 128 µg/ml and, thus, were resistant in vitro to simvastatin. An in vitro synergic effect was shown through combined testing of amphotericin B and simvastatin, such that six isolates (60%) presented FICI < 0.500. Two isolates showed considerable reductions in MIC, from 1 µg/ml to 0.250 µg/ml. No synergic effect was observed through combining fluconazole and simvastatin. CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that simvastatin should be considered to be a therapeutic alternative, capable of potentiating the action of amphotericin B. However, further studies are necessary to clarify the real effect of simvastatin as an antifungal agent.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer screening in Brazil is done using Pap smears. Women who are most likely to have a preinvasive lesion or cervical cancer are immediately referred for colposcopy. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of endocervical cytological tests in diagnosing preinvasive cervical lesions in women with initial high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), or atypical squamous cells in which high-grade lesions could not be ruled out (ASC-H), or atypical glandular cells (AGC), and whose colposcopy did not show any abnormalities, with no fully visible transformation zone (types 2 and 3). DESIGN AND SETTING: Retrospective observational study conducted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. METHODS: Data from women who came to the cervical pathology outpatient clinic between January 2012 and April 2017 were analyzed. The results from endocervical cytological tests were compared with the final diagnosis, which was obtained through examination of a surgical specimen or, among women who did not undergo an excisional procedure, after cytological and colposcopic follow-up for two years. RESULTS: We included 78 women. The sensitivity of endocervical cytological tests was 72.7%; specificity 98.5%; positive and negative predictive values 88.9% and 95.6%, respectively; and positive and negative likelihood ratios 48.7 and 0.28. CONCLUSION: Endocervical cytological tests are simple, inexpensive and noninvasive, and form a reliable method for determining management among patients with HSIL, ASC-H and AGC cytological findings and negative colposcopic findings without visualization of the squamocolumnar junction.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Analysis of the literature suggests that changes relating to blood donations and blood component transfusion are occurring due to the aging of the population. OBJECTIVE: To gain better understanding of the demand and supply of these inputs over time, and to identify the main associated demographic characteristics. DESIGN AND SETTING: Systematic review conducted on time series relating to blood donations and blood component transfusions worldwide. METHODS: A systematic review of the literature was conducted based on articles that presented time series relating to blood donation or blood component transfusion. RESULTS: We found 1,814 articles. After the deletion process, only thirteen were read. Overall, these suggested that there is increasing demand for blood components and decreasing donation. The existence of seasonality regarding blood donation was pointed out. Men usually donated more blood and demanded more blood components than women. Approximately 50% of blood transfusions were performed in people aged ≥ 60 years. CONCLUSIONS: This analysis on articles that presented time series relating to blood donations and blood component transfusion showed that aging of the population was the main factor associated with the increasing demand for blood and the decreasing supply of blood.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) is thought to prevent recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but its efficacy is a matter of controversy. OBJECTIVES: We investigated the effect of preventive TACE on the tumor, nodes, metastasis (TNM) classification in cases of stage II HCC (T2N0M0) after R0 resection. DESIGN AND SETTING: Case-control study conducted in a tertiary-level public hospital. METHODS: We analyzed recurrence rates and mortality rates over time for 250 consecutive cases of HCC in TNM classification cases of stage II HCC (T2N0M0) after R0 resection. These cases were divided into patients who underwent TACE (TACE+) and presented microvascular invasion (MVI+; n = 80); TACE+ but did not present MVI (MIV−; n = 100); MVI+ but did not undergo TACE (TACE−, n = 30); and TACE−/MVI− (n = 40). RESULTS: MVI+ patients in the TACE+ group had significantly lower recurrence rates and mortality rates at one, two and three years than those in the TACE- group (all P < 0.05). Among MVI- patients, the TACE+ group did not have significantly lower recurrence rates and mortality rates at one, two and three years than the TACE- group (all P > 0.05). Regardless of whether TACE was performed or not, MVI− patients had significantly lower recurrence rates and mortality rates at two and three years after their procedures than did MVI+ patients (all P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Recurrence rates and mortality rates for MVI+ patients were significantly higher than for MVI− patients, beyond the first year after TACE. Postoperative adjuvant TACE may be beneficial for HCC patients with MVI.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Endometrial polyps are common in postmenopausal women, and the effect of tamoxifen use (a risk factor for endometrial polyps) on their pathogenesis is unclear. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the expression of hormone receptors and markers for proliferation/apoptosis (Ki-67 and Bcl-2) in endometrial polyps in postmenopausal users and nonusers of tamoxifen. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional analytical study in a tertiary-level academic hospital. METHODS: 46 women (14 tamoxifen users and 32 nonusers) with postmenopausal bleeding underwent hysteroscopic resection of endometrial polyps. Polyp samples were immunohistochemically assessed for detection of Ki-67, Bcl-2 and estrogen and progesterone receptors. RESULTS: Analysis on the glandular component of the polyps revealed progesterone receptor expression in the polyps of 96.9% of the nonusers of tamoxifen, and 92.3% of the tamoxifen users (P = 0.499). All polyps in nonusers and 92.3% of those in users were also positive for estrogen receptors (P = 0.295). Ki-67 was expressed in 75% of the polyps in the tamoxifen users and 82.8% of those in the nonusers. All endometrial polyps expressed Bcl-2. CONCLUSIONS: The immunohistochemical analysis on endometrial polyps demonstrated that, although tamoxifen is considered to be a risk factor for endometrial polyps, there were no significant differences in the expression of hormone receptors between users and nonusers of tamoxifen. There were no between-group differences in Ki-67 and Bcl-2 expression, and all patients displayed inhibition of apoptosis by Bcl-2, thus supporting the theory that polyps develop due to inhibition of apoptosis, and not through cell proliferation.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Several continuous measurements of cardiometabolic risk (CMR) have emerged as indexes or scores. To our knowledge, there are no published data on its application and validation in Latin America. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate four continuous measurements of metabolic status and CMR. We established its predictive capacity for four conditions associated with CMR. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study conducted at a healthcare center in the state of Carabobo, Venezuela. METHODS: The sample comprised 176 Venezuelan adults enrolled in a chronic disease care program. Four CMR scores were calculated: metabolic syndrome (MetS) Z-score; cardiometabolic index (ICMet); simple method for quantifying MetS (siMS) score; and siMS risk score. CMR biomarkers, proinflammatory status and glomerular function were assessed. MetS was established in accordance with a harmonized definition. RESULTS: Patients with MetS showed higher levels of all scores. All scores increased as the number of MetS components rose. The scores showed significant correlations with most CMR biomarkers, inflammation and glomerular function after adjusting for age and sex. In the entire sample, MetS Z-score, siMS score and siMS risk score showed the ability to detect MetS, reduced glycemic control, proinflammatory status and decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate. ICMet only discriminated MetS and proinflammatory state. There were some differences in the predictive capacity of the scores according to sex. CONCLUSIONS: The findings support the use of the scores assessed here. Follow-up studies should evaluate the predictive capacity of scores for cardiovascular events and diabetes in the Venezuelan population.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Occupational accidents are a complex phenomenon and a major public health problem. Occupational health surveillance actions are essential for prevention of injuries of this nature. OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the prevalence of and the variables associated with occupational accidents in the city of Itajubá (MG). DESIGN AND SETTING: A cross-sectional study with a quantitative approach, based on a household survey with random sampling, was conducted in areas covered by the Family Health Strategy (FHS) in Itajubá (MG). METHODS: Questionnaires were applied to 292 people. The data were analyzed by means of logistic regression. RESULTS: The prevalence of occupational accidents was 8.6%. The underreporting rate was 60.0%. The scenario for these accidents, according to the model established through the regression analysis, was most likely to involve males who declared their skin color as white and who did not have a formal employment contract. CONCLUSION: This study makes a contribution towards unveiling the relationship between healthcare and work, and thus serve as support for the development of strategies to prevent underreporting. Lastly, the results provide the basis for future public health intervention actions and for future studies.
Abstract in English:ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Instant messaging services (IMS) are widely used in medical practice. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate perceptions regarding use and usability of IMS within clinical practice and assess users’ knowledge of the ethical and legal context involved in using IMS within medical practice. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study conducted in different hospitals and medical institutions in Minas Gerais, Brazil. METHODS: Medical students, medical residents, primary care physicians and specialist doctors answered an online questionnaire regarding epidemiological data, graduation level and use of IMS for medical communication. Responses were collected over a five-month period and data were assessed using the IBM-SPSS software. RESULTS: 484 people answered the questionnaire: 97.0% declared that they were using IMS for medical-related purposes; 42.0%, to elucidate medical concerns every week; 75.0%, to share imaging or laboratory tests and patients’ medical records; and 90.5%, to participate in clinical case-study private groups. Moreover, only 37.0% declared that they had knowledge of the legislative aspects of use of smartphones within clinical practice. Differences in the frequency of discussion of medical concerns within the daily routine between student/residents and general practitioners/specialists, and in the frequency of image-sharing and patient-guiding/assistance between students and medical doctors, were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide reliable proof that medical doctors and students use IMS, as a tool for clinical case discussions, interactions between healthcare providers and patients, or dissemination of knowledge and information. Nonetheless, because of limitations to the ethical and legal regulations, evidence-based discussions between authorities, academics and medical institutions are needed in order to fully achieve positive outcomes from such platforms.