Articles from BioMed Central


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  • Berger, Brent A; Ricigliano, Vincent A; Savriama, Yoland; Lim, Aedric; Thompson, Veronica; Howarth, Dianella G (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background While floral symmetry has traditionally been assessed qualitatively, recent advances in geometric morphometrics have opened up new avenues to specifically quantify flower shape and size using robust multivariate statistical methods. In this study, we examine, for the first time, the ability of geometric morphometrics to detect morphological differences in floral dorsoventral asymmetry following virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). Using Fedia graciliflora Fisch. & Meyer (Valerianaceae) as a model, corolla shape of untreated flowers was compared using canonical variate analysis to knockdown phenotypes of CYCLOIDEA2A (FgCYC2A), ANTHOCYANIDIN SYNTHASE (FgANS), and empty vector controls. Results Untreated flowers and all VIGS treatments were morphologically distinct from each other, suggesting that VIGS may cause subtle shifts in floral shape. Knockdowns of FgCYC2A were the most dramatic, affecting the position of dorsal petals in relation to lateral petals, thereby resulting in more actinomorphic-like flowers. Additionally, FgANS knockdowns developed larger flowers with wider corolla tube openings. Conclusions These results provide a method to quantify the role that specific genes play in the developmental pathway affecting the dorsoventral axis of symmetry in zygomorphic flowers. Additionally, they suggest that ANS may have an unintended effect on floral size and shape.
  • Brouckaert, Olivier; Rudolph, Anja; Laenen, Annouschka; Keeman, Renske; Bolla, Manjeet K; Wang, Qin; Soubry, Adelheid; Wildiers, Hans; Andrulis, Irene L; Arndt, Volker; Beckmann, Matthias W; Benitez, Javier; Blomqvist, Carl; Bojesen, Stig E; Brauch, Hiltrud; Brennan, Paul; Brenner, Hermann; Chenevix-Trench, Georgia; Choi, Ji-Yeob; Cornelissen, Sten; Couch, Fergus J; Cox, Angela; Cross, Simon S; Czene, Kamila; Eriksson, Mikael; Fasching, Peter A; Figueroa, Jonine; Flyger, Henrik; Giles, Graham G; González-Neira, Anna; Guénel, Pascal; Hall, Per; Hollestelle, Antoinette; Hopper, John L; Ito, Hidemi; Jones, Michael; Kang, Daehee; Knight, Julia A; Kosma, Veli-Matti; Li, Jingmei; Lindblom, Annika; Lilyquist, Jenna; Lophatananon, Artitaya; Mannermaa, Arto; Manoukian, Siranoush; Margolin, Sara; Matsuo, Keitaro; Muir, Kenneth; Nevanlinna, Heli; Peterlongo, Paolo; Pylkäs, Katri; Saajrang, Suleeporn; Seynaeve, Caroline; Shen, Chen-Yang; Shu, Xiao-Ou; Southey, Melissa C; Swerdlow, Anthony; Teo, Soo-Hwang; Tollenaar, Rob A E M; Truong, Thérèse; Tseng, Chiu-chen; van den Broek, Alexandra J; van Deurzen, Carolien H M; Winqvist, Robert; Wu, Anna H; Yip, Cheng H; Yu, Jyh-Cherng; Zheng, Wei; Milne, Roger L; Pharoah, Paul D P; Easton, Douglas F; Schmidt, Marjanka K; Garcia-Closas, Montserrat; Chang-Claude, Jenny; Lambrechts, Diether; Neven, Patrick (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Previous studies have shown that reproductive factors are differentially associated with breast cancer (BC) risk by subtypes. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between reproductive factors and BC subtypes, and whether these vary by age at diagnosis. Methods We used pooled data on tumor markers (estrogen and progesterone receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2)) and reproductive risk factors (parity, age at first full-time pregnancy (FFTP) and age at menarche) from 28,095 patients with invasive BC from 34 studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). In a case-only analysis, we used logistic regression to assess associations between reproductive factors and BC subtype compared to luminal A tumors as a reference. The interaction between age and parity in BC subtype risk was also tested, across all ages and, because age was modeled non-linearly, specifically at ages 35, 55 and 75 years. Results Parous women were more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative BC (TNBC) than with luminal A BC, irrespective of age (OR for parity = 1.38, 95% CI 1.16–1.65, p = 0.0004; p for interaction with age = 0.076). Parous women were also more likely to be diagnosed with luminal and non-luminal HER2-like BCs and this effect was slightly more pronounced at an early age (p for interaction with age = 0.037 and 0.030, respectively). For instance, women diagnosed at age 35 were 1.48 (CI 1.01–2.16) more likely to have luminal HER2-like BC than luminal A BC, while this association was not significant at age 75 (OR = 0.72, CI 0.45–1.14). While age at menarche was not significantly associated with BC subtype, increasing age at FFTP was non-linearly associated with TNBC relative to luminal A BC. An age at FFTP of 25 versus 20 years lowered the risk for TNBC (OR = 0.78, CI 0.70–0.88, p < 0.0001), but this effect was not apparent at a later FFTP. Conclusions Our main findings suggest that parity is associated with TNBC across all ages at BC diagnosis, whereas the association with luminal HER2-like BC was present only for early onset BC.
  • Pietikäinen, Risto; Nordling, Stig; Jokiranta, Sakari; Saari, Seppo; Heikkinen, Petra; Gardiner, Chris; Kerttula, Anne-Marie; Kantanen, Tiina; Nikanorova, Anna; Laaksonen, Sauli; Lavikainen, Antti; Oksanen, Antti (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background The spread of vector-borne diseases to new regions has become a global threat due to climate change, increasing traffic, and movement of people and animals. Dirofilaria repens, the canine subcutaneous filarioid nematode, has expanded its distribution range northward during the last decades. The northernmost European locations, where the parasite life-cycle has been confirmed, are Estonia and the Novgorod Region in Russia. Results Herein, we describe an autochthonous D. repens infection in a Finnish woman. We also present two cases of D. repens infection in imported dogs indicating the life-cycle in the Russian Vyborg and St Petersburg areas, close to the Finnish border. Conclusions The most obvious limiting factor of the northern distribution of D. repens is the summer temperature, due to the temperature-dependent development of larvae in vectors. With continuing climate change, further spread of D. repens in Fennoscandia can be expected.
  • Martiskainen, Henna; Paldanius, Kaisa M A; Natunen, Teemu; Takalo, Mari; Marttinen, Mikael; Leskelä, Stina; Huber, Nadine; Mäkinen, Petra; Bertling, Enni; Dhungana, Hiramani; Huuskonen, Mikko; Honkakoski, Paavo; Hotulainen, Pirta; Rilla, Kirsi; Koistinaho, Jari; Soininen, Hilkka; Malm, Tarja; Haapasalo, Annakaisa; Hiltunen, Mikko (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background DHCR24, involved in the de novo synthesis of cholesterol and protection of neuronal cells against different stress conditions, has been shown to be selectively downregulated in neurons of the affected brain areas in Alzheimer’s disease. Methods Here, we investigated whether the overexpression of DHCR24 protects neurons against inflammation-induced neuronal death using co-cultures of mouse embryonic primary cortical neurons and BV2 microglial cells upon acute neuroinflammation. Moreover, the effects of DHCR24 overexpression on dendritic spine density and morphology in cultured mature mouse hippocampal neurons and on the outcome measures of ischemia-induced brain damage in vivo in mice were assessed. Results Overexpression of DHCR24 reduced the loss of neurons under inflammation elicited by LPS and IFN-γ treatment in co-cultures of mouse neurons and BV2 microglial cells but did not affect the production of neuroinflammatory mediators, total cellular cholesterol levels, or the activity of proteins linked with neuroprotective signaling. Conversely, the levels of post-synaptic cell adhesion protein neuroligin-1 were significantly increased upon the overexpression of DHCR24 in basal growth conditions. Augmentation of DHCR24 also increased the total number of dendritic spines and the proportion of mushroom spines in mature mouse hippocampal neurons. In vivo, overexpression of DHCR24 in striatum reduced the lesion size measured by MRI in a mouse model of transient focal ischemia. Conclusions These results suggest that the augmentation of DHCR24 levels provides neuroprotection in acute stress conditions, which lead to neuronal loss in vitro and in vivo.
  • Näreaho, Anu; Eriksson-Kallio, Anna M; Heikkinen, Petra; Snellman, Anna; Sukura, Antti; Koski, Perttu (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract The intention to increase roach (Rutilus rutilus) consumption is in focus for ecological and economic reasons in Finland. However, its safety as food has not been considered comprehensively. We collected and artificially digested 85 roach halves originating from the south-eastern coast of Finland, and found trematode metacercariae in 98.8% of the samples. Based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing of amplicons generated from the ITS2 gene region, zoonotic parasites of the family Opistorchiidae were identified as Pseudamphistomum truncatum and Metorchis bilis, and also non-zoonotic Holostephanus dubinini (family Cyathocotylidae) and Posthodiplostomum spp. (family Diplostomidae) were identified. The species identity of other trematodes found is currently being investigated. Mixed infections of several trematode species were common. The prevalence of morphologically identified zoonotic P. truncatum was 46%, and zoonotic M. bilis was found in one sequence sample. The high prevalence of zoonotic trematode metacercariae in roach from the Gulf of Finland is alarming. Only thoroughly cooked roach products can be recommended for human or animal consumption from the area.
  • Fallenius, Marika; Skrifvars, Markus B; Reinikainen, Matti; Bendel, Stepani; Raj, Rahul (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Intensive care scoring systems are widely used in intensive care units (ICU) around the world for case-mix adjustment in research and benchmarking. The aim of our study was to investigate the usefulness of common intensive care scoring systems in predicting mid-term mortality in patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) treated in intensive care units (ICU). Methods We performed a retrospective observational study including adult patients with spontaneous ICH treated in Finnish ICUs during 2003–2012. We used six-month mortality as the primary outcome of interest. We used logistic regression to customize Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II, Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS) II and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) for six-month mortality prediction. To assess the usefulness of the scoring systems, we compared their discrimination and calibration with two simpler models consisting of age, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, and premorbid functional status. Results Totally 3218 patients were included. Overall six-month mortality was 48%. APACHE II and SAPS II outperformed SOFA (area under the receiver operator curve [AUC] 0.83 and 0.84, respectively, vs. 0.73) but did not show any benefit over the simpler models in terms of discrimination (AUC 0.84, p > 0.05 for all models). SAPS II showed satisfactory calibration (p = 0.058 in the Hosmer-Lemeshow test), whereas all other models showed poor calibration (p < 0.05). Discussion In this retrospective multi-center study, we found that SAPS II and APACHE II were of no additional prognostic value to a simple model based on only age and GCS score for patients with ICH treated in the ICU. In fact, the major predictive ability of APACHE II and SAPS II comes from their age and GCS score components. SOFA performed significantly poorer than the other models and is not applicable as a prognostic model for ICH patients. All models displayed poor calibration, highlighting the need for improved prognostic models for ICH patients. Conclusion The common intensive care scoring systems did not outperform a simpler model based on only age and GCS score. Thus, the use of previous intensive care scoring systems is not warranted in ICH patients.
  • Junkkari, Reija; Simojoki, Heli; Heiskanen, Minna-Liisa; Pelkonen, Sinikka; Sankari, Satu; Tulamo, Riitta-Mari; Mykkänen, Anna (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Newly weaned horses in Finland are often moved to unheated loose housing systems in which the weanlings have free access to a paddock and a shelter. This practice is considered to be good for the development of young horses. The daily temperatures can stay below − 20 °C in Finland for several consecutive weeks during the winter season. However, the effect of unheated housing in a cold climatic environment on the respiratory health of weanlings under field conditions has not been studied before. This investigation was an observational field-study comprising 60 weanlings among 11 different voluntary participant rearing farms in Finland. Weanlings were either kept in unheated loose housing systems (n = 36) or in stables (n = 24) and were clinically examined on two separate occasions 58 days apart in cold winter conditions. Results The odds of clinical respiratory disease were lower in the older foals (loge days); OR = 0.009, P = 0.044). The plasma fibrinogen concentration was higher when the available space (m2/weanling) in the sleeping hall was smaller (P = 0.014) and it was lower when the sleeping hall was not insulated (P = 0.010). The plasma fibrinogen concentrations at the second examination were lower with a body condition score above 3 (P = 0.070). Standardbreds kept in loose housing systems had a lower body condition score than Finnhorses or Standardbreds kept in stables at both examinations (P = 0.026 and P = 0.007, respectively). Haemoglobin level was lower in weanlings in loose housing systems compared to their counterparts at the first examination (P = 0.037). Finnhorses had higher white blood cell count than Standardbreds at first (P = 0.002) and at the second examination (P = 0.001). Conclusions Keeping weanling horses in cold loose housing systems does not seem to increase the occurrence of respiratory disease, but special attention should be focused on ventilation, air quality and feeding-practices. Our field study data suggest it might be advantageous to keep Standardbred foals born late in the season in a stable over the Finnish winter.
  • Sakari Jokiranta, T.; Viklicky, Ondrej; Al Shorafa, Saleh; Coppo, Rosanna; Gasteyger, Christoph; Macia, Manuel; Pankratenko, Tatiana; Shenoy, Mohan; Soylemezoglu, Oğuz; Tsimaratos, Michel; Wetzels, Jack; Haller, Hermann (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background The differential diagnosis of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) is complex however the rapid diagnosis of the underlying condition is vital to inform urgent treatment decisions. A survey was devised with the objective of understanding current practices across Europe and the Middle East, and of challenges when diagnosing the cause of TMA. Methods Over 450 clinicians, from 16 countries were invited to complete an online survey. Results Of 254 respondents, the majority were nephrologists, had >10 years’ experience in their specialty, and had diagnosed a patient with TMA. The triad of thrombocytopenia, haemolytic anaemia and acute kidney injury are the main diagnostic criteria used. Responses indicate that a differential diagnosis of TMA is usually made within 1–2 (53%) or 3–4 days (26%) of presentation. Similarly, therapy is usually initiated within the first 4 days (74%), however 13% report treatment initiation >1-week post-presentation. Extrarenal symptoms and a panoply of other conditions are considered when assessing the differential diagnosis of TMA. While 70 and 78% of respondents stated they always request complement protein levels and ADAMTS13 activity, respectively. Diagnostic considerations of paediatric and adult nephrologists varied. A greater proportion of paediatric than adult nephrologists consider extrarenal manifestations clinically related to a diagnosis of TMA; pulmonary (45% vs. 18%), gastrointestinal (67% vs. 50%), CNS (96% vs. 84%) and cardiovascular (54% vs. 42%), respectively. Variability in the availability of guidelines and extent of family history taken was also evident. Conclusions This survey reveals the variability of current practices and the need for increased urgency among physicians in the differential diagnosis of TMA, despite their experience. Above all, the survey highlights the need for international clinical guidelines to provide systematically developed recommendations for understanding the relevance of complement protein levels, complement abnormalities and ADAMTS13 testing, in making a differential diagnosis of TMA. Such clinical guidelines would enable physicians to make a more rapid and informed diagnosis of TMA, therefore initiate effective treatment earlier, with a consequent improvement in patient outcomes.
  • Törmänen, Suvi; Pörsti, Ilkka; Lakkisto, Päivi; Tikkanen, Ilkka; Niemelä, Onni; Paavonen, Timo; Mustonen, Jukka; Eräranta, Arttu (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background We studied whether endothelin receptor antagonist and calcimimetic treatments influence renal damage and kidney renin-angiotensin (RA) components in adenine-induced chronic renal insufficiency (CRI). Methods Male Wistar rats (n = 80) were divided into 5 groups for 12 weeks: control (n = 12), 0.3% adenine (Ade; n = 20), Ade + 50 mg/kg/day sitaxentan (n = 16), Ade + 20 mg/kg/day cinacalcet (n = 16), and Ade + sitaxentan + cinacalcet (n = 16). Blood pressure (BP) was measured using tail-cuff, kidney histology was examined, and RA components measured using RT-qPCR. Results Adenine caused tubulointerstitial damage with severe CRI, anemia, hyperphosphatemia, 1.8-fold increase in urinary calcium excretion, and 3.5-fold and 18-fold increases in plasma creatinine and PTH, respectively. Sitaxentan alleviated tubular atrophy, while sitaxentan + cinacalcet combination reduced interstitial inflammation, tubular dilatation and atrophy in adenine-rats. Adenine diet did not influence kidney angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and AT4 receptor mRNA, but reduced mRNA of renin, AT1a, AT2, (pro)renin receptor and Mas to 40–60%, and suppressed ACE2 to 6% of that in controls. Sitaxentan reduced BP by 8 mmHg, creatinine, urea, and phosphate concentrations by 16–24%, and PTH by 42%. Cinacalcet did not influence BP or creatinine, but reduced PTH by 84%, and increased hemoglobin by 28% in adenine-rats. The treatments further reduced renin mRNA by 40%, while combined treatment normalized plasma PTH, urinary calcium, and increased ACE2 mRNA 2.5-fold versus the Ade group (p < 0.001). Conclusions In adenine-induced interstitial nephritis, sitaxentan improved renal function and tubular atrophy. Sitaxentan and cinacalcet reduced kidney renin mRNA by 40%, while their combination alleviated tubulointerstitial damage and urinary calcium loss, and increased kidney tissue ACE2 mRNA.
  • Hiilamo, Aapo; Lallukka, Tea; Mänty, Minna; Kouvonen, Anne (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background The two-way relationship between obesity and socioeconomic disadvantage is well established but previous studies on social and economic consequences of obesity have primarily focused on relatively young study populations. We examined whether obesity is associated with socioeconomic disadvantage through the 10–12-year follow-up, and how obesity-related socioeconomic inequalities develop during midlife among women. Methods Baseline data were derived from the female population of the Helsinki Health Study cohort, comprising 40–60 –year-old employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland in 2000–2002 (n = 6913, response rate 69%). The follow-up surveys were carried out in 2007 (n = 5810) and 2012 (n = 5400). Socioeconomic disadvantage was measured by five dichotomous measures. Repeated logistic regression analyses utilising generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to test the association between baseline self-reported obesity and the likelihood of socioeconomic disadvantage through all phases. The effect of time on the development of inequalities was examined by time interaction terms in random effect logistic regression models. Results After adjustment for educational level, baseline obesity was associated with repeated poverty (OR = 1.23; 95% CI; 1.05–1.44), frequent economic difficulties (OR = 1.74; 95% CI; 1.52–1.99), low household net income (OR = 1.23; 95% CI; 1.07–1.41), low household wealth (OR = 1.90; 95% CI; 1.59–2.26) and low personal income (OR = 1.22; 95% CI; 1.03–1.44). The differences in poverty rate and low personal income between the participants with obesity and participants with normal weight widened during the follow-up. Living without a partner and early exit from paid employment explained the widening of inequalities. Conclusions Weight status inequalities in socioeconomic disadvantage persisted or widened during the late adulthood.
  • Svärd, Anna; Lahti, Jouni; Roos, Eira; Rahkonen, Ossi; Lahelma, Eero; Lallukka, Tea; Mänty, Minna (BioMed Central, 2017)
  • Deptula, Paulina; Laine, Pia K; Roberts, Richard J; Smolander, Olli-Pekka; Vihinen, Helena; Piironen, Vieno; Paulin, Lars; Jokitalo, Eija; Savijoki, Kirsi; Auvinen, Petri; Varmanen, Pekka (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Propionibacterium freudenreichii is an industrially important bacterium granted the Generally Recognized as Safe (the GRAS) status, due to its long safe use in food bioprocesses. Despite the recognized role in the food industry and in the production of vitamin B12, as well as its documented health-promoting potential, P. freudenreichii remained poorly characterised at the genomic level. At present, only three complete genome sequences are available for the species. Results We used the PacBio RS II sequencing platform to generate complete genomes of 20 P. freudenreichii strains and compared them in detail. Comparative analyses revealed both sequence conservation and genome organisational diversity among the strains. Assembly from long reads resulted in the discovery of additional circular elements: two putative conjugative plasmids and three active, lysogenic bacteriophages. It also permitted characterisation of the CRISPR-Cas systems. The use of the PacBio sequencing platform allowed identification of DNA modifications, which in turn allowed characterisation of the restriction-modification systems together with their recognition motifs. The observed genomic differences suggested strain variation in surface piliation and specific mucus binding, which were validated by experimental studies. The phenotypic characterisation displayed large diversity between the strains in ability to utilise a range of carbohydrates, to grow at unfavourable conditions and to form a biofilm. Conclusion The complete genome sequencing allowed detailed characterisation of the industrially important species, P. freudenreichii by facilitating the discovery of previously unknown features. The results presented here lay a solid foundation for future genetic and functional genomic investigations of this actinobacterial species.
  • Jayaprakash, Balamuralikrishna; Adams, Rachel I; Kirjavainen, Pirkka; Karvonen, Anne; Vepsäläinen, Asko; Valkonen, Maria; Järvi, Kati; Sulyok, Michael; Pekkanen, Juha; Hyvärinen, Anne; Täubel, Martin (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background The limited understanding of microbial characteristics in moisture-damaged buildings impedes efforts to clarify which adverse health effects in the occupants are associated with the damage and to develop effective building intervention strategies. The objectives of this current study were (i) to characterize fungal and bacterial microbiota in house dust of severely moisture-damaged residences, (ii) to identify microbial taxa associated with moisture damage renovations, and (iii) to test whether the associations between the identified taxa and moisture damage are replicable in another cohort of homes. We applied bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS amplicon sequencing complemented with quantitative PCR and chemical-analytical approaches to samples of house dust, and also performed traditional cultivation of bacteria and fungi from building material samples. Results Active microbial growth on building materials had significant though small influence on the house dust bacterial and fungal communities. Moisture damage interventions—including actual renovation of damaged homes and cases where families moved to another home—had only a subtle effect on bacterial community structure, seen as shifts in abundance weighted bacterial profiles after intervention. While bacterial and fungal species richness were reduced in homes that were renovated, they were not reduced for families that moved houses. Using different discriminant analysis tools, we were able identify taxa that were significantly reduced in relative abundance during renovation of moisture damage. For bacteria, the majority of candidates belonged to different families within the Actinomycetales order. Results for fungi were overall less consistent. A replication study in approximately 400 homes highlighted some of the identified taxa, confirming associations with observations of moisture damage and mold. Conclusions The present study is one of the first studies to analyze changes in microbiota due to moisture damage interventions using high-throughput sequencing. Our results suggest that effects of moisture damage and moisture damage interventions may appear as changes in the abundance of individual, less common, and especially bacterial taxa, rather than in overall community structure.
  • Hakkarainen, Pirjo; Sund, Reijo; Arffman, Martti; Koski, Sari; Hänninen, Vilma; Moilanen, Leena; Räsänen, Kimmo (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background The incidence of type 1 diabetes is increasing worldwide. Since so little is known about work life of individuals with type 1 diabetes, we examined incidence and prevalence trends of type 1 diabetes among working-aged Finns. We also investigated the employment rate and how workers with type 1 diabetes perceive their health and work ability, and their intended retirement age. Methods We analyzed changes in the incidence, prevalence, and employment rate using nationwide multi-register-based FinDM data, and estimated a Self-Rated Health, Work Ability Score, and inquired about retirement intentions of 767 working individuals with type 1 diabetes in a cross-sectional survey. All estimates were compared to the corresponding data of the Finnish general population. Results The average annual age-standardized incidence rate of type 1 diabetes among men aged 18–39 was 29 per 100,000/year; the incidence rate has increased by 33% from 1992 to 2007. Among women, the incidence remained at 16 per 100,000/year. Among working-aged (18–64) people, the age-standardized prevalence of type 1 diabetes increased by 39% among women and 33% among men. Two out of every three working aged individuals with type 1 diabetes were in the labor force; this is about 10% lower than in the Finnish population. The average age-standardized employment rate among those individuals with type 1 diabetes belonging to the labor force was 82%, compared to 84% in the general population. Working individuals with type 1 diabetes rated their health and work ability as being slightly lower than the general working population, but nonetheless, there were no significant differences in retirement intentions. Conclusions Between 1992 and 2007, the number of working-aged people and workers with type 1 diabetes increased by 35%. Most workers with type 1 diabetes manage as well at work as the general population. Special attention should be paid to workers with type 1 diabetes when they are diagnosed and/or report moderate or poor work ability.
  • Zitko, Pedro; Borghero, Francesca; Zavala, Cynthia; Markkula, Niina; Santelices, Emilio; Libuy, Nicolás; Pemjean, Alfredo (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Scientific knowledge is a fundamental tool for making informed health policy decisions, but the link between health research and public policy decision-making is often missing. This study aims to identify and prioritize a national set of research gaps in mental health. Methods A multi-approach method to identify gaps in knowledge was developed, including (1) document analysis and identification of possible research questions, (2) interviews to Ministry of Health key informants, (3) focus groups with different stakeholders, and (4) a web consultation addressed to academics. The identified gaps were translated to a standardized format of research questions. Criteria for prioritization were extracted from interviews and focus groups. Then, a team of various professionals applied them for scoring each question research. Findings Fifty-four people participated in the knowledge gaps identification process through an online consultation (n = 23) and focus groups (n = 18). Prioritization criteria identified were: extent of the knowledge gap, size of the objective population, potential benefit, vulnerability, urgency and applicability. 155 research questions were prioritized, of which 44% were related to evaluation of systems and/or health programs, and 26% to evaluation of interventions, including questions related to cost-effectiveness. 30% of the research questions came from the online consultation, and 36% from key informants. Users groups contributed with 10% of total research questions. Conclusion A final priority setting for mental health research was reached, making available for authorities and research agencies a list of 155 research questions ordered by relevance. The experience documented here could serve to other countries interested in developing a similar process.