MyMedR (Malaysian Medical Repository) is an open access collection of Malaysian health and biomedical research. The materials are imported from PubMed and MyJurnal. We gratefully acknowledge the permission to reuse the materials from the National Library of Medicine of the United States and the Malaysian Citation Centre. This project is funded by Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia. The project team members are: CL Teng, CJ Ng, EM Khoo, Mastura Ismail, Abrizah Abdullah, TK Chiew, Thanaletchumi Dharmalingam.

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  1. Mohd Yusof Ibrahim, Sadia Choudhury Shimmi
    “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place”, reported by Sahih Al-Bukhari. This was the phrase quoted by Prophet Muhammad 14 centuries ago concerning both in disease spread and prevention. The relevancy of this statement is now widely seen and surge by the social media in a hashtag of “stay home” on an international level due to pandemic of COVID-19 disease.
  2. Low Qin Jian, Teo Kuo Zhau, Mohd Nadzri Misni, Cheo Seng Wee
    Computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (CTPA) is widely used in the investigation of suspected pulmonary embolism. CTPA is not without adverse effects as it involves intravenous contrast injection and radiation exposure. The annual incidence of pulmonary embolism is 60 – 70 per 100,000 populations and CTPA remains the commonest imaging modality1. This study aims to audit all CTPA performed at Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail, Batu Pahat, Johor for the entire year of 2018 to illustrate the demographic data, symptoms, risk factors, clinical scoring system applied and patients’ outcome. A retrospective study was conducted to audit all CTPA performed between 1st January to 31st December 2018 via the radiology department electronic records and patients’ records. There were a total of 60 CTPA performed in the entire year of 2018 with 16 positive and 44 negative scans. Among the 16 positive scans, 7 (44%) had a Wells score above 6, 6 (38%) had a Wells score between 2 – 6 and 3 (18%) had a Wells score less than 2. Out of the 16 positive scans, 4 (25%) were known malignancy and 1 was a known case of anti-phospholipid syndrome. All 60 patients had electrographs and arterial blood gases performed prior to CTPA. D dimer was performed in 15 cases (5%). Among the 16 positive scan patients, 4 (25%) passed away during the same admission directly or indirectly related to pulmonary embolism. This annual computed tomography audit report will assist clinicians in making better diagnostic decision when dealing with patients with suspected pulmonary embolism.
  3. Poh KK, Chin CT, Tong KL, Tan JKB, Lim JS, Yu W, et al.
    Singapore Med J, 2019 Sep;60(9):454-462.
    PMID: 30773600 DOI: 10.11622/smedj.2019021
    INTRODUCTION: Dyslipidaemia is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). There is a lack of data on the extent of lipid abnormalities and lipid-lowering therapy (LLT) in Singapore.

    METHODS: The Dyslipidemia International Study (DYSIS) II was a multinational observational study of patients with stable CHD and hospitalised patients with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). A full lipid profile and use of LLT were documented at baseline, and for the ACS cohort, at four months post-hospitalisation.

    RESULTS: 325 patients were recruited from four sites in Singapore; 199 had stable CHD and 126 were hospitalised with an ACS. At baseline, 96.5% of the CHD cohort and 66.4% of the ACS cohort were being treated with LLT. In both cohorts, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels were lower for the treated than the non-treated patients; accordingly, a higher proportion of patients met the LDL-C goal of < 70 mg/dL (CHD: 28.1% vs. 0%, p = 0.10; ACS: 20.2% vs. 0%, p < 0.01). By the four-month follow-up, a higher proportion of the ACS patients that were originally not treated with LLT had met the LDL-C goal (from 0% to 54.5%), correlating with the increased use of medication. However, there was negligible improvement in the patients who were treated prior to the ACS.

    CONCLUSION: Dyslipidaemia is a significant concern in Singapore, with few patients with stable or acute CHD meeting the recommended European Society of Cardiology/European Atherosclerosis Society goal. LLT was widely used but not optimised, indicating considerable scope for improved management of these very-high-risk patients.

    MeSH terms: Aged; Coronary Disease/blood; Coronary Disease/epidemiology*; Coronary Disease/therapy*; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; International Cooperation; Lipids/blood; Cholesterol, LDL/blood*; Male; Middle Aged; Regression Analysis; Risk Factors; Singapore/epidemiology; Dyslipidemias/blood; Dyslipidemias/epidemiology*; Dyslipidemias/therapy*; Acute Coronary Syndrome/blood; Acute Coronary Syndrome/epidemiology; Acute Coronary Syndrome/therapy
  4. Ch'ng TW, Gillmann K, Hoskens K, Rao HL, Mermoud A, Mansouri K
    Eye (Lond), 2020 03;34(3):562-571.
    PMID: 31409906 DOI: 10.1038/s41433-019-0560-6
    OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of surgical intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering on peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer thickness (RNFL), fovea avascular zone (FAZ), peripapillary and macular vessel density (VD) in glaucoma using with optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A).

    METHODS: This was a prospective observational study performed at the Glaucoma Research Centre, Montchoisi Clinic, Lausanne. In total 40 eyes with open-angle glaucoma were included. OCT-A scans were performed before glaucoma surgery, and at 1-month, 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month post-operatively. AngioVue AngioAnalytic (Optovue Inc, Fremont, CA) software was used to analyse the RNFL, FAZ, peripapillary and macular VD. Changes were analysed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) models.

    RESULTS: Mean IOP dropped from 19.4 (±7.0) mmHg pre-surgery and stabilized at 13.0 (±3.1) mmHg at 12 months (p 

  5. Morozova O, Crawford FW, Cohen T, Paltiel AD, Altice FL
    Addiction, 2020 03;115(3):437-450.
    PMID: 31478285 DOI: 10.1111/add.14797
    BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Although opioid agonist treatment (OAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD) is cost-effective in settings where the HIV epidemic is concentrated among people who inject drugs, OAT coverage in Ukraine remains far below internationally recommended targets. Scale-up is limited by both OAT availability and demand. This study aimed to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a range of plausible OAT scale-up strategies in Ukraine incorporating the potential impact of treatment spillover and the real-world demand for addiction treatment.

    DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Ten-year horizon (2016-25) modeling study of opioid addiction epidemic and treatment that accommodated potential peer effects in opioid use initiation and supply-induced treatment demand in three Ukrainian cities: Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Lviv, comprising a simulated population of people at risk of and with OUD.

    MEASUREMENTS: Incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year gained in the simulated population.

    FINDINGS: An estimated 12.2-, 2.4- and 13.4-fold OAT capacity increase over 2016 baseline capacity in Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Lviv, respectively, would be cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay of one per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) per quality-adjusted life-year gained. This result is robust to parametric and structural uncertainty. Even under the most ambitious capacity increase, OAT coverage (i.e. the proportion of people with OUD receiving OAT) over a 10-year modeling horizon would be 20, 11 and 17% in Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Lviv, respectively, owing to limited demand.

    CONCLUSIONS: It is estimated that a substantial increase in opioid agonist treatment (OAT) capacity in three Ukrainian cities would be cost-effective for a wide range of willingness-to-pay thresholds. Even a very ambitious capacity increase, however, is unlikely to reach internationally recommended coverage levels. Further increases in coverage may be limited by demand and would require addressing existing structural barriers to OAT access.

    MeSH terms: Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use*; Cost-Benefit Analysis*; Forecasting; Health Services Needs and Demand/economics*; Health Services Needs and Demand/trends*; Humans; Models, Theoretical; Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy*; Ukraine/epidemiology; HIV Infections/drug therapy*; Opiate Substitution Treatment*
  6. Vasu D, Navaneetha Pandiyaraj K, Padmanabhan PVA, Pichumani M, Deshmukh RR, Jaganathan SK
    Environ Geochem Health, 2021 Feb;43(2):649-662.
    PMID: 31679080 DOI: 10.1007/s10653-019-00446-9
    One of the major environmental issues of textile industries is the discharge of large quantities of textile effluents, which are source of contamination of water bodies on surface of earth and quality of groundwater. The effluents are toxic, non-biodegradable, carcinogenic and prodigious threats to human and aquatic creatures. Since textile effluents can be treated efficiently and effectively by various advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). Among the various AOPs, cold atmospheric pressure plasma is a promising method among many prominent techniques available to treat the effluents. In this paper, we report about the degradation of simulated effluent, namely Direct Orange-S (DO-S) aqueous solution, using nonthermal atmospheric pressure plasma jet. The plasma treatment of DO-S aqueous solution was carried out as a function of various operating parameters such as potential and treatment time. The change in properties of treated DO-S dye was investigated by means of various analytical techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography, UV-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy and determination of total organic content (TOC). The reactive species present in the samples were identified using optical emission spectrometry (OES). OES results confirmed that the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species during the plasma treatment in the liquid surface was responsible for dye oxidation and degradation. Degradation efficiency, as monitored by color removal efficiency, of 96% could be achieved after 1 h of treatment. Concurrently, the TOC values were found to decrease with plasma treatment, implying that the plasma treatment process enhanced the non-toxicity nature of DO-S aqueous solution. Toxicity of the untreated and plasma-treated dye solution samples was studied using Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus (S. aureus) organisms, which demonstrated that the plasma-treated dye solution was non-toxic in nature compared with untreated one.
  7. Sien PLM, Jamaludin NIA, Samrin SNA, S NS, Ismail R, Anuar Zaini A, et al.
    J Health Psychol, 2020 08;25(9):1310-1318.
    PMID: 31755316 DOI: 10.1177/1359105319890397
    Adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus are prone to have eating problems. This study aimed to determine factors of eating problems among this population in University Malaya Medical Centre. Fifteen adolescents who scored more than 20 marks in the Diabetes Eating Problem Survey - Revised questionnaire were invited for an in-depth interview. Questions were asked based on their questionnaire's response. The interview sessions were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematic analysis was used. Five main themes emerged: pressure, physiological factor, psychological factor, patient's low compliances to insulin intake and food control and fear. Early referral to child psychologist would prevent it from developing.
  8. Yang X, Leslie G, Doroszuk A, Schneider S, Allen J, Decker B, et al.
    J Clin Oncol, 2020 03 01;38(7):674-685.
    PMID: 31841383 DOI: 10.1200/JCO.19.01907
    PURPOSE: To estimate age-specific relative and absolute cancer risks of breast cancer and to estimate risks of ovarian, pancreatic, male breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers associated with germline PALB2 pathogenic variants (PVs) because these risks have not been extensively characterized.

    METHODS: We analyzed data from 524 families with PALB2 PVs from 21 countries. Complex segregation analysis was used to estimate relative risks (RRs; relative to country-specific population incidences) and absolute risks of cancers. The models allowed for residual familial aggregation of breast and ovarian cancer and were adjusted for the family-specific ascertainment schemes.

    RESULTS: We found associations between PALB2 PVs and risk of female breast cancer (RR, 7.18; 95% CI, 5.82 to 8.85; P = 6.5 × 10-76), ovarian cancer (RR, 2.91; 95% CI, 1.40 to 6.04; P = 4.1 × 10-3), pancreatic cancer (RR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.24 to 4.50; P = 8.7 × 10-3), and male breast cancer (RR, 7.34; 95% CI, 1.28 to 42.18; P = 2.6 × 10-2). There was no evidence for increased risks of prostate or colorectal cancer. The breast cancer RRs declined with age (P for trend = 2.0 × 10-3). After adjusting for family ascertainment, breast cancer risk estimates on the basis of multiple case families were similar to the estimates from families ascertained through population-based studies (P for difference = .41). On the basis of the combined data, the estimated risks to age 80 years were 53% (95% CI, 44% to 63%) for female breast cancer, 5% (95% CI, 2% to 10%) for ovarian cancer, 2%-3% (95% CI females, 1% to 4%; 95% CI males, 2% to 5%) for pancreatic cancer, and 1% (95% CI, 0.2% to 5%) for male breast cancer.

    CONCLUSION: These results confirm PALB2 as a major breast cancer susceptibility gene and establish substantial associations between germline PALB2 PVs and ovarian, pancreatic, and male breast cancers. These findings will facilitate incorporation of PALB2 into risk prediction models and optimize the clinical cancer risk management of PALB2 PV carriers.

    MeSH terms: Adult; Age Factors; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Neoplasms/genetics*; Ovarian Neoplasms/genetics; Pancreatic Neoplasms/genetics; Risk; Germ-Line Mutation; Breast Neoplasms, Male/genetics; Genetic Predisposition to Disease; Internationality
  9. Liew CH, Flaherty GT
    Am J Trop Med Hyg, 2020 03;102(3):689-697.
    PMID: 31933464 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.19-0793
    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among international travelers. It is unknown whether CVD is a barrier to international travel. The purpose of this study was to describe the travel experiences of a cohort of individuals with CVD, to identify their perceived barriers to travel, and to generate recommendations for CVD travelers, medical practitioners, and the travel industry. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with CVD patients who had attended either a regional, structured, multidisciplinary CVD prevention program or a cardiac rehabilitation program. Coding and thematic analysis of the transcripts were supported by NVivo® computer software. Peer debriefing with an independent researcher was undertaken. Demographic and clinical data such as gender, age, and types of cardiovascular condition were also recorded. Twelve patients (eight males), with a mean age of 68 ± 7.58 years, agreed to semi-structured interviews (26-78 minutes duration). The key themes emerging from the interviews included altered travel perception, accessing medical care overseas, issues with medications, medical device concerns at airports, restricted leisure travel activities, and optimal self-care. All interviewees perceived a health benefit to travel and did not regard CVD as a significant barrier to international travel. Certain cardiovascular conditions precipitated more travel anxiety. These findings highlight the unique experiences of CVD patients when engaging in international travel. Cardiovascular disease optimization and responsible travel health behaviors would facilitate medically uneventful overseas travel. The results may inform pretravel health advice given to CVD travelers. Further studies on issues relating to air travel in CVD are warranted.
    MeSH terms: Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Cardiovascular Diseases/complications*; Female; Humans; Interviews as Topic*; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Male; Middle Aged; Surveys and Questionnaires; Travel*; Health Behavior*; Travel Medicine
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