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  1. Gao XL, Hsu CY, Xu YC, Loh T, Koh D, Hwarng HB
    J. Dent. Res., 2010 Sep;89(9):985-90.
    PMID: 20554887 DOI: 10.1177/0022034510372896
    Policymakers' understanding of and ability to reduce health disparities are pivotal for health promotion worldwide. This study aimed to verify the behavioral pathways leading to oral health disparities. Oral examinations were conducted for 1782 randomly selected preschoolers (3-6 yrs), and 1576 (88.4%) participants were followed up after 12 months. Parents were surveyed on their knowledge (K), attitude (A), and practices (P) regarding their children's oral health homecare (infant feeding, diet, and oral hygiene) and dental attendance. Structural equation modeling substantiated the links between specific KAs and corresponding practices, while generic KA did not affect practices. KAP pathways partly explained the ethnic and socio-economic disparities in oral health. Deprivation had a direct effect (not mediated by KA) on dental attendance, but not on oral health homecare. Ethnicity directly influenced oral health homecare practices, but not dental attendance. These behavioral pathways, furthering our understanding of health disparity, may have practical implications for health promotion and policy-making.
  2. Chua CS, Huang SY, Cheng CW, Bai CH, Hsu CY, Chiu HW, et al.
    Medicine (Baltimore), 2017 Dec;96(49):e9094.
    PMID: 29245334 DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000009094
    Abdominal pain is one of the key symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Studies have indicated an increase in the incidence of IBS in Asia. However, yet the pathophysiology of this disease remains unknown. Women are more likely to develop the condition than men, especially the constipation-predominant type. Essential fatty acid (EFA) malnutrition is one of several theories discussing the mechanism of IBS.The authors hypothesized that significant EFA deficiency may cause abdominal pain in patients with IBS. However, because patterns in the oral intake of EFAs differ between cultures, the authors narrowed this study to examine the nutritional status of Asian female patients with IBSThe authors investigated Asian female patients with IBS and compared them with a group of healthy controls. Thirty patients with IBS and 39 healthy individuals were included in this study. The participants' age, height, weight, and waist size were recorded. The 24-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was documented. Both erythrocyte and plasma fatty acid content were analyzed through gas-liquid chromatography.The authors found that patients with IBS exhibited significantly higher scores for depression, higher proportions of plasma saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, and lower proportions of docosahexaenoic acid and total omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in plasma are associated with IBS in Asian female patients. Further study is indicated to confirm the causality of this association.
  3. Chua CS, Bai CH, Shiao CY, Hsu CY, Cheng CW, Yang KC, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(8):e0183960.
    PMID: 28859146 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183960
    BACKGROUND & AIMS: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) manifests as chronic abdominal pain. One pathophysiological theory states that the brain-gut axis is responsible for pain control in the intestine. Although several studies have discussed the structural changes in the brain of IBS patients, most of these studies have been conducted in Western populations. Different cultures and sexes experience different pain sensations and have different pain responses. Accordingly, we aimed to identify the specific changes in the cortical thickness of Asian women with IBS and to compare these data to those of non-Asian women with IBS.

    METHODS: Thirty Asian female IBS patients (IBS group) and 39 healthy individuals (control group) were included in this study. Brain structural magnetic resonance imaging was performed. We used FreeSurfer to analyze the differences in the cortical thickness and their correlations with patient characteristics.

    RESULTS: The left cuneus, left rostral middle frontal cortex, left supramarginal cortex, right caudal anterior cingulate cortex, and bilateral insula exhibited cortical thinning in the IBS group compared with those in the controls. Furthermore, the brain cortical thickness correlated negatively the severity as well as duration of abdominal pain.

    CONCLUSIONS: Some of our findings differ from those of Western studies. In our study, all of the significant brain regions in the IBS group exhibited cortical thinning compared with those in the controls. The differences in cortical thickness between the IBS patients and controls may provide useful information to facilitate regulating abdominal pain in IBS patients. These findings offer insights into the association of different cultures and sexes with differences in cortical thinning in patients with IBS.

  4. Lai EL, Huang WN, Chen HH, Hsu CY, Chen DY, Hsieh TY, et al.
    Lupus, 2019 Jul;28(8):945-953.
    PMID: 31177913 DOI: 10.1177/0961203319855122
    The Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) has been used universally for the purpose of fracture risk assessment. However, the predictive capacity of FRAX for autoimmune diseases remains inconclusive. This study aimed to compare the applicability of FRAX for autoimmune disease patients. This retrospective study recruited rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and primary Sjögren syndrome (pSS) patients with bone mineral density (BMD) tests. Patients with any osteoporotic fractures were identified. Taiwan-specific FRAX with and without BMD were then calculated. In total, 802 patients (451 RA, 233 SLE and 118 pSS) were enrolled in this study. The cumulative incidences of osteoporotic fractures in the RA, SLE and pSS patients were 43.0%, 29.2% and 33.1%, respectively. For those with a previous osteoporotic fracture, T-scores were classified as low bone mass. Overall, the patients' 10-year probability of major fracture risk by FRAX without BMD was 15.8%, which then increased to 20.3% after incorporation of BMD measurement. When analyzed by disease group, the fracture risk in RA patients was accurately predicted by FRAX. In contrast, current FRAX, either with or without BMD measurement, underestimated the fracture risk both in SLE and pSS patients, even after stratification by age and glucocorticoid treatment. For pSS patients with major osteoporotic fractures, FRAX risks imputed by RA were comparable to major osteoporotic fracture risks of RA patients. Current FRAX accurately predicted fracture probability in RA patients, but not in SLE and pSS patients. RA-imputed FRAX risk scores could be used as a temporary substitute for SLE and pSS patients.
  5. Chen TH, Yen AM, Fann JC, Gordon P, Chen SL, Chiu SY, et al.
    Medicine (Baltimore), 2017 Jan;96(3):e5684.
    PMID: 28099330 DOI: 10.1097/MD.0000000000005684
    BACKGROUND: The recent controversy about using mammography to screen for breast cancer based on randomized controlled trials over 3 decades in Western countries has not only eclipsed the paradigm of evidence-based medicine, but also puts health decision-makers in countries where breast cancer screening is still being considered in a dilemma to adopt or abandon such a well-established screening modality.

    METHODS: We reanalyzed the empirical data from the Health Insurance Plan trial in 1963 to the UK age trial in 1991 and their follow-up data published until 2015. We first performed Bayesian conjugated meta-analyses on the heterogeneity of attendance rate, sensitivity, and over-detection and their impacts on advanced stage breast cancer and death from breast cancer across trials using Bayesian Poisson fixed- and random-effect regression model. Bayesian meta-analysis of causal model was then developed to assess a cascade of causal relationships regarding the impact of both attendance and sensitivity on 2 main outcomes.

    RESULTS: The causes of heterogeneity responsible for the disparities across the trials were clearly manifested in 3 components. The attendance rate ranged from 61.3% to 90.4%. The sensitivity estimates show substantial variation from 57.26% to 87.97% but improved with time from 64% in 1963 to 82% in 1980 when Bayesian conjugated meta-analysis was conducted in chronological order. The percentage of over-detection shows a wide range from 0% to 28%, adjusting for long lead-time. The impacts of the attendance rate and sensitivity on the 2 main outcomes were statistically significant. Causal inference made by linking these causal relationships with emphasis on the heterogeneity of the attendance rate and sensitivity accounted for the variation in the reduction of advanced breast cancer (none-30%) and of mortality (none-31%). We estimated a 33% (95% CI: 24-42%) and 13% (95% CI: 6-20%) breast cancer mortality reduction for the best scenario (90% attendance rate and 95% sensitivity) and the poor scenario (30% attendance rate and 55% sensitivity), respectively.

    CONCLUSION: Elucidating the scenarios from high to low performance and learning from the experiences of these trials helps screening policy-makers contemplate on how to avoid errors made in ineffective studies and emulate the effective studies to save women lives.

  6. Lai EC, Man KK, Chaiyakunapruk N, Cheng CL, Chien HC, Chui CS, et al.
    Epidemiology, 2015 Nov;26(6):815-20.
    PMID: 26133022 DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000325
    This study describes the availability and characteristics of databases in Asian-Pacific countries and assesses the feasibility of a distributed network approach in the region.
  7. Klionsky DJ, Abdelmohsen K, Abe A, Abedin MJ, Abeliovich H, Acevedo Arozena A, et al.
    Autophagy, 2016;12(1):1-222.
    PMID: 26799652 DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1100356
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