Displaying all 14 publications

  1. Malarvili, M. W, Bibu Prasad P., Bin Seng L., Naveen Kumar, H. S.
    Introduction: Gynura crepioides (G. crepioides) belongs to the Asteraceae family and native to Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. Gynura genuses are well known for their antioxidant properties. Hence, the current study aimed to study the effect of temperature on polyphenololic content and antioxidant properties on G. crepioides leaves extract. Methods: The extraction of G. crepioides leaves was carried out by Ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) method for 60 minutes by using ethanol (70 %) at three different temperatures 25°C and 50°C and 75°C. The total polyphenolic content (TPC) was investigated by using Folin-Ciocalteu assay, whereas the antioxidant potential (AOP) was determined by using phosphomolybdenum assay, and 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay. Results: The results from the study showed that TPC of G. crepioides extracted at 25°C was significantly (p < 0.05) lower than 50°C and 75°C with 8.45 ± 0.31 mg GAE/g, 35.83 ± 1.22 mg GAE/g, 35.90 ± 0.78 mg GAE/g respectively. However, the results from AOP has demonstrated lower value of 70.62 ± 0.74 mg AAE/g at 75°C compare to 77.67 ± 0.26 mg AAE/g at 25°C and 81.53 ± 0.68 mg AAE/g at 50°C. From DPPH assay results revealed that extraction temperature at 50°C has EC50 (p < 0.05) lowest value of 92.64 ± 0.56 µg/mL compared to G. crepioides extracted at 25°C (98.50 ± 1.18 µg/mL) and 75°C (101.72 ± 9.09 µg/mL). An excellent correlation exhibited between TAC and DPPH radical scavenging assays with r = 0.95 and r2 = 0.89. Present study reveals that UAE method with 70% ethanol, 60 minutes extraction time at 50°C temperature is an optimum to extract highest phenolic content and antioxidants from G. crepioides leaves. Conclusion: It was concluded from the study that extraction temperature would affect the extraction of phytochemicals from plants in turn it affects the biological activities.
  2. Sreeramareddy CT, Harsha Kumar HN, Sathian B
    PLoS One, 2013;8(11):e79818.
    PMID: 24224010 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079818
    BACKGROUND: Inequalities in progress towards achievement of Millennium Development Goal four (MDG-4) reflect unequal access to child health services.
    OBJECTIVE: To examine the time trends, socio-economic and regional inequalities of under-five mortality rate (U5MR) in Nepal.
    METHODS: We analyzed the data from complete birth histories of four Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys (NDHS) done in the years 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. For each livebirth, we computed survival period from birth until either fifth birthday or the survey date. Using direct methods i.e. by constructing life tables, we calculated yearly U5MRs from 1991 to 2010. Projections were made for the years 2011 to 2015. For each NDHS, U5MRs were calculated according to child's sex, mother's education, household wealth index, rural/urban residence, development regions and ecological zones. Inequalities were calculated as rate difference, rate ratio, population attributable risk and hazard ratio.
    RESULTS: Yearly U5MR (per 1000 live births) had decreased from 157.3 (95% CIs 178.0-138.9) in 1991 to 43.2 (95% CIs 59.1-31.5) in 2010 i.e. 114.1 reduction in absolute risk. Projected U5MR for the year 2015 was 54.33. U5MRs had decreased in absolute terms in all sub groups but relative inequalities had reduced for gender and rural/urban residence only. Wide inequalities existed by wealth and education and increased between 1996 and 2011. For lowest wealth quintile (as compared to highest quintile) hazard ratio (HR) increased from 1.37 (95% CIs 1.27, 1.49) to 2.54 ( 95% CIs 2.25, 2.86) and for mothers having no education (as compared to higher education) HR increased from 2.55 (95% CIs 1.95, 3.33) to 3.75 (95% CIs 3.17, 4.44). Changes in regional inequities were marginal and irregular.
    CONCLUSIONS: Nepal is most likely to achieve MDG-4 but educational and wealth inequalities may widen further. National health policies should address to reduce inequalities in U5MR through 'inclusive policies'.
  3. Sreeramareddy CT, Ramakrishnareddy N, Harsha Kumar H, Sathian B, Arokiasamy JT
    PMID: 22185233 DOI: 10.1186/1747-597X-6-33
    BACKGROUND: Nearly four-fifths of estimated 1.1 million smokers live in low or middle-income countries. We aimed to provide national estimates for Nepal on tobacco use prevalence, its distribution across demographic, socio-economic and spatial variables and correlates of tobacco use.
    METHODS: A secondary data analysis of 2006 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) was done. A representative sample of 9,036 households was selected by two-stage stratified, probability proportional to size (PPS) technique. We constructed three outcome variables 'tobacco smoke', 'tobacco chewer' and 'any tobacco use' based on four questions about tobacco use that were asked in DHS questionnaires. Socio-economic, demographic and spatial predictor variables were used. We computed overall prevalence for 'tobacco smoking', 'tobacco chewing' and 'any tobacco use' i.e. point estimates of prevalence rates, 95% confidence intervals (CIs) after adjustment for strata and clustering at primary sampling unit (PSU) level. For correlates of tobacco use, we used multivariate analysis to calculate adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and their 95% CIs. A p-value < 0.05 was considered as significant.
    RESULTS: Total number of households, eligible women and men interviewed was 8707, 10793 and 4397 respectively. The overall prevalence for 'any tobacco use', 'tobacco smoking' and 'tobacco chewing' were 30.3% (95% CI 28.9, 31.7), 20.7% (95% CI 19.5, 22.0) and 14.6% (95% CI 13.5, 15.7) respectively. Prevalence among men was significantly higher than women for 'any tobacco use' (56.5% versus 19.6%), 'tobacco smoking' (32.8% versus 15.8%) and 'tobacco chewing' (38.0% versus 5.0%). By multivariate analysis, older adults, men, lesser educated and those with lower wealth quintiles were more likely to be using all forms of tobacco. Divorced, separated, and widowed were more likely to smoke (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.14, 1.94) and chew tobacco (OR 1.36, 95% CI 0.97, 1.93) as compared to those who were currently married. Prevalence of 'tobacco chewing' was higher in eastern region (19.7%) and terai/plains (16.2%). 'Tobacco smoking' and 'any tobacco use' were higher in rural areas, mid-western and far western and mountainous areas.
    CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of tobacco use is considerably high among Nepalese people. Demographic and socioeconomic determinants and spatial distribution should be considered while planning tobacco control interventions.
  4. Sreeramareddy CT, Harsha Kumar HN, Arokiasamy JT
    BMC Infect Dis, 2013;13:16.
    PMID: 23324535 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-13-16
    BACKGROUND: Knowledge about symptoms and transmission of tuberculosis determines health seeking behavior and helps in prevention of tuberculosis transmission in the community. Such data is useful for policy makers to formulate information, education and communication strategies for tuberculosis control.
    METHODS: A secondary data analysis of India demographic and health survey, 2005/6 was carried out. Questions about self-reported tuberculosis, transmission and curability of tuberculosis were analysed. Correct knowledge (without misconceptions) about tuberculosis transmission was used as a dependant variable and the explanatory variables tested were: demographic data, education, wealth quintiles, frequency of exposure to media and the curability of tuberculosis. Determinants of correct knowledge without misconceptions were tested by univariate and multivariate analyses using national weighting factor to adjust for complex sampling design.
    RESULTS: A total of 109,070 households (response rate of 93.5%) and 198,718 participants (response rate of 91.6%) completed the survey. The samples of men and women interviewed were 74,360 and 124,358 respectively. Prevalence rate of self-reported tuberculosis was 445 per 100,000 usual household residents and 4.60 per 1,000 participants. The number of respondents who had "heard of an illness called tuberculosis" was 177,423 (89.3%). Of these 47,487 (26.8%) participants did not know and 55.5% knew about the correct mode of tuberculosis transmission i.e. "Through the air when coughing or sneezing". The common misconceptions about transmission were "Through food" (32.4%), "Sharing utensils" (18.2%), and "Touching a person with tuberculosis" (12.3%). Only 52,617 (29.7%) participants had correct knowledge without misconceptions. Being male (aOR 1.17, 95% CIs 1.14, 1.21), being a Hindu (aOR 1.20, 95% CIs 1.14, 1.26) or Muslim (aOR 1.26, 95% CIs 1.18, 1.34), listening to radio (aOR 1.08, 95% CIs 1.04, 1.13) and "Tuberculosis can be cured" (aOR 1.47, 95% CIs 1.41, 1.53) were associated with correct knowledge without misconceptions.
    CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge about tuberculosis transmission is very poor and misconceptions still exist. Among the traditional mass media, the frequency of listening to radio was associated with correct knowledge about tuberculosis transmission. Strategies to deliver information, education and communication campaigns could be improved.
  5. Sreeramareddy CT, Sathyanarayana TN, Kumar HN
    PLoS One, 2012;7(12):e51904.
    PMID: 23284810 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051904
    BACKGROUND: Information about utilization of health services and associated factors are useful for improving service delivery to achieve universal health coverage.
    METHODS: Data on a sample of ever-married women from India Demographic and Health survey 2005-06 was used. Mothers of children aged 0-59 months were asked about child's illnesses and type of health facilities where treatment was given during 15 days prior to the survey date. Type of health facilities were grouped as informal provider, public provider and private provider. Factors associated with utilization of health services for diarrhea and fever/cough was assessed according to Andersen's health behavior model. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were done considering sampling weights for complex sampling design.
    RESULTS: A total of 48,679 of ever-married women reported that 9.1% 14.8% and 17.67% of their children had diarrhea, fever and cough respectively. Nearly one-third of the children with diarrhea and fever/cough did not receive any treatment. Two-thirds of children who received treatment were from private health care providers (HCPs). Among predisposing factors, children aged 1-2 years and those born at health facility (public/private) were more likely to be taken to any type of HCP during illness. Among enabling factors, as compared to poorer household, wealthier households were 2.5 times more likely to choose private HCPs for any illness. Children in rural areas were likely to be taken to any type of HCP for diarrhea but rural children were less likely to utilize private HCP for fever/cough. 'Need' factors i.e. children having severe symptoms were 2-3 times more likely to be taken to any type of HCP.
    CONCLUSION: Private HCPs were preferred for treatment of childhood illnesses. Involvement of private HCPs may be considered while planning child health programs. Health insurance scheme for childhood illnesses may to protect economically weaker sections from out-of-pocket health expenditure during child illness.
  6. Parolia A, Kumar H, Ramamurthy S, Davamani F, Pau A
    BMC Oral Health, 2020 11 25;20(1):339.
    PMID: 33238961 DOI: 10.1186/s12903-020-01330-0
    BACKGROUND: The successful outcome of endodontic treatment depends on controlling the intra-radicular microbial biofilm by effective instrumentation and disinfection using various irrigants and intracanal medicaments. Instrumentation alone cannot effectively debride the root canals specially due to the complex morphology of the root canal system. A number of antibiotics and surfactants are being widely used in the treatment of biofilms however, the current trend is towards identification of natural products in disinfection. The aim of the study was to determine the antibacterial effect of chitosan-propolis nanoparticle (CPN) as an intracanal medicament against Enterococcus faecalis biofilm in root canal.

    METHODS: 240 extracted human teeth were sectioned to obtain 6 mm of the middle third of the root. The root canal was enlarged to an internal diameter of 0.9 mm. The specimens were inoculated with E. faecalis for 21 days. Following this, specimens were randomly divided into eight groups (n = 30) according to the intracanal medicament placed: group I: saline, group II: chitosan, group III: propolis100 µg/ml (P100), group IV: propolis 250 µg/ml (P250), group V: chitosan-propolis nanoparticle 100 µg/ml (CPN100), group VI: chitosan-propolis nanoparticle 250 µg/ml (CPN250), group VII: calcium hydroxide(CH) and group VIII: 2% chlorhexidine (CHX) gel. Dentine shavings were collected at 200 and 400 μm depths, and total numbers of CFUs were determined at the end of day one, three and seven. The non-parametric Kruskal Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare the differences in reduction of CFUs between all groups and probability values of p 

  7. Tan ACC, Kumar HK, Lokeman Hazli FL, Chin L
    Med J Malaysia, 2021 09;76(5):624-629.
    PMID: 34508366
    INTRODUCTION: The use of intramuscular (IM) dexamethasone injections before an elective caesarean delivery at term has been shown in multiple randomized controlled trials to reduce the rates of transient tachypnoea of the newborn, and admission to neonatal care. Recent studies have suggested that a complete course of IM steroids can be associated with long term harmful consequences to the infants born, and there have been studies suggesting that a lower dose of IM corticosteroids can be beneficial. Therefore, we aim to establish if halving the dose of dexamethasone to 12mg can demonstrate any benefit for term elective caesarean section deliveries whilst minimizing foetal exposure.

    METHODS: An observational controlled study comparing neonatal respiratory morbidities before and after the single dose 12mg dexamethasone was implemented in our obstetrics and gynaecology centre for term elective caesarean section deliveries. We included singleton pregnancies from 37+0 to 38+6 weeks undergoing elective caesarean section into our study. A total of 674 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were recruited. We compared the rates and duration of admission to neonatal intensive care unit, the need for mechanical ventilation and the rate of transient tachypnoea of the newborn in the first half of 2019 without IM dexamethasone injections against the second half of the year when a single dose IM dexamethasone was given.

    RESULTS: IM dexamethasone injection did not show any significant benefit with regards to reducing the admission to neonatal care (OR 0.97, p- value 0.69), admission to neonatal intensive care unit (OR 0.91, p- value 0.80), the need for mechanical ventilation (OR 0.98, p- value 0.95), and the incidence of transient tachypnoea of the newborn (OR1.01, p- value 0.96). There was also no significant difference for the duration of admission in the neonatal intensive care unit for both groups (p- value 0.17).

    CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that there was no significant benefit gained from the lower dose antenatal corticosteroids for term elective caesarean section deliveries and considering that there have been long term harmful consequences demonstrated from the higher dose of antenatal corticosteroids at term, this practice should therefore be discontinued until a larger study is done to refute these findings. The use of such dexamethasone should only be a viable option in a research setting.

  8. Boo NY, Gan CY, Gian YW, Lim KS, Lim MW, Krishna-Kumar H
    Med J Malaysia, 2011 Aug;66(3):239-43.
    PMID: 22111448
    This study aimed to determine the gaps of knowledge and practices of care of neonatal jaundice among Malaysian mothers. It was a cross sectional study of 400 mothers who attended the obstetric clinics or were admitted to the obstetric wards of a general hospital. They were surveyed with a structured set of questionnaire. The results showed that a majority (93.8%) of them knew about neonatal jaundice, and 71.7% knew that jaundice lasting more than 2 weeks was abnormal. However, only 34.3% of them were aware that jaundice appearing during the first 36 hours of life was abnormal. Less than 20% knew about glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and that fetal-maternal blood group differences could cause jaundice. Although 71.7% and 69.7%, respectively, of the mothers knew that severe jaundice could cause death and brain damage, only 38.4% of them were aware that severe jaundice could result in hearing impairment. A very low proportion (27.1%) of them was aware that putting jaundiced infants under the direct sun could result in dehydration and worsening of jaundice. Out of a maximum score of 15, the mean maternal knowledge score was 7.4 (95% confidence intervals: 7.1, 7.7). Majority (83.1%) of the multiparous mothers with a past history of having children developing neonatal jaundice (n = 154) practiced placing their infants under the direct sun. This study revealed that there was a wide knowledge gap among Malaysian mothers on care of neonatal jaundice. Placing infants under the direct sun was still a common practice.
    Study site: Obstetric clinic, Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
  9. Kumar H, Mishra G, Sharma AK, Gothwal A, Kesharwani P, Gupta U
    Pharm Nanotechnol, 2017;5(3):203-214.
    PMID: 28521670 DOI: 10.2174/2211738505666170515113936
    BACKGROUND: The convoluted pathophysiology of brain disorders along with penetration issue of drugs to brain represents major hurdle that requires some novel therapies. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) denotes a rigid barrier for delivery of therapeutics in vivo; to overcome this barrier, intranasal delivery is an excellent strategy to deliver the drug directly to brain via olfactory and trigeminal nerve pathways that originate as olfactory neuro-epithelium in the nasal cavity and terminate in brain.

    METHOD: Kind of therapeutics like low molecular weight drugs can be delivered to the CNS via this route. In this review, we have outlined the anatomy and physiological aspect of nasal mucosa, certain hurdles, various strategies including importance of muco-adhesive polymers to increase the drug delivery and possible clinical prospects that partly contribute in intranasal drug delivery.

    RESULTS: Exhaustive literature survey related to intranasal drug delivery system revealed the new strategy that circumvents the BBB, based on non-invasive concept for treating various CNS disorders. Numerous advantages like prompt effects, self-medication through wide-ranging devices, and the frequent as well protracted dosing are associated with this novel route.

    CONCLUSION: Recently few reports have proven that nasal to brain drug delivery system bypasses the BBB. This novel route is associated with targeting efficiency and less exposure of therapeutic substances to non-target site. Nevertheless, this route desires much more research into the safe transferring of therapeutics to the brain. Role of muco-adhesive polymer and surface modification with specific ligands are area of interest of researcher to explore more about this.

  10. Khan I, Kumar H, Mishra G, Gothwal A, Kesharwani P, Gupta U
    Curr Pharm Des, 2017;23(35):5315-5326.
    PMID: 28875848 DOI: 10.2174/1381612823666170829164828
    BACKGROUND: Delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is becoming advanced day by day. However, the challenge of the effective delivery system still does exist. In various types of cancers, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. Breast cancer is a combination of different diseases. It cannot be considered as only one entity because there are many specific patient factors, which are involved in the development of this disease. Nanotechnology has opened a new area in the effective treatment of breast cancer due to the several benefits offered by this technology.

    METHODS: Polymeric nanocarriers are among one of the effective delivery systems, which has given promising results in the treatment of breast cancers. Nanocarriers does exert their anticancer effect either through active or passive targeting mode.

    RESULTS: The use of nanocarriers has been resolute about the adverse effects of chemotherapeutic drugs such as poor solubility and less penetrability in tumor cells.

    CONCLUSION: The present review is focused on recent developments regarding polymeric nanocarriers, such as polymeric micelles, polymeric nanoparticles, dendrimers, liposomes, nanoshells, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes (CNT) and quantum dots, etc. for their recent advancements in breast cancer therapy.

  11. Sreeramareddy CT, Rahman M, Harsha Kumar HN, Shah M, Hossain AM, Sayem MA, et al.
    PMID: 25104297 DOI: 10.1186/1472-6947-14-67
    BACKGROUND: To estimate the amount of regret and weights of harm by omission and commission during therapeutic decisions for smear-negative pulmonary Tuberculosis.
    METHODS: An interviewer-administered survey was done among young physicians in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh with a previously used questionnaire. The physicians were asked to estimate probabilities of morbidity and mortality related with disease and treatment and intuitive weights of omission and commission for treatment of suspected pulmonary Tuberculosis. A comparison with weights based on literature data was made.
    RESULTS: A total of 242 physicians completed the interview. Their mean age was 28 years, 158 (65.3%) were males. Median probability (%) of mortality and morbidity of disease was estimated at 65% (inter quartile range [IQR] 50-75) and 20% (IQR 8-30) respectively. Median probability of morbidity and mortality in case of occurrence of side effects was 15% (IQR 10-30) and 8% (IQR 5-20) respectively. Probability of absolute treatment mortality was 0.7% which was nearly eight times higher than 0.09% reported in the literature data. The omission vs. commission harm ratios based on intuitive weights, weights calculated with literature data, weights calculated with intuitive estimates of determinants adjusted without and with regret were 3.0 (1.4-5.0), 16 (11-26), 33 (11-98) and 48 (11-132) respectively. Thresholds based on pure regret and hybrid model (clinicians' intuitive estimates and regret) were 25 (16.7-41.7), and 2(0.75-7.5) respectively but utility-based thresholds for clinicians' estimates and literature data were 2.9 (1-8.3) and 5.9 (3.7-7.7) respectively.
    CONCLUSION: Intuitive weight of harm related to false-negatives was estimated higher than that to false-positives. The mortality related to treatment was eightfold overestimated. Adjusting expected utility thresholds for subjective regret had little effect.
  12. Parolia A, Kumar H, Ramamurthy S, Madheswaran T, Davamani F, Pichika MR, et al.
    Molecules, 2021 Jan 30;26(3).
    PMID: 33573147 DOI: 10.3390/molecules26030715
    To determine the antibacterial effect of propolis nanoparticles (PNs) as an endodontic irrigant against Enterococcus faecalis biofilm inside the endodontic root canal system. Two-hundred-ten extracted human teeth were sectioned to obtain 6 mm of the middle third of the root. The root canal was enlarged to an internal diameter of 0.9 mm. The specimens were inoculated with E. faecalis for 21 days. Following this, specimens were randomly divided into seven groups, with 30 dentinal blocks in each group including: group I-saline; group II-propolis 100 µg/mL; group III-propolis 300 µg/mL; group IV-propolis nanoparticle 100 µg/mL; group V-propolis nanoparticle 300µg/mL; group VI-6% sodium hypochlorite; group VII-2% chlorhexidine. Dentin shavings were collected at 200 and 400 μm depths, and total numbers of CFUs were determined at the end of one, five, and ten minutes. The non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare the differences in reduction in CFUs between all groups, and probability values of p < 0.05 were set as the reference for statistically significant results. The antibacterial effect of PNs as an endodontic irrigant was also assessed against E. faecalis isolates from patients with failed root canal treatment. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) were also performed after exposure to PNs. A Raman spectroscope, equipped with a Leica microscope and lenses with curve-fitting Raman software, was used for analysis. The molecular interactions between bioactive compounds of propolis (Pinocembrin, Kaempferol, and Quercetin) and the proteins Sortase A and β-galactosidase were also understood by computational molecular docking studies. PN300 was significantly more effective in reducing CFUs compared to all other groups (p < 0.05) except 6% NaOCl and 2% CHX (p > 0.05) at all time intervals and both depths. At five minutes, 6% NaOCl and 2% CHX were the most effective in reducing CFUs (p < 0.05). However, no significant difference was found between PN300, 6% NaOCl, and 2% CHX at 10 min (p > 0.05). SEM images also showed the maximum reduction in E. faecalis with PN300, 6% NaOCl, and 2% CHX at five and ten minutes. CLSM images showed the number of dead cells in dentin were highest with PN300 compared to PN100 and saline. There was a reduction in the 484 cm-1 band and an increase in the 870 cm-1 band in the PN300 group. The detailed observations of the docking poses of bioactive compounds and their interactions with key residues of the binding site in all the three docking protocols revealed that the interactions were consistent with reasonable docking and IFD docking scores. PN300 was equally as effective as 6% NaOCl and 2% CHX in reducing the E. faecalis biofilms.
  13. Sreeramareddy CT, Suri S, Menezes RG, Kumar HN, Rahman M, Islam MR, et al.
    PMID: 21080923 DOI: 10.1186/1747-597X-5-29
    BACKGROUND: Tobacco smoking issues in developing countries are usually taught non-systematically as and when the topic arose. The World Health Organisation and Global Health Professional Student Survey (GHPSS) have suggested introducing a separate integrated tobacco module into medical school curricula. Our aim was to assess medical students' tobacco smoking habits, their practices towards patients' smoking habits and attitude towards teaching about smoking in medical schools.
    METHODS: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was carried out among final year undergraduate medical students in Malaysia, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. An anonymous, self-administered questionnaire included items on demographic information, students' current practices about patients' tobacco smoking habits, their perception towards tobacco education in medical schools on a five point Likert scale. Questions about tobacco smoking habits were adapted from GHPSS questionnaire. An 'ever smoker' was defined as one who had smoked during lifetime, even if had tried a few puffs once or twice. 'Current smoker' was defined as those who had smoked tobacco product on one or more days in the preceding month of the survey. Descriptive statistics were calculated.
    RESULTS: Overall response rate was 81.6% (922/1130). Median age was 22 years while 50.7% were males and 48.2% were females. The overall prevalence of 'ever smokers' and 'current smokers' was 31.7% and 13.1% respectively. A majority (> 80%) of students asked the patients about their smoking habits during clinical postings/clerkships. Only a third of them did counselling, and assessed the patients' willingness to quit. Majority of the students agreed about doctors' role in tobacco control as being role models, competence in smoking cessation methods, counseling, and the need for training about tobacco cessation in medical schools. About 50% agreed that current curriculum teaches about tobacco smoking but not systematically and should be included as a separate module. Majority of the students indicated that topics about health effects, nicotine addiction and its treatment, counselling, prevention of relapse were important or very important in training about tobacco smoking.
    CONCLUSION: Medical educators should consider revising medical curricula to improve training about tobacco smoking cessation in medical schools. Our results should be supported by surveys from other medical schools in developing countries of Asia.
  14. Sirica R, Buonaiuto M, Petrella V, Sticco L, Tramontano D, Antonini D, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2019 03 19;9(1):4843.
    PMID: 30890716 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-40360-9
    Natural selection acts on genetic variants by increasing the frequency of alleles responsible for a cellular function that is favorable in a certain environment. In a previous genome-wide scan for positive selection in contemporary humans, we identified a signal of positive selection in European and Asians at the genetic variant rs10180970. The variant is located in the second intron of the ABCA12 gene, which is implicated in the lipid barrier formation and down-regulated by UVB radiation. We studied the signal of selection in the genomic region surrounding rs10180970 in a larger dataset that includes DNA sequences from ancient samples. We also investigated the functional consequences of gene expression of the alleles of rs10180970 and another genetic variant in its proximity in healthy volunteers exposed to similar UV radiation. We confirmed the selection signal and refine its location that extends over 35 kb and includes the first intron, the first two exons and the transcription starting site of ABCA12. We found no obvious effect of rs10180970 alleles on ABCA12 gene expression. We reconstructed the trajectory of the T allele over the last 80,000 years to discover that it was specific to H. sapiens and present in non-Africans 45,000 years ago.
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