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Selim, M., F. Qashwa, M. S. Mohammed, and M. E. Elhousieni, "Protective Role of Magic Fruit and Honey Bee against Human Hepatocarcinogenesis", Archives in Cancer Research, vol. Vol.5 , issue No.4:159, pp. 1-7, 2017. Abstractprotective-role-of-magic-fruit-and-honey-bee-against-human-hepatocarcinogenesis.pdf

Background: Hepatitis C is an infectious disease that affects the liver. Its complication
is a major high-risk group that may be lead to hepatocellular carcinoma HCC, so
natural prevention is required. The combination of magic fruit and honey bee was
used in the treatment of HCV patients were treated with 4 g from Magic fruit and
1 g from Honey bee 3 times daily for three months.
Methods and findings: Our group study was conducted on 50 patients with chronic
hepatitis C (the male number was 35 while the female was 15; the median age was
45 years) was taken from the outpatient clinics of NCI, Egypt.
Results: The mean values of virus C level, which was determined by real time PCR
and FoxP3 protein which was measured by ELISA in sera of patients with chronic
hepatitis infection (CHI), showed highly significant decrease after treatment.
Hence the results have shown improvements in liver function, kidney function,
and CBC tests for the HCV patients post-treatment. Moreover, the results revealed
also that, highly significant decreased of CD4 + CD25 expression by flow cytometric
analysis was observed in the mononuclear leukocytes isolated from the patients
after treatment.
Conclusion: A combination of magic fruit and honey bee could be useful protective
natural agents against human hepatocarcinogenesis induced by HCV infection.
Further study is strongly recommended for large populations and prolonged
treatment for 9-12 months.
Keywords: Magic fruit; Honey bee; Chronic HCV infection; HCV-RNA PCR
(quantitative); FoxP3; CD4+CD25+expression

Hayek, S. S., Y. Klyachkin, A. Asfour, N. Ghasemzadeh, M. Awad, I. Hesaroieh, H. Ahmed, B. Gray, J. Kim, E. K. Waller, et al., "Bioactive Lipids and Circulating Progenitor Cells in Patients With Cardiovascular Disease.", Stem cells translational medicine, 2016 Oct 14. Abstract

: Bone marrow-derived progenitor cells are mobilized into the peripheral blood after acute myocardial injury and in chronic ischemic heart disease. However, the mechanisms responsible for this mobilization are poorly understood. We examined the relationship between plasma levels of bioactive lipids and number of circulating progenitor cells (CPCs) in patients (N = 437) undergoing elective or emergent cardiac catheterization. Plasma levels of sphingosine-1 phosphate (S1P) and ceramide-1 phosphate (C1P) were quantified using mass spectrometry. CPCs were assessed using flow cytometry. S1P levels correlated with the numbers of CD34+, CD34+/CD133+, and CD34+/CXCR4+ CPCs even after adjustment for potential confounding factors. However, no significant correlation was observed between C1P levels and CPC count. Plasma levels of S1P correlated with the number of CPCs in patients with coronary artery disease, suggesting an important mechanistic role for S1P in stem cell mobilization. The therapeutic effects of adjunctive S1P therapy to mobilize endogenous stem cells need to be investigated.

SIGNIFICANCE: Bone marrow-derived progenitor cells are mobilized after acute myocardial injury and in chronic ischemic heart disease. However, the mechanisms responsible for this mobilization are poorly understood. The relationship between plasma levels of the bioactive lipid sphingosine-1 phosphate (S1P) and circulating progenitor cells was examined in 437 patients undergoing elective or emergent cardiac catheterization. S1P levels correlated with the numbers of CD34+, CD34+/CD133+, and CD34+/CXCR4+ cells, even after adjustment for potential confounding factors. These data suggest an important mechanistic role for S1P in stem cell mobilization that can be explored therapeutically as an adjunctive in future cardiac regenerative studies.

Mokdad, A. H., M. H. Forouzanfar, F. Daoud, C. El Bcheraoui, M. Moradi-Lakeh, I. Khalil, A. Afshin, M. Tuffaha, R. Charara, R. M. Barber, et al., "Health in times of uncertainty in the eastern Mediterranean region, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.", The Lancet. Global health, vol. 4, issue 10, pp. e704-13, 2016 Oct. Abstract

BACKGROUND: The eastern Mediterranean region is comprised of 22 countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Since our Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010), the region has faced unrest as a result of revolutions, wars, and the so-called Arab uprisings. The objective of this study was to present the burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors in the eastern Mediterranean region as of 2013.

METHODS: GBD 2013 includes an annual assessment covering 188 countries from 1990 to 2013. The study covers 306 diseases and injuries, 1233 sequelae, and 79 risk factors. Our GBD 2013 analyses included the addition of new data through updated systematic reviews and through the contribution of unpublished data sources from collaborators, an updated version of modelling software, and several improvements in our methods. In this systematic analysis, we use data from GBD 2013 to analyse the burden of disease and injuries in the eastern Mediterranean region specifically.

FINDINGS: The leading cause of death in the region in 2013 was ischaemic heart disease (90·3 deaths per 100 000 people), which increased by 17·2% since 1990. However, diarrhoeal diseases were the leading cause of death in Somalia (186·7 deaths per 100 000 people) in 2013, which decreased by 26·9% since 1990. The leading cause of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) was ischaemic heart disease for males and lower respiratory infection for females. High blood pressure was the leading risk factor for DALYs in 2013, with an increase of 83·3% since 1990. Risk factors for DALYs varied by country. In low-income countries, childhood wasting was the leading cause of DALYs in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen, whereas unsafe sex was the leading cause in Djibouti. Non-communicable risk factors were the leading cause of DALYs in high-income and middle-income countries in the region. DALY risk factors varied by age, with child and maternal malnutrition affecting the younger age groups (aged 28 days to 4 years), whereas high bodyweight and systolic blood pressure affected older people (aged 60-80 years). The proportion of DALYs attributed to high body-mass index increased from 3·7% to 7·5% between 1990 and 2013. Burden of mental health problems and drug use increased. Most increases in DALYs, especially from non-communicable diseases, were due to population growth. The crises in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Syria have resulted in a reduction in life expectancy; life expectancy in Syria would have been 5 years higher than that recorded for females and 6 years higher for males had the crisis not occurred.

INTERPRETATION: Our study shows that the eastern Mediterranean region is going through a crucial health phase. The Arab uprisings and the wars that followed, coupled with ageing and population growth, will have a major impact on the region's health and resources. The region has historically seen improvements in life expectancy and other health indicators, even under stress. However, the current situation will cause deteriorating health conditions for many countries and for many years and will have an impact on the region and the rest of the world. Based on our findings, we call for increased investment in health in the region in addition to reducing the conflicts.

FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Kyu, H. H., C. Pinho, J. A. Wagner, J. C. Brown, A. Bertozzi-Villa, F. J. Charlson, L. E. Coffeng, L. Dandona, H. E. Erskine, A. J. Ferrari, et al., "Global and National Burden of Diseases and Injuries Among Children and Adolescents Between 1990 and 2013: Findings From the Global Burden of Disease 2013 Study.", JAMA pediatrics, vol. 170, issue 3, pp. 267-87, 2016 Mar. Abstract

IMPORTANCE: The literature focuses on mortality among children younger than 5 years. Comparable information on nonfatal health outcomes among these children and the fatal and nonfatal burden of diseases and injuries among older children and adolescents is scarce.

OBJECTIVE: To determine levels and trends in the fatal and nonfatal burden of diseases and injuries among younger children (aged <5 years), older children (aged 5-9 years), and adolescents (aged 10-19 years) between 1990 and 2013 in 188 countries from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2013 study.

EVIDENCE REVIEW: Data from vital registration, verbal autopsy studies, maternal and child death surveillance, and other sources covering 14,244 site-years (ie, years of cause of death data by geography) from 1980 through 2013 were used to estimate cause-specific mortality. Data from 35,620 epidemiological sources were used to estimate the prevalence of the diseases and sequelae in the GBD 2013 study. Cause-specific mortality for most causes was estimated using the Cause of Death Ensemble Model strategy. For some infectious diseases (eg, HIV infection/AIDS, measles, hepatitis B) where the disease process is complex or the cause of death data were insufficient or unavailable, we used natural history models. For most nonfatal health outcomes, DisMod-MR 2.0, a Bayesian metaregression tool, was used to meta-analyze the epidemiological data to generate prevalence estimates.

FINDINGS: Of the 7.7 (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 7.4-8.1) million deaths among children and adolescents globally in 2013, 6.28 million occurred among younger children, 0.48 million among older children, and 0.97 million among adolescents. In 2013, the leading causes of death were lower respiratory tract infections among younger children (905.059 deaths; 95% UI, 810,304-998,125), diarrheal diseases among older children (38,325 deaths; 95% UI, 30,365-47,678), and road injuries among adolescents (115,186 deaths; 95% UI, 105,185-124,870). Iron deficiency anemia was the leading cause of years lived with disability among children and adolescents, affecting 619 (95% UI, 618-621) million in 2013. Large between-country variations exist in mortality from leading causes among children and adolescents. Countries with rapid declines in all-cause mortality between 1990 and 2013 also experienced large declines in most leading causes of death, whereas countries with the slowest declines had stagnant or increasing trends in the leading causes of death. In 2013, Nigeria had a 12% global share of deaths from lower respiratory tract infections and a 38% global share of deaths from malaria. India had 33% of the world's deaths from neonatal encephalopathy. Half of the world's diarrheal deaths among children and adolescents occurred in just 5 countries: India, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Understanding the levels and trends of the leading causes of death and disability among children and adolescents is critical to guide investment and inform policies. Monitoring these trends over time is also key to understanding where interventions are having an impact. Proven interventions exist to prevent or treat the leading causes of unnecessary death and disability among children and adolescents. The findings presented here show that these are underused and give guidance to policy makers in countries where more attention is needed.

de la Puente, P., N. Quan, R. S. Hoo, B. Muz, R. C. Gilson, M. Luderer, J. King, S. Achilefu, N. N. Salama, R. Vij, et al., "Newly established myeloma-derived stromal cell line MSP-1 supports multiple myeloma proliferation, migration, and adhesion and induces drug resistance more than normal-derived stroma.", Haematologica, vol. 101, issue 7, pp. e307-11, 2016 Jul. salama-_haematologica_2016.pdf
Khalil, I., D. V. Colombara, M. H. Forouzanfar, C. Troeger, F. Daoud, M. Moradi-Lakeh, C. El Bcheraoui, P. C. Rao, A. Afshin, R. Charara, et al., "Burden of Diarrhea in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990-2013: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.", The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, vol. 95, issue 6, pp. 1319-1329, 2016 Dec 07. Abstract

Diarrheal diseases (DD) are leading causes of disease burden, death, and disability, especially in children in low-income settings. DD can also impact a child's potential livelihood through stunted physical growth, cognitive impairment, and other sequelae. As part of the Global Burden of Disease Study, we estimated DD burden, and the burden attributable to specific risk factors and particular etiologies, in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) between 1990 and 2013. For both sexes and all ages, we calculated disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), which are the sum of years of life lost and years lived with disability. We estimate that over 125,000 deaths (3.6% of total deaths) were due to DD in the EMR in 2013, with a greater burden of DD in low- and middle-income countries. Diarrhea deaths per 100,000 children under 5 years of age ranged from one (95% uncertainty interval [UI] = 0-1) in Bahrain and Oman to 471 (95% UI = 245-763) in Somalia. The pattern for diarrhea DALYs among those under 5 years of age closely followed that for diarrheal deaths. DALYs per 100,000 ranged from 739 (95% UI = 520-989) in Syria to 40,869 (95% UI = 21,540-65,823) in Somalia. Our results highlighted a highly inequitable burden of DD in EMR, mainly driven by the lack of access to proper resources such as water and sanitation. Our findings will guide preventive and treatment interventions which are based on evidence and which follow the ultimate goal of reducing the DD burden.

Rosenthal, V. D., H. M. Al-Abdely, A. A. El-Kholy, S. A. A. AlKhawaja, H. Leblebicioglu, Y. Mehta, V. Rai, N. V. Hung, S. S. Kanj, M. F. Salama, et al., "International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium report, data summary of 50 countries for 2010-2015: Device-associated module.", American journal of infection control, vol. 44, issue 12, pp. 1495-1504, 2016 Dec 01. Abstract

BACKGROUND: We report the results of International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium (INICC) surveillance study from January 2010-December 2015 in 703 intensive care units (ICUs) in Latin America, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and Western Pacific.

METHODS: During the 6-year study period, using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Healthcare Safety Network (CDC-NHSN) definitions for device-associated health care-associated infection (DA-HAI), we collected prospective data from 861,284 patients hospitalized in INICC hospital ICUs for an aggregate of 3,506,562 days.

RESULTS: Although device use in INICC ICUs was similar to that reported from CDC-NHSN ICUs, DA-HAI rates were higher in the INICC ICUs: in the INICC medical-surgical ICUs, the pooled rate of central line-associated bloodstream infection, 4.1 per 1,000 central line-days, was nearly 5-fold higher than the 0.8 per 1,000 central line-days reported from comparable US ICUs, the overall rate of ventilator-associated pneumonia was also higher, 13.1 versus 0.9 per 1,000 ventilator-days, as was the rate of catheter-associated urinary tract infection, 5.07 versus 1.7 per 1,000 catheter-days. From blood cultures samples, frequencies of resistance of Pseudomonas isolates to amikacin (29.87% vs 10%) and to imipenem (44.3% vs 26.1%), and of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates to ceftazidime (73.2% vs 28.8%) and to imipenem (43.27% vs 12.8%) were also higher in the INICC ICUs compared with CDC-NHSN ICUs.

CONCLUSIONS: Although DA-HAIs in INICC ICU patients continue to be higher than the rates reported in CDC-NSHN ICUs representing the developed world, we have observed a significant trend toward the reduction of DA-HAI rates in INICC ICUs as shown in each international report. It is INICC's main goal to continue facilitating education, training, and basic and cost-effective tools and resources, such as standardized forms and an online platform, to tackle this problem effectively and systematically.

Shalaby, A., R. Hajhosseiny, Y. Zen, M. Davenport, and A. Quaglia, "Planimetry of the porta hepatis in biliary atresia.", Histopathology, vol. 69, issue 6, pp. 943-949, 2016 Dec. Abstract

AIMS: Orientation and digital analysis of the biliary remnants in the resected porta hepatis in infants with biliary atresia.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Samples were orientated intra-operatively then stained with haematoxylin and eosin and immunostained for cytokeratin 7 (CK7). Sections were then digitized and analysed. Most proximal transected surface area was defined as the porta hepatis area (PHA) and the biliary epithelial area was defined as 'BEA'. Data are quoted as median (range). Non-parametric statistical comparisons were made as appropriate. P < 0.05 was regarded as significant. Thirty-eight infants underwent surgery [median age 53 (16-120) days]. Eight specimens were excluded from the study due to technical reasons, leaving 30 specimens as the study cohort. Median PHA was 70 (30-133) mm(2) , median BEA 0.57 (0.07-5.5) mm(2) (r = 0.51; P < 0.002). The median BEA/PHA ratio was 9.6 × 10(-3) (1.9-104 × 10(-3) ). There was a marked correlation of PHA with plasma γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (r = -0.51; P = 0.001). Both total BEA and the BEA/PHA ratio correlated with alkaline phosphatase (r = -0.35; P = 0.03 and r = -0.47; P = 0.005, respectively). Age at surgery correlated inversely with BEA (r = -0.44; P = 0.01) but not PHA (P = 0.1).

CONCLUSIONS: Precise quantification of biliary remnants is possible and correlates with biochemical variables. Values for BEA were associated with and declined demonstrably with increasing age at surgery.

Hegazy, M. T., M. A. Hussein, L. Quartuccio, M. Fawzy, and N. Zoheir, "Treatment of Cryoglobulinemic Vasculitis with Sofosbuvir in Four Combination Protocols", ACR/ARHP, Washington DC, 15 November,2016. acrabstracts_org_abstract_treatment_of_cryoglobulinemic_vasc.pdf
Hegazy, M. T., G. Ragab, and L. Quartuccio, "Treatment of Cryoglobulinemic Vasculitis with Sofosbuvir in Four Combination Protocols", American College of Rheumatology, Washington, DC, USA, 15 november 2016. abstract_60780.pdf
Hegazy, M. T., G. Ragab, and L. Quartuccio, "Treatment of Cryoglobulinemic Vasculitis with Sofosbuvir in Four Combination Protocols", American College of Rheumatology, Washington, DC, USA, 15 november 2016. abstract_60780.pdf
Rosenthal, V. D., H. M. Al-Abdely, A. A. El-Kholy, S. A. A. AlKhawaja, H. Leblebicioglu, Y. Mehta, V. Rai, N. V. Hung, S. S. Kanj, M. F. Salama, et al., "International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium report, data summary of 50 countries for 2010-2015: Device-associated module", American Journal of Infection ControlAmerican Journal of Infection Control, vol. 44, issue 12: Elsevier, pp. 1495 - 1504, 2016. AbstractWebsite


I, W., S. G, Qaqish R, E. G, Yosry, A, H. M, S. R, Mohey M, Allam N, Z. N, et al., "Ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 4 infection in Egyptian patients with or without compensated cirrhosis (AGATE-II): a multicentre, phase 3, partly randomised open-label trial.", The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology , vol. 2016 Sept.;1, issue (1), pp. 36–44., 2016.
Abdel-Aziz, S. S., S. Elgammal, M. H. M. Soleiman, and A. Qamesh, "Search for High-Mass Resonance Decaying to lepton pairs in pp Collisions at \sqrt{s} = 13 TeV", Arab Journal of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, vol. 16, issue 16, 2016.
Ibrahim, Y., T. Kosan, T. C. Quynh, and M. Yousif, "Simple-direct-projective modules", Communications in Algebra, vol. 44, issue 12, pp. 5163–5178, 2016.
Qotb, M., M. Shohaieb, and A. Abbas, "Women's Entrepreneurship", ISBE, Paris, France, 2016.
Hegazy, M. T., M. A. Hussein, L. Quartuccio, M. Fawzy, N. Zoheir, M. I. Ellawindi, M. Bond, C. Mazzaro, A. E. Ray, and M. E. S. El Raziky, "Treatment of cryoglobulinemic vasculitis with sofosbuvir in four combination protocols", ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY, vol. 68: WILEY 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA, 2016. Abstract
Quartuccio, L., L. Corazza, M. Ramos-Casals, S. Retamozo, G. M. Ragab, G. Ferraccioli, E. Gremese, A. Tzioufas, M. Voulgarelis, D. Vassilopoulos, et al., "OP0274 Cryoglobulinemic Vasculitis and Primary sjögren's Syndrome are Independent Risk Factors for Lymphoma in a Large Worldwide Population of Patients with Positive Serum Cryoglobulins", Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, vol. 74, issue Suppl 2, pp. 175-176, June 1, 2015. AbstractWebsite

Background Serum cryoglobulins (SC) may be found in many diseases (1), and the presence of serum cryoglobulins is a known risk factor for lymphoma evolution in some non malignant diseases.Objectives The aim of this study was to distiguish the role of cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CV), classified according to the recent validated criteria (1,2), and primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) as risk factors of lymphoma in patients positive serum cryoglobulins. Importantly, SC, CV and pSS may occur together.Methods 950 charts from consecutive patients with positive SC were evaluated. Patients carrying both pSS and HCV infection, as well as incomplete charts, were excluded.Results 657 patients with SC were selected, 374 with CV and 283 without CV, according to the published criteria (2,3). PSS, classified according to the American-European Group Criteria was present in 96 patients (44 with CV, 52 without). Lymphoma was reported in 61/657 (9.8%) patients with SC. Among them, CV was present in 44/61 (72,1%; 14 also with pSS), and pSS in 17/61 (27,9%; and 14/17 had CV). Patients with SC with CV showed an higher prevalence of lymphoma than patients with SC without CV (44/374, 11.5% vs.17/283, 6.3%; p=0.025, OR=1.93 [95%IC: 1.08-3.39]. Patients with pSS, SC and CV also showed a higher prevalence of lymphoma than patients with pSS, SC but without CV (14/44, 31.8% vs. 3/52, 7.4%; p=0.001, OR=7.62 [95%CI 2.02-28.74]. CV and pSS were confirmed as independent risk factor for lymphoma by multivariate analysis (OR 2,18 95%CI 1,18-3,83, p=0,012; OR 2,65 95%CI 1,04-6,76, p=0,042, respectively). Infection by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) was detected in 467/561 (83,2%) patients with SC without pSS, and did not statistically predispose to lymphoma when associated with CV in this subset (p=1,0).Conclusions Cryoglobulinemic vasculitis and pSS are independent risk factors for lymphoma in patients with evidence of SC. Patients with both the conditions (CV and pSS) have the highest risk. In the follow-up of SC positive patients, a very high attention should be deserved to pSS, in particular when CV is present.ReferencesDe Vita S, et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011; 2) Quartuccio L, et al. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2014Disclosure of Interest None declared

Quitmann, E., M. Fischer, Amgad El-Deib, and S. Engelken, "Anticipating Power System Needs in Response to the Global Energy Transition", CIGRE Conference, Paris, June, 2015.
Elshamy, A. M., B. - E. M. Qamar-Eldeen, and I. M. Ali, Process Assessment in AMAN Windshield Factory, , Giza, Cairo, Cairo University, Faculty of Engineering, pp. 1-35, July 12, 2015. final_gp_presentation_2.pdffinal_gp_ppt.pdf
Aydinok, Y., J. B. Porter, A. Piga, M. Elalfy, A. El-Beshlawy, Y. Kilinç, V. Viprakasit, A. Yesilipek, D. Habr, E. Quebe-Fehling, et al., "Prevalence and distribution of iron overload in patients with transfusion-dependent anemias differs across geographic regions: results from the CORDELIA study.", European journal of haematology, vol. 95, issue 3, pp. 244-53, 2015 Sep. Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The randomized comparison of deferasirox to deferoxamine for myocardial iron removal in patients with transfusion-dependent anemias (CORDELIA) gave the opportunity to assess relative prevalence and body distribution of iron overload in screened patients.

METHODS: Patients aged ≥ 10 yr with transfusion-dependent anemias from 11 countries were screened. Data were summarized descriptively, overall and across regions.

RESULTS: Among 925 patients (99.1% with β-thalassemia major; 98.5% receiving prior chelation; mean age 19.2 yr), 36.7% had myocardial iron overload (myocardial T2* ≤ 20 ms), 12.1% had low left ventricular ejection fraction. Liver iron concentration (LIC) (mean 25.8 mg Fe/g dw) and serum ferritin (median 3702 ng/mL) were high. Fewer patients in the Middle East (ME; 28.5%) had myocardial T2* ≤ 20 ms vs. patients in the West (45.9%) and Far East (FE, 40.9%). Patients in the West had highest myocardial iron burden, but lowest LIC (26.9% with LIC < 7 mg Fe/g dw) and serum ferritin. Among patients with normal myocardial iron, a higher proportion of patients from the ME and FE had LIC ≥ 15 than < 7 mg Fe/g dw (ME, 56.7% vs. 17.2%; FE, 78.6% vs. 7.8%, respectively), a trend which was less evident in the West (44.6% vs. 33.9%, respectively). Transfusion and chelation practices differed between regions.

CONCLUSIONS: Evidence of substantial myocardial and liver iron burden across regions revealed a need for optimization of effective, convenient iron chelation regimens. Significant regional variation exists in myocardial and liver iron loading that are not well explained; improved understanding of factors contributing to differences in body iron distribution may be of clinical benefit.

Kaliyadan, F., T. T. Amin, H. Qureshi, and F. Al Wadani, "Specialty preferences of 1(st) year medical students in a Saudi Medical School - Factors affecting these choices and the influence of gender.", Avicenna journal of medicine, vol. 5, issue 4, pp. 134-9, 2015 Oct-Dec. Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: In recent years there has been a growing appreciation of the issues of career preference in medicine as it affects student learning and academic performance. Various factors influence the specialty choices of medical students. Some specialties tend to attract students more than others. One possible consequence of this would be a mismatch between health needs and specialist numbers in the region. This study investigated the career preferences of 1(st) year medical students in a Saudi medical school and to assess factors affecting these choices.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was a cross-sectional survey carried out on the 1(st) year undergraduate students in the college of medicine, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia. A total of 109 students (57 female and 52 males) responded to the questionnaire which was initially administered to all the students of the 1(st) year - A total of 120 students (response rate was 90.8%). A mixed method approach was used and qualitative data from open-ended questions were analyzed based on thematic analysis.

RESULTS: The top choices were general surgery, internal medicine, and pediatrics. Among female students; the top specialty choices were: General surgery (23%), pediatrics (18%), and dermatology (15%). Among the male students; the top choices were: General surgery (54%) and internal medicine (23%). Of the total, 57% of the students agreed or strongly agreed that primary aptitude was the main factor affecting the choice. Only 31% felt that there was a significant influence of role model, 48% felt that the advice of others - peers and family, would be a factor influencing their choices, and 53% agreed that specialty choice would influence their future learning patterns. Males were more likely to choose a specialty based on actual aptitude for the specialty, financial rewards, and scope for research; and this gender difference was statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: Surgery was the top-choice in both genders. Other popular choices included internal medicine, pediatrics, and dermatology. Important factors affecting these choices included - primary aptitude, advice of peers, reputation, financial rewards, and the challenge involved.

Sulaiman, R. S., J. Quigley, X. Qi, M. N. O'Hare, M. B. Grant, M. E. Boulton, and T. W. Corson, "A Simple Optical Coherence Tomography Quantification Method for Choroidal Neovascularization.", Journal of ocular pharmacology and therapeutics : the official journal of the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, vol. 31, issue 8, pp. 447-54, 2015 Oct. Abstract

PURPOSE: Therapeutic efficacy is routinely assessed by measurement of lesion size using flatmounted choroids and confocal microscopy in the laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (L-CNV) rodent model. We investigated whether optical coherence tomography (OCT) quantification, using an ellipsoid volume measurement, was comparable to standard ex vivo evaluation methods for this model and whether this approach could be used to monitor treatment-related lesion changes.

METHODS: Bruch's membrane was ruptured by argon laser in the dilated eyes of C57BL/6J mice, followed by intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF164 or vehicle, or no injection. In vivo OCT images were acquired using Micron III or InVivoVue systems at 7, 10, and/or 14 days post-laser and neovascular lesion volume was calculated as an ellipsoid. Subsequently, lesion volume was compared to that calculated from confocal Z-stack images of agglutinin-stained choroidal flatmounts.

RESULTS: Ellipsoid volume measurement of orthogonal 2-dimensional OCT images obtained from different imaging systems correlated with ex vivo lesion volumes for L-CNV (Spearman's ρ=0.82, 0.75, and 0.82 at days 7, 10, and 14, respectively). Ellipsoid volume calculation allowed temporal monitoring and evaluation of CNV lesions in response to antivascular endothelial growth factor treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Ellipsoid volume measurements allow rapid, quantitative use of OCT for the assessment of CNV lesions in vivo. This novel method can be used with different OCT imaging systems with sensitivity to distinguish between treatment conditions. It may serve as a useful adjunct to the standard ex vivo confocal quantification, to assess therapeutic efficacy in preclinical models of CNV, and in models of other ocular diseases.

Murray, C. J. L., R. M. Barber, K. J. Foreman, A. Abbasoglu Ozgoren, F. Abd-Allah, S. F. Abera, V. Aboyans, J. P. Abraham, I. Abubakar, L. J. Abu-Raddad, et al., "Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 306 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE) for 188 countries, 1990-2013: quantifying the epidemiological transition.", Lancet (London, England), vol. 386, issue 10009, pp. 2145-91, 2015 Nov 28. Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013) aims to bring together all available epidemiological data using a coherent measurement framework, standardised estimation methods, and transparent data sources to enable comparisons of health loss over time and across causes, age-sex groups, and countries. The GBD can be used to generate summary measures such as disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) and healthy life expectancy (HALE) that make possible comparative assessments of broad epidemiological patterns across countries and time. These summary measures can also be used to quantify the component of variation in epidemiology that is related to sociodemographic development.

METHODS: We used the published GBD 2013 data for age-specific mortality, years of life lost due to premature mortality (YLLs), and years lived with disability (YLDs) to calculate DALYs and HALE for 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2013 for 188 countries. We calculated HALE using the Sullivan method; 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) represent uncertainty in age-specific death rates and YLDs per person for each country, age, sex, and year. We estimated DALYs for 306 causes for each country as the sum of YLLs and YLDs; 95% UIs represent uncertainty in YLL and YLD rates. We quantified patterns of the epidemiological transition with a composite indicator of sociodemographic status, which we constructed from income per person, average years of schooling after age 15 years, and the total fertility rate and mean age of the population. We applied hierarchical regression to DALY rates by cause across countries to decompose variance related to the sociodemographic status variable, country, and time.

FINDINGS: Worldwide, from 1990 to 2013, life expectancy at birth rose by 6·2 years (95% UI 5·6-6·6), from 65·3 years (65·0-65·6) in 1990 to 71·5 years (71·0-71·9) in 2013, HALE at birth rose by 5·4 years (4·9-5·8), from 56·9 years (54·5-59·1) to 62·3 years (59·7-64·8), total DALYs fell by 3·6% (0·3-7·4), and age-standardised DALY rates per 100 000 people fell by 26·7% (24·6-29·1). For communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional disorders, global DALY numbers, crude rates, and age-standardised rates have all declined between 1990 and 2013, whereas for non-communicable diseases, global DALYs have been increasing, DALY rates have remained nearly constant, and age-standardised DALY rates declined during the same period. From 2005 to 2013, the number of DALYs increased for most specific non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and neoplasms, in addition to dengue, food-borne trematodes, and leishmaniasis; DALYs decreased for nearly all other causes. By 2013, the five leading causes of DALYs were ischaemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections, cerebrovascular disease, low back and neck pain, and road injuries. Sociodemographic status explained more than 50% of the variance between countries and over time for diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, and other common infectious diseases; maternal disorders; neonatal disorders; nutritional deficiencies; other communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases; musculoskeletal disorders; and other non-communicable diseases. However, sociodemographic status explained less than 10% of the variance in DALY rates for cardiovascular diseases; chronic respiratory diseases; cirrhosis; diabetes, urogenital, blood, and endocrine diseases; unintentional injuries; and self-harm and interpersonal violence. Predictably, increased sociodemographic status was associated with a shift in burden from YLLs to YLDs, driven by declines in YLLs and increases in YLDs from musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders, and mental and substance use disorders. In most country-specific estimates, the increase in life expectancy was greater than that in HALE. Leading causes of DALYs are highly variable across countries.

INTERPRETATION: Global health is improving. Population growth and ageing have driven up numbers of DALYs, but crude rates have remained relatively constant, showing that progress in health does not mean fewer demands on health systems. The notion of an epidemiological transition--in which increasing sociodemographic status brings structured change in disease burden--is useful, but there is tremendous variation in burden of disease that is not associated with sociodemographic status. This further underscores the need for country-specific assessments of DALYs and HALE to appropriately inform health policy decisions and attendant actions.

FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.