Readiness for Firefighting: A Heart Transplant Patient's Quest to Return to Work.
Journal of clinical medicine. 2019;(3)
Heart transplantation patients generally demonstrate exercise capacities that are below the minimal standards for firefighting. Therefore, it is unlikely that heart transplantation patients will receive medical and/or employer clearance for active duty. We report a case of a firefighter who sought to return to full-time active duty following heart transplantation. We examined his physiological readiness to return to work during occupation-specific testing. Remarkably, the patient was able to meet the minimal requirements for full active firefighting. This finding provides direct evidence to support the potential of transplant patients returning to active duty in physiologically demanding occupations.
Neurological Manifestations of Neuropathy and Ataxia in Celiac Disease: A Systematic Review.
Plain language summary
Coeliac disease (CD) is a chronic, immune-mediated enteropathy in which dietary gluten triggers an inflammatory reaction of the small intestine in genetically predisposed individuals. The clinical presentation of the disease varies broadly and may include both intestinal symptoms and extra-intestinal manifestations, including iron-deficiency anaemia, osteoporosis, dermatitis herpetiformis, and neurological disorders, such as peripheral neuropathies and ataxia (a condition that affects co-ordination, balance and speech). Many patients who present with neurological manifestations of CD have no gastrointestinal symptoms, commonly leading to a delay in diagnosis. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the prevalence of peripheral neuropathies and gluten ataxia. Nine studies on gluten ataxia and 13 on gluten neuropathy were included in this review. The prevalence of both, neuropathy and ataxia, in the general population is very low, but this risk is increased in patients with CD. Estimates of the prevalence of neuropathy in CD patients ranged from 0% to 39%, with an increased risk in older and female patients. Prevalence of gluten ataxia varied from 0% to 6%. Symptoms of gluten neuropathy improve when patients with CD follow a gluten free diet (GFD), whilst the benefits of a GFD for ataxia vary between studies, possibly due to differences in study design. The authors note that this review primarily concentrated on patients with CD (i.e. those with evidence of enteropathy). However, neurological manifestations may exist in the presence of anti-gliadin antibodies alone (gluten sensitivity without evidence of enteropathy), and such patients benefit equally from a GFD. The authors conclude that patients with CD have an increased risk of gluten ataxia and gluten neuropathy, and that clinicians should check for gluten sensitivity in patients with ataxia and neuropathy of unknown origin.
Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-mediated gastrointestinal disorder driven by innate and adaptive immune responses to gluten. Patients with CD are at an increased risk of several neurological manifestations, frequently peripheral neuropathy and gluten ataxia. A systematic literature review of the most commonly reported neurological manifestations (neuropathy and ataxia) associated with CD was performed. MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and conference proceedings were systematically searched from January 2007 through September 2018. Included studies evaluated patients with CD with at least one neurological manifestation of interest and reported prevalence, and/or incidence, and/or clinical outcomes. Sixteen studies were included describing the risk of gluten neuropathy and/or gluten ataxia in patients with CD. Gluten neuropathy was a neurological manifestation in CD (up to 39%) in 13 studies. Nine studies reported a lower risk and/or prevalence of gluten ataxia with a range of 0%⁻6%. Adherence to a gluten-free diet appeared to improve symptoms of both neuropathy and ataxia. The prevalence of gluten neuropathy and gluten ataxia in patients with CD varied in reported studies, but the increased risk supports the need for physicians to consider CD in patients with ataxia and neurological manifestations of unknown etiology.
Physical activity for antenatal and postnatal depression in women attempting to quit smoking: randomised controlled trial.
BMC pregnancy and childbirth. 2018;(1):156
BACKGROUND Antenatal depression is associated with harmful consequences for both the mother and child. One intervention that might be effective is participation in regular physical activity although data on this question in pregnant smokers is currently lacking. METHODS Women were randomised to six-weekly sessions of smoking cessation behavioural-support, or to the same support plus 14 sessions combining treadmill exercise and physical activity consultations. RESULTS Among 784 participants (mean gestation 16-weeks), EPDS was significantly higher in the physical activity group versus usual care at end-of-pregnancy (mean group difference (95% confidence intervals (CIs)): 0.95 (0.08 to 1.83). There was no significant difference at six-months postpartum. CONCLUSION A pragmatic intervention to increase physical activity in pregnant smokers did not prevent depression at end-of-pregnancy or at six-months postpartum. More effective physical activity interventions are needed in this population. TRIAL REGISTRATION Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN48600346 . The trial was prospectively registered on 21/07/2008.
Lessons learned from the London Exercise and Pregnant (LEAP) Smokers randomised controlled trial process evaluation: implications for the design of physical activity for smoking cessation interventions during pregnancy.
BMC public health. 2017;(1):85
BACKGROUND The challenges of delivering interventions for pregnant smokers have been poorly documented. Also, the process of promoting a physical activity intervention for pregnant smokers has not been previously recorded. This study describes the experiences of researchers conducting a randomised controlled trial of physical activity as an aid to smoking cessation during pregnancy and explores how the effectiveness of future interventions could be improved. METHODS Two focus groups, with independent facilitators, were conducted with six researchers who had enrolled pregnant smokers in the LEAP trial, provided the interventions, and administered the research measures. Topics included recruitment, retention and how the physical activity intervention for pregnant smokers was delivered and how it was adapted when necessary to suit the women. The focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and subjected to thematic analysis. RESULTS Five themes emerged related to barriers or enablers to intervention delivery: (1) nature of the intervention; (2) personal characteristics of trial participants; (3) practical issues; (4) researchers' engagement with participants; (5) training and support needs. Researchers perceived that participants may have been deterred by the intensive and generic nature of the intervention and the need to simultaneously quit smoking and increase physical activity. Women also appeared hampered by pregnancy ailments, social deprivation, and poor mental health. Researchers observed that their status as health professionals was valued by participants but it was challenging to maintain contact with participants. Training and support needs were identified for dealing with pregnant teenagers, participants' friends and family, and post-natal return to smoking. CONCLUSIONS Future exercise interventions for smoking cessation in pregnancy may benefit by increased tailoring of the intervention to the characteristics of the women, including their psychological profile, socio-economic background, pregnancy ailments and exercise preferences. Delivering an effective physical activity intervention for smoking cessation in pregnancy may require more comprehensive training for those delivering the intervention, particularly with regard to dealing with teenage smokers and smokers' friends and family, as well as for avoiding post-natal return to smoking. TRIAL REGISTRATION ISRCTN48600346 , date of registration: 21/07/2008.
An Exploratory Analysis of the Smoking and Physical Activity Outcomes From a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of an Exercise Assisted Reduction to Stop Smoking Intervention in Disadvantaged Groups.
Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. 2016;(3):289-97
INTRODUCTION Economically disadvantaged smokers not intending to stop may benefit from interventions aimed at reducing their smoking. This study assessed the effects of a behavioral intervention promoting an increase in physical activity versus usual care in a pilot randomized controlled trial. METHODS Disadvantaged smokers who wanted to reduce but not quit were randomized to either a counseling intervention of up to 12 weeks to support smoking reduction and increased physical activity (n = 49) or usual care (n = 50). Data at 16 weeks were collected for various smoking and physical activity outcomes. Primary analyses consisted of an intention to treat analysis based on complete case data. Secondary analyses explored the impact of handling missing data. RESULTS Compared with controls, intervention smokers were more likely to initiate a quit attempt (36 vs. 10%; odds ratio 5.05, [95% CI: 1.10; 23.15]), and a greater proportion achieved at least 50% reduction in cigarettes smoked (63 vs. 32%; 4.21 [1.32; 13.39]). Postquit abstinence measured by exhaled carbon monoxide at 4-week follow-up showed promising differences between groups (23% vs. 6%; 4.91 [0.80; 30.24]). No benefit of intervention on physical activity was found. Secondary analyses suggested that the standard missing data assumption of "missing" being equivalent to "smoking" may be conservative resulting in a reduced intervention effect. CONCLUSIONS A smoking reduction intervention for economically disadvantaged smokers which involved personal support to increase physical activity appears to be more effective than usual care in achieving reduction and may promote cessation. The effect does not appear to be influenced by an increase in physical activity.
Physical activity for smoking cessation in pregnancy: randomised controlled trial.
BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 2015;:h2145
OBJECTIVE To determine the effectiveness of a physical activity intervention for smoking cessation during pregnancy. DESIGN Parallel group, randomised controlled, multicentre trial. SETTING 13 hospitals in England, April 2009 to January 2014. PARTICIPANTS 789 pregnant smokers, aged 16-50 years and at 10-24 weeks' gestation, who smoked at least one cigarette daily and were prepared to quit smoking one week after enrollment were randomised (1:1); 785 were included in the intention to treat analyses, with 392 assigned to the physical activity group. INTERVENTIONS Interventions began one week before a target quit date. Participants were randomised to six weekly sessions of behavioural support for smoking cessation (control) or to this support plus 14 sessions combining supervised treadmill exercise and physical activity consultations. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The primary outcome was continuous smoking abstinence from the target quit date until end of pregnancy, validated by exhaled carbon monoxide or salivary cotinine levels. To assess adherence, levels of moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity were self reported and in a 11.5% (n=90) random subsample of participants, physical activity was objectively measured by an accelerometer. RESULTS No significant difference was found in rates of smoking abstinence at end of pregnancy between the physical activity and control groups (8% v 6%; odds ratio 1.21, 95% confidence interval 0.70 to 2.10). For the physical activity group compared with the control group, there was a 40% (95% confidence interval 13% to 73%), 34% (6% to 69%), and 46% (12% to 91%) greater increase in self reported minutes carrying out physical activity per week from baseline to one week, four weeks, and six weeks post-quit day, respectively. According to the accelerometer data there was no significant difference in physical activity levels between the groups. Participants attended a median of four treatment sessions in the intervention group and three in the control group. Adverse events and birth outcomes were similar between the two groups, except for significantly more caesarean births in the control group than in the physical activity group (29% v 21%, P=0.023). CONCLUSION Adding a physical activity intervention to behavioural smoking cessation support for pregnant women did not increase cessation rates at end of pregnancy. During pregnancy, physical activity is not recommended for smoking cessation but remains indicated for general health benefits. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN48600346.
Oxandrolone Augmentation of Resistance Training in Older Women: A Randomized Trial.
Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2015;(11):2257-67
INTRODUCTION Sarcopenia is disproportionately present in older women with disability, and optimum treatment is not clear. We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to determine whether oxandrolone administration in elderly women improves body composition or physical function beyond that which occurs in response to progressive resistance training (PRT). METHODS Twenty-nine sedentary women (age 74.9 ± 6.8 yr; 5.9 ± 2.8 medications per day) were randomized to receive high-intensity PRT (three times a week for 12 wk) combined with either oxandrolone (10 mg·d(-1)) or an identical placebo. Peak strength was assessed for leg press, chest press, triceps, knee extension, and knee flexion. Power was assessed for leg press and chest press. Physical function measures included static and dynamic balance, chair rise, stair climb, gait speed, and 6-min walk test. Body composition was assessed using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. RESULTS Oxandrolone treatment augmented increases in lean tissue for the whole body (2.6 kg; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.0-4.2 kg; P = 0.003), arms (0.3 kg; 95% CI, 0.1-0.5 kg; P = 0.001), legs (0.8 kg; 95% CI, 0.1-1.4 kg; P = 0.018), and trunk (1.4 kg; 95% CI, 0.4-2.3 kg; P = 0.004). Oxandrolone also augmented loss of fat tissue of the whole body (-1 kg; 95% CI, -1.6 to -0.4; P = 0.002), arms (-0.2 kg; 95% CI, -0.5 to -0.02 kg; P = 0.032), legs (-0.4 kg; 95% CI, -0.6 to -0.1; P = 0.009), and tended to reduce trunk fat (-0.4 kg; 95% CI, -0.9 to 0.04; P = 0.07). Improvements in muscle strength and power, chair stand, and dynamic balance were all significant over time (P < 0.05) but not different between groups (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS Oxandrolone improves body composition adaptations to PRT in older women over 12 wk without augmenting muscle function or functional performance beyond that of PRT alone.
Tissue specific regulation of glucocorticoids in severe obesity and the response to significant weight loss following bariatric surgery (BARICORT).
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. 2015;(4):1434-44
CONTEXT Tissue cortisol exposure is under the control of the isozymes of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD). 11β-HSD1 in vivo, acts as an oxoreductase converting inactive cortisone to active cortisol. We hypothesized that 11β-HSD1 activity is dysregulated in obesity and alters following bariatric surgery induced weight loss in different tissues. METHODS We recruited 21 patients prior to undergoing bariatric surgery and performed cortisol generation profiles (following oral cortisone administration), urinary corticosteroid metabolite analysis, adipose tissue microdialysis, and tissue gene expression before and after weight loss, following bariatric surgery. Archived tissue samples from 20 previous bariatric surgery patients were also used for tissue gene expression studies. RESULTS Gene expression showed a positive correlation with 11β-HSD1 and BMI in omental adipose tissue (OM) (r = +0.52, P = .0001) but not sc adipose tissue (r = +0.28, P = .17). 11β-HSD1 expression in liver negatively correlated with body mass index (BMI) (r = -0.37, P = .04). 11β-HSD1 expression in sc adipose tissue was significantly reduced after weight loss (0.41 ± 0.28 vs 0.17 ± 0.1 arbitrary units, P = .02). Following weight loss, serum cortisol generation increased during a cortisol generation profile (area under the curve 26 768 ± 16 880 vs 47 579 ± 16 086 nmol/L/minute, P ≤ .0001.) Urinary corticosteroid metabolites demonstrated a significant reduction in total cortisol metabolites after bariatric surgery (15 224 ± 6595 vs 8814 ± 4824 μg/24 h, P = .01). Microdialysis of sc adipose tissue showed a threefold reduction in cortisol/cortisone ratio after weight loss. CONCLUSIONS This study highlights the differences in tissue specific regulation of cortisol metabolism in obesity and after weight loss. Following bariatric surgery hepatic 11β-HSD1 activity increases, sc adipose tissue 11β-HSD1 activity is reduced and total urinary cortisol metabolites are reduced indicating a possible reduction in hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis drive. 11β-HSD1 expression correlates positively with BMI in omental adipose tissue and negatively within hepatic tissue. 11β-HSD1 expression is reduced in sc adipose tissue after weight loss.
Exercise and Counseling for Smoking Cessation in Smokers With Depressive Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial.
Journal of dual diagnosis. 2015;(3-4):205-16
OBJECTIVE Despite various strategies to help smokers with depressive disorders to quit, the smoking relapse rate remains high. The purpose of this pilot study was to estimate the effects of adding an exercise and counseling intervention to standard smoking cessation treatment for smokers with depressive disorders. We hypothesized that the exercise and counseling intervention would lead to improved abstinence, reduced depressive symptoms, and increased physical activity. METHODS Seventy smokers with current depressive disorders were randomly assigned to standard smoking cessation treatment plus exercise and counseling (n = 35) or standard treatment plus a time-to-contact control intervention on health education (n = 35). Both programs involved 10 sessions over 8 weeks. The primary outcome was continuous abstinence since the quit date and was measured at week 8 (end of the intervention) and again at 12-, 24-, and 52-week follow-ups. RESULTS Nearly 60% of participants were female (n = 41), 38 (52.3%) were single, 37 (52.9%) had education beyond high school, and 32 (45.7%) met criteria for major depressive disorder or dysthymia. Participants in the two treatment conditions differed at baseline only in marital status (χ(2) = 4.28, df = 1, p =.04); and smoking abstinence self-efficacy, t(66) = -2.04, p =.04). The dropout rate did not differ significantly between groups and participants attended 82% and 75% of the intervention and control sessions, respectively. Intention-to-treat analysis showed that, at 12 weeks after the beginning of the intervention, continuous abstinence did not vary significantly between the intervention and control groups: 48.5% versus 28.5%, respectively, ORadj = 0.40, 95% CI [0.12-1.29], p =.12. There were no group differences in depressive symptoms, but the intervention group did outperform the control group on the 6-minute walking test (Mint = 624.84, SD = 8.17, vs. Mcon = 594.13, SD = 8.96, p =.015) and perceived physical control (Mint = 2.84, SD = 0.16, vs. Mcon = 2.27, SD = 0.18, p =.028). The sample was not large enough to ensure adequate statistical power. CONCLUSIONS This finding, while preliminary, suggests that an exercise and counseling intervention may yield better results than health education in improving smoking abstinence. This study is registered at www.clinincaltrials.gov under # NCT01401569.
Moderate and heavy metabolic stress interval training improve arterial stiffness and heart rate dynamics in humans.
European journal of applied physiology. 2013;(4):839-49
Traditional continuous aerobic exercise training attenuates age-related increases of arterial stiffness, however, training studies have not determined whether metabolic stress impacts these favourable effects. Twenty untrained healthy participants (n = 11 heavy metabolic stress interval training, n = 9 moderate metabolic stress interval training) completed 6 weeks of moderate or heavy intensity interval training matched for total work and exercise duration. Carotid artery stiffness, blood pressure contour analysis, and linear and non-linear heart rate variability were assessed before and following training. Overall, carotid arterial stiffness was reduced (p < 0.01), but metabolic stress-specific alterations were not apparent. There was a trend for increased absolute high-frequency (HF) power (p = 0.10) whereas both absolute low-frequency (LF) power (p = 0.05) and overall power (p = 0.02) were increased to a similar degree following both training programmes. Non-linear heart rate dynamics such as detrended fluctuation analysis [Formula: see text] also improved (p > 0.05). This study demonstrates the effectiveness of interval training at improving arterial stiffness and autonomic function, however, the metabolic stress was not a mediator of this effect. In addition, these changes were also independent of improvements in aerobic capacity, which were only induced by training that involved a high metabolic stress.