Year of publication
- Specific immunotherapy in Albanian patients with anaphylaxis to hymenoptera venoms (2002)
- BACKGROUND: Severe allergic reactions during rush-specific immunotherapy (Rush-SIT) may occur in the treatment of hymenoptera sting allergy. The objective of the present study was to examine the characteristics of allergic reactions during Rush-SIT in a cohort of patients with allergy towards hymenoptera venom in the mediterranean population of Albania. METHODS: A retrospective study was performed using the clinical reports of 37 patients with venom of bee (apinae), wasp (vespidae, subfamily vespinae) or paperwasp (vespidae, subfamily polistinae) allergy treated with Rush-SIT between 1987 and 1996. After hymenoptera sting allergy diagnosis according to anamnesis and intracutaneous tests the patient were treated with Rush-SIT. The protocol lasted 3 - 4 d with an increase in the concentration from 0.01 microg/ml to 100 microg/ml. Anaphylactic reactions were classified according to the Mueller-classification. RESULTS: The frequency of reactions during Rush-SIT for bee-venom was 4.7% and for wasp-venom was 1.5% (p < 0.01). The mean frequency of reactions of Mueller grade II for the bee-venom Rush-SIT patients during the first 4 d (= 26 injections) was 0.73 and for the wasp-venom Rush-SIT patients 0.15. No patient experienced a third-degree reaction. 94.6% of the patient supported an end dose of 100 microg. CONCLUSIONS: Rush-SIT is a reliable method for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions to hymenoptera venom even in less developed countries. Bee-venom Rush-SIT was found to cause higher numbers allergic reactions than wasp or paperwasp Rush-SIT.
- The impact of shift work induced chronic circadian disruption on IL-6 and TNF-α immune responses (2010)
- AIM: Sleep disturbances induce proinflammatory immune responses, which might increase cardiovascular disease risk. So far the effects of acute sleep deprivation and chronic sleep illnesses on the immune system have been investigated. The particular impact of shift work induced chronic circadian disruption on specific immune responses has not been addressed so far. METHODS: Pittsburgh-Sleep-Quality-Index (PSQI) questionnaire and blood sampling was performed by 225 shift workers and 137 daytime workers. As possible markers the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha and lymphocyte cell count were investigated. A medical examination was performed and biometrical data including age, gender, height, weight, waist and hip circumference and smoking habits were collected by a structured interview. RESULTS: Shift workers had a significantly higher mean PSQI score than day workers (6.73 vs. 4.66; p < 0.001). Day workers and shift workers had similar serum levels of IL-6 (2.30 vs. 2.67 resp.; p = 0.276), TNF-alpha (5.58 vs. 5.68, resp.; p = 0.841) or lymphocytes count (33.68 vs. 32.99, resp.; p = 0.404). Furthermore there were no differences in cytokine levels (IL-6 p = 0.761; TNF-alpha p = 0.759) or lymphocyte count (p = 0.593) comparing the sleep quality within the cohorts. When this calculation of sleep quality was stratified by shift and day workers irrespective of their sleep quality day workers and shift workers had similar serum levels of IL-6, TNF-alpha or lymphocytes count. Multiple linear regression analysis showed a significant correlation of lymphocytes count and smoking habits. CONCLUSION: Shift work induces chronic sleep debt. Our data reveals that chronic sleep debt might not always lead to an activation of the immune system, as we did not observe differences in lymphocyte count or level of IL-6 or TNF-alpha serum concentration between shift workers and day workers. Therefore chronic sleep restriction might be eased by a long-term compensating immune regulation which (in healthy) protects against an overstimulation of proinflammatory immune mechanisms and moderates metabolic changes, as they are known from short-term sleep deprivation or sleep related breathing disorders.
- Effect of montelukast on platelet activating factor- and tachykinin induced mucus secretion in the rat (2008)
- Background: Platelet activating factor and tachykinins (substance P, neurokinin A, neurokinin B) are important mediators contributing to increased airway secretion in the context of different types of respiratory diseases including acute and chronic asthma. Leukotriene receptor antagonists are recommended as add-on therapy for this disease. The cys-leukotriene-1 receptor antagonist montelukast has been used in clinical asthma therapy during the last years. Besides its inhibitory action on bronchoconstriction, only little is known about its effects on airway secretions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of montelukast on platelet activating factor- and tachykinin induced tracheal secretory activity. Methods: The effects of montelukast on platelet activating factor- and tachykinin induced tracheal secretory activity in the rat were assessed by quantification of secreted 35SO4 labelled mucus macromolecules using the modified Ussing chamber technique. Results: Platelet activating factor potently stimulated airway secretion, which was completely inhibited by the platelet activating factor receptor antagonist WEB 2086 and montelukast. In contrast, montelukast had no effect on tachykinin induced tracheal secretory activity. Conclusion: Cys-leukotriene-1 receptor antagonism by montelukast reverses the secretagogue properties of platelet activating factor to the same degree as the specific platelet activating factor antagonist WEB 2086 but has no influence on treacheal secretion elicited by tachykinins. These results suggest a role of montelukast in the signal transduction pathway of platelet activating factor induced secretory activity of the airways and may further explain the beneficial properties of cys-leukotriene-1 receptor antagonists.
- Medical work assessment in german hospitals: a real-time observation study (MAGRO) – the study protocol (2009)
- Background: The increasing economic pressure characterizes the current situation in health care and the need to justify medical decisions and organizational processes due to limited financial resources is omnipresent. Physicians tend to interpret this development as a decimation of their own medical influence. This becomes even more obvious after a change in hospital ownership i.e. from a public to a private profit oriented organization. In this case each work procedure is revised. To date, most research studies have focused mainly on differences between hospitals of different ownership regarding financial outcomes and quality of care, leaving important organizational issues unexplored. Little attention has been devoted to the effects of hospital ownership on physicians' working routines. The aim of this observational real time study is to deliver exact data about physicians' work at hospitals of different ownership. Methods: The consequences of different management types on the organizational structures of the physicians' work situation and on job satisfaction in the ward situation are monitored by objective real time studies and multi-level psycho diagnostic measurements. Discussion: This study is unique in its focus. To date no results have been found for computer-based real time studies on work activity in the clinical field in order to objectively evaluate a physician's work-related stress. After a complete documentation of the physicians' work processes the daily work flow can be estimated and systematically optimized. This can stimulate an overall improvement of health care services in Germany.
- Physicians' working conditions and job satisfaction: does hospital ownership in Germany make a difference? (2009)
- BACKGROUND: A growing number of German hospitals have been privatized with the intention of increasing cost effectiveness and improving the quality of health care. Numerous studies investigated what possible qualitative and economic consequences these changes issues might have on patient care.However, little is known about how this privatization trend relates to physicians' working conditions and job satisfaction. It was anticipated that different working conditions would be associated with different types of hospital ownership. To that end, this study's purpose is to compare how physicians, working for both public and privatized hospitals, rate their respective psychosocial working conditions and job satisfaction. METHODS: The study was designed as a cross-sectional comparison using questionnaire data from 203 physicians working at German hospitals of different ownership types (private for-profit, public and private nonprofit). RESULTS: The present study shows that several aspects of physicians' perceived working conditions differ significantly depending on hospital ownership. However, results also indicated that physicians' job satisfaction does not vary between different types of hospital ownership. Finally, it was demonstrated that job demands and resources are associated with job satisfaction, while type of ownership is not. CONCLUSION: This study represents one of a few studies that investigate the effect of hospital ownership on physicians work situation and demonstrated that the type of ownership is a potential factor accounting for differences in working conditions. The findings provide an informative basis to find solutions improving physicians' work at German hospitals.
- Chronic cough due to occupational factors (2006)
- Within the large variety of subtypes of chronic cough, either defined by their clinical or pathogenetic causes, occupational chronic cough may be regarded as one of the most preventable forms of the disease. Next to obstructive airway diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which are sometimes concomitant with chronic cough, this chronic airway disease gains importance in the field of occupational medicine since classic fiber-related occupational airway diseases will decrease in the future. Apart from acute accidents and incidental exposures which may lead to an acute form of cough, there are numerous sources for the development of chronic cough within the workplace. Over the last years, a large number of studies has focused on occupational causes of respiratory diseases and it has emerged that chronic cough is one of the most prevalent work-related airway diseases. Best-known examples of occupations related to the development of cough are coal miners, hard-rock miners, tunnel workers, or concrete manufacturing workers. As chronic cough is often based on a variety of non-occupational factors such as tobacco smoke, a distinct separation into either occupational or personally -evoked can be difficult. However, revealing the occupational contribution to chronic cough and to the symptom cough in general, which is the commonest cause for the consultation of a physician, can significantly lead to a reduction of the socioeconomic burden of the disease.
- Acute injuries in student circus artists with regard to gender specific differences (2012)
- Purpose: Student circus artists train as both artists and athletes with their bodies holding the key to professional success. The daily training load of student circus artists is often associated with maximum physical and psychological stress with injuries posing a threat to a potential professional career. The purpose of this study is the differentiated analysis and evaluation of work accidents in order to initiate the development of injury preventive programs. Methods: The 17 years of data were obtained from standardized anonymous work accident records of the Berlin State Accident Insurance (UKB) as well as a State Artist Educational School (n = 169, Male: 70; Female: 99) from student artists. Evaluation and descriptive statistics were conducted with Excel 2007 and PASW Statistics 18. Results: The injury risk seems to be relatively low (0.3 injuries/1000h). There are gender specific differences as to the location of injuries. Only 7% of the accidents demand a break of more than 3 days. Injury patterns vary depending on the activity and the employment of props/equipment. 75.2% of work accidents have multifactorial and 24.8% exogenous causes. Conclusions: Because physical fitness is all important in the circus arts there are numerous options for injury prevention programs that should be realized subject to gender-specific differences. Follow-ups on chronic complaints and a more individual approach are indispensable due to the very specific activities in the circus arts.
- Bicycle helmet use and non-use - recently published research (2012)
- Bicycle traumata are very common and especially neurologic complications lead to disability and death in all stages of the life. This review assembles the most recent findings concerning research in the field of bicycle traumata combined with the factor of bicycle helmet use. The area of bicycle trauma research is by nature multidisciplinary and relevant not only for physicians but also for experts with educational, engineering, judicial, rehabilitative or public health functions. Due to this plurality of global publications and special subjects, short time reviews help to detect recent research directions and provide also information from neighbour disciplines for researchers. It can be stated that to date, that although a huge amount of research has been conducted in this area more studies are needed to evaluate and improve special conditions and needs in different regions, ages, nationalities and to create successful prevention programs of severe head and face injuries while cycling. Focus was explicit the bicycle helmet use, wherefore sledding, ski and snowboard studies were excluded and only one study concerning electric bicycles remained due to similar motion structures within this review. The considered studies were all published between January 2010 and August 2011 and were identified via the online databases Medline PubMed and ISI Web of Science.
- Influenza: a scientometric and density-equalizing analysis (2013)
- Background: Novel influenza in 2009 caused by H1N1, as well as the seasonal influenza, still are a challenge for the public health sectors worldwide. An increasing number of publications referring to this infectious disease make it difficult to distinguish relevant research output. The current study used scientometric indices for a detailed investigation on influenza related research activity and the method of density equalizing mapping to make the differences of the overall research worldwide obvious. The aim of the study was to compare scientific effort over the time as well as geographical distribution including the cooperation on national and international level. Methods: Therefore, publication data was retrieved from Web of Science (WoS) of Thomson Scientific. Subsequently the data was analysed in order to show geographical distributions and the development of the research output over the time. The query retrieved 51,418 publications that are listed in WoS for the time interval from 1900 to 2009. There is a continuous increase in research output and general citation activity especially since 1990. Results: The identified all in all 51,418 publications were published by researchers from 151 different countries. Scientists from the USA participate in more than 37 percent of all publications, followed by researchers from the UK and Germany with more than five percent. In addition, the USA is in the focus of international cooperation. In terms of number of publications on influenza, the Journal of Virology ranks first, followed by Vaccine and Virology. The highest impact factor (IF 2009) in this selection can be established for The Lancet (30.75). Robert Webster seems to be the most prolific author contributing the most publications in the field of influenza. Conclusions: This study reveals an increasing and wide research interest in influenza. Nevertheless, citation based-declaration of scientific quality should be considered critically due to distortion by self-citation and co-authorship.