Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Risk factor


Sedentary behaviour - i.e., low energy-expending waking behaviour while seated or lying down - is a health risk factor, even when controlling for physical activity. This review sought to describe the behaviour change strategies used within interventions that have sought to reduce sedentary behaviour in adults. Studies were identified through existing literature reviews, a systematic database search, and hand-searches of eligible papers. Interventions were categorized as ‘very promising’, ‘quite promising’, or ‘non-promising’ according to observed behaviour changes. Intervention functions and behaviour change techniques were compared across promising and non-promising interventions. Twenty-six eligible studies reported 38 interventions, of which 20 (53%) were worksite-based. Fifteen interventions (39%) were very promising, 8 quite promising (21%), and 15 non-promising (39%). Very or quite promising interventions tended to have targeted sedentary behaviour instead of physical activity. Interventions based on environmental restructuring, persuasion, or education, were most promising. Self-monitoring, problem solving, and restructuring the social or physical environment were particularly promising behaviour change techniques. Future sedentary reduction interventions might most fruitfully incorporate environmental modification and self-regulatory skills training. The evidence base is however weakened by low-quality evaluation methods; more RCTs, employing no-treatment control groups, and collecting objective data, are needed. Supplemental_PRISMA_checklist.pdf Supplemental References.pdf Supplemental Table_1.pdf Supplemental Table_2.pdf Supplemental Table_3.pdf Supplemental Table_4.pdf Supplemental Table_5.pdf.

Concepts: Evaluation, Environment, Natural environment, Intervention, Problem solving, Environmentalism, Risk factor


Evidence that elevated lipoprotein(a) (Lp[a]) levels contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and calcific aortic valve stenosis (CAVS) is substantial. Development of isoform-independent assays, in concert with genetic, epidemiological, translational, and pathophysiological insights, have established Lp(a) as an independent, genetic, and likely causal risk factor for CVD and CAVS. These observations are consistent across a broad spectrum of patients, risk factors, and concomitant therapies, including patients with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol <70 mg/dl. Statins tend to increase Lp(a) levels, possibly contributing to the "residual risk" noted in outcomes trials and at the bedside. Recently approved proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin-type 9 inhibitors and mipomersen lower Lp(a) 20% to 30%, and emerging RNA-targeted therapies lower Lp(a) >80%. These approaches will allow testing of the “Lp(a) hypothesis” in clinical trials. This review summarizes the current landscape of Lp(a), discusses controversies, and reviews emerging therapies to reduce plasma Lp(a) levels to decrease risk of CVD and CAVS.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Atherosclerosis, The Canon of Medicine, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Avicenna, Aortic valve stenosis, Risk factor


Disease risk factors identified in epidemiological studies serve as important public health tools, helping clinicians identify individuals who may benefit from more aggressive screening or risk-modification procedures, allowing policymakers to prioritize intervention programs, and encouraging at-risk individuals to modify behavior and improve their health. These factors have been based primarily on evidence from cross-sectional and prospective studies, as most do not lend themselves to randomized trials. While some risk factors are not modifiable, eating habits are subject to change through both individual action and broader policy initiatives. Meat consumption has been frequently investigated as a variable associated with diabetes risk, but it has not yet been described as a diabetes risk factor. In this article, we evaluate the evidence supporting the use of meat consumption as a clinically useful risk factor for type 2 diabetes, based on studies evaluating the risks associated with meat consumption as a categorical dietary characteristic (i.e., meat consumption versus no meat consumption), as a scalar variable (i.e., gradations of meat consumption), or as part of a broader dietary pattern.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Nutrition, Risk, The Canon of Medicine, Randomized controlled trial, Avicenna, Scalar, Risk factor


BACKGROUND: This study was designed to assess the relationship between work-related combined physical and psychosocial factors and elbow disorders (lateral epicondylitis and non-specific disorders without lateral epicondylitis) in the working population. METHODS: A total of 3,710 workers (58% men) in a French region in 2002-2005 participated in physical examinations by occupational health physicians and assessed their personal factors and work exposure by self-administered questionnaire. Statistical associations between elbow disorders and risks factors were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 389 (10.5%) workers had elbow pain without lateral epicondylitis and 90 (2.4%) workers had lateral epicondylitis. Age, body mass index (>25), and low social support (only for men) were significant risks factors. Hard perceived physical exertion combined with elbow flexion/extension (>2 hr/day) and wrist bending (>2 hr/day) was a strong significant risk factor for elbow pain and epicondylitis: among men, adjusted Odds Ratio (ORa) = 2.6 (1.9-3.7) and ORa = 5.6 (2.8-11.3), respectively; among women, ORa = 1.4 (0.9-2.2) and ORa = 2.9 (1.3-6.5). CONCLUSIONS: This study emphasizes the strength of the associations between combined physical exertion and elbow movements and lateral epicondylitis. Certain observed differences in associations with lateral epicondylitis and elbow pain only indicate the need for additional longitudinal studies on different stages of elbow disorders and known risk factors. Am. J. Ind. Med. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logit, Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Risk, Body mass index, Multinomial logit, Risk factor


Amyloid-β peptides, through highly sophisticated enzymatic machinery, are universally produced and released in an action potential synchronized manner into the interstitial fluids in the brain. Yet no native functions are attributed to amyloid-β. The amyloid-β hypothesis ascribes just neurotoxicity properties through build-up of soluble homomeric amyloid-β oligomers or fibrillar deposits. Apolipoprotein-ε4 (APOE4) allele is the only confirmed genetic risk factor of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease; once more it is unclear how it increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Similarly, central cholinergic signalling is affected selectively and early in the Alzheimer’s disease brain, again why cholinergic neurons show this sensitivity is still unclear. However, the three main known Alzheimer’s disease risk factors, advancing age, female gender and APOE4, have been linked to a high apolipoprotein-E and accumulation of the acetylcholine degrading enzyme, butyrylcholinesterase in cerebrospinal fluids of patients. Furthermore, numerous reports indicate that amyloid-β interacts with butyrylcholinesterase and apolipoprotein-E. We have proposed that this interaction leads to formation of soluble ultrareactive acetylcholine-hydrolyzing complexes termed BAβACs, to adjust at demand both synaptic and extracellular acetylcholine signalling. This hypothesis predicted presence of acetylcholine-synthesizing enzyme, choline acetyltransferase in extracellular fluids to allow maintenance of equilibrium between breakdown and synthesis of acetylcholine through continuous in situ syntheses. A recent proof-of-concept study led to the discovery of this enzyme in the human extracellular fluids. We report here that apolipoprotein-E, in particular ε4 isoprotein acts as one of the strongest endogenous anti-amyloid-β fibrillization agents reported in the literature. At biological concentrations, apolipoprotein-E prevented amyloid-β fibrillization for at least 65 h. We show that amyloid-β interacts readily in an apolipoprotein-facilitated manner with butyrylcholinesterase, forming highly stable and soluble complexes, BAβACs, which can be separated in their native states by sucrose density gradient technique. Enzymological analyses further evinced that amyloid-β concentration dependently increased the acetylcholine-hydrolyzing capacity of cholinesterases. In silico biomolecular analysis further deciphered the allosteric amino acid fingerprint of the amyloid-β-cholinesterase molecular interaction in formation of BAβACs. In the case of butyrylcholinesterase, the results indicated that amyloid-β interacts with a putative activation site at the mouth of its catalytic tunnel, most likely leading to increased acetylcholine influx into the catalytic site, and thereby increasing the intrinsic catalytic rate of butyrylcholinesterase. In conclusion, at least one of the native physiological functions of amyloid-β is allosteric modulation of the intrinsic catalytic efficiency of cholinesterases, and thereby regulation of synaptic and extrasynaptic cholinergic signalling. High apolipoprotein-E may pathologically alter the biodynamics of this amyloid-β function.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Allosteric regulation, Neuron, Enzyme, Peptide, Apolipoprotein E, Acetylcholine, Risk factor


Sedentary behavior has emerged as a novel health risk factor independent of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Previous studies have shown self-reported sedentary time to be associated with mortality; however, no studies have investigated the effect of objectively measured sedentary time on mortality independent of MVPA. The objective our study was to examine the association between objectively measured sedentary time and all-cause mortality.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Obesity, The Association, Cultural studies, Sunshine pop, Risk factor


Schizophrenia risk has been linked to urbanization, but the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Green space is hypothesized to positively influence mental health and might mediate risk of schizophrenia by mitigating noise and particle pollution exposure, stress relief, or other unknown mechanisms. The objectives for this study were to determine if green space are associated with schizophrenia risk, and if different measures of green space associate differently with risk. We used satellite data from the Landsat program to quantify green space in a new data set for Denmark at 30×30m resolution for the years 1985-2013. The effect of green space at different ages and within different distances from each person’s place of residence on schizophrenia risk was estimated using Cox regression on a very large longitudinal population-based sample of the Danish population (943,027 persons). Living at the lowest amount of green space was associated with a 1.52-fold increased risk of developing schizophrenia compared to persons living at the highest level of green space. This association remained after adjusting for known risk factors for schizophrenia: urbanization, age, sex, and socioeconomic status. The strongest protective association was observed during the earliest childhood years and closest to place of residence. This is the first nationwide population-based study to demonstrate a protective association between green space during childhood and schizophrenia risk; suggesting limited green space as a novel environmental risk factor for schizophrenia. This study supports findings from other studies highlighting positive effects of exposure to natural environments for human health.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Statistics, Risk, Natural environment, Observation, The Strongest, Risk factor, Landsat program


Standing and treadmill desks are intended to reduce the amount of time spent sitting in today’s otherwise sedentary office. Proponents of these desks suggest that health benefits may be acquired as standing desk use discourages long periods of sitting, which has been identified as an independent health risk factor.

Concepts: Health insurance, Table, Risk factor, Office, Desk, Desks, Drawer


Until recently, Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing Enterobacteriaceae were rarely identified in Australia. Following an increase in the number of incident cases across the state of Victoria, we undertook a real-time combined genomic and epidemiological investigation. The scope of this study included identifying risk factors and routes of transmission, and investigating the utility of genomics to enhance traditional field epidemiology for informing management of established widespread outbreaks.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Enterobacteriaceae, Australia, Victoria, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Klebsiella, Outbreak, Risk factor


Physical inactivity is an important health risk factor that could be addressed at the community level.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Randomized controlled trial, Activity, Risk factor