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Journal: Journal of clinical medicine


The effects of an intermittent fasting diet (IFD) in the general population are still controversial. In this study, we aimed to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of an IFD to reduce body mass index and glucose metabolism in the general population without diabetes mellitus. Cochrane, PubMed, and Embase databases were searched to identify randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials that compared an IFD with a regular diet or a continuous calorie restriction diet. The effectiveness of an IFD was estimated by the weighted mean difference (WMD) for several variables associated with glucometabolic parameters including body mass index (BMI) and fasting glucose. The pooled mean differences of outcomes were calculated using a random effects model. From 2814 studies identified through a literature search, we finally selected 12 articles (545 participants). Compared with a control diet, an IFD was associated with a significant decline in BMI (WMD, -0.75 kg/m2; 95% CI, -1.44 to -0.06), fasting glucose level (WMD, -4.16 mg/dL; 95% CI, -6.92 to -1.40), and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (WMD, -0.54; 95% CI, -1.05 to -0.03). Fat mass (WMD, -0.98 kg; 95% CI, -2.32 to 0.36) tended to decrease in the IFD group with a significant increase in adiponectin (WMD, 1008.9 ng/mL; 95% CI, 140.5 to 1877.3) and a decrease in leptin (WMD, -0.51 ng/mL; 95% CI, -0.77 to -0.24) levels. An IFD may provide a significant metabolic benefit by improving glycemic control, insulin resistance, and adipokine concentration with a reduction of BMI in adults.


Current strategies for preventing the transmission of mitochondrial disease to offspring include techniques known as mitochondrial replacement and mitochondrial gene editing. This technology has already been applied in humans on several occasions, and the first baby with donor mitochondria has already been born. However, these techniques raise several ethical concerns, among which is the fact that they entail genetic modification of the germline, as well as presenting safety problems in relation to a possible mismatch between the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, maternal mitochondrial DNA carryover, and the “reversion” phenomenon. In this essay, we discuss these questions, highlighting the advantages of some techniques over others from an ethical point of view, and we conclude that none of these are ready to be safely applied in humans.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Cell, Bacteria, Mitochondrion, Mitochondrial DNA, Ethics, Mitochondrial disease


The impact of diabetes on perioperative outcomes remains incompletely understood. Our purpose is to evaluate post-operative complications and mortality in patients with diabetes. Using the institutional and clinical databases of three university hospitals from 2009⁻2015, we conducted a matched study of 16,539 diabetes patients, aged >20 years, who underwent major surgery. Using a propensity score matching procedure, 16,539 surgical patients without diabetes who underwent surgery were also selected. Logistic regressions were used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for post-operative complications and in-hospital mortality associated with diabetes. Patients with diabetes had a higher risk of postoperative septicemia (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.01⁻1.74), necrotizing fasciitis (OR 3.98, 95% CI 1.12⁻14.2), cellulitis (OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.46⁻3.03), acute pyelonephritis (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.01⁻3.41), infectious arthritis (OR 3.89, 95% CI 1.19⁻12.7), and in-hospital mortality (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.07⁻2.13) compared to people without diabetes. Previous admission for diabetes (OR 2.33, 95% CI 1.85⁻2.93), HbA1c >8% (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.64⁻2.33) and fasting glucose >180 mg/dL (OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.68⁻2.16) were predictors for post-operative adverse events. Diabetes patients who underwent surgery had higher risks of infectious complications and in-hospital mortality compared with patients without diabetes who underwent similar major surgeries.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease associated with a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is commonly used to control disease activity in patients with SLE. We evaluated its potential additional therapeutic effect for reducing CVD in SLE patients. We conducted a retrospective cohort study, in which one million participants were sampled from 23 million beneficiaries and data were collected from 2000 to 2013. In total, 826 SLE patients receiving HCQ medication were included after exclusion for previous CVD. The total number of SLE patients was 795 after follow-up for more than one year. After adjusting for chronic comorbidity, a significantly decreased hazard ratio (HR) for coronary artery disease (CAD) was found among SLE patients with a high usage of HCQ for at least 318 days (HR = 0.31, 95% confidence interval, CI: 0.12-0.76). A low HR for CAD was observed in SLE patients with a high cumulative dose of at least 100,267 mg HCQ (HR = 0.25, 95% CI: 0.09-0.66). However, there was no significant lowering of the HR for stroke. Long-term HCQ therapy decreases the HR of CVD in SLE patients. The cardiovascular protective effect of HCQ therapy was associated with decrease in CAD, but not stroke.


Peptic ulcer is a chronic disease affecting up to 10% of the world’s population. The formation of peptic ulcers depends on the presence of gastric juice pH and the decrease in mucosal defenses. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection are the two major factors disrupting the mucosal resistance to injury. Conventional treatments of peptic ulcers, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine-2 (H2) receptor antagonists, have demonstrated adverse effects, relapses, and various drug interactions. On the other hand, medicinal plants and their chemical compounds are useful in the prevention and treatment of numerous diseases. Hence, this review presents common medicinal plants that may be used for the treatment or prevention of peptic ulcers.


Short QT syndrome, one of the most lethal entities associated with sudden cardiac death, is a rare genetic disease characterized by short QT intervals detected by electrocardiogram. Several genetic variants are causally linked to the disease, but there has yet to be a comprehensive analysis of variants among patients with short QT syndrome. To fill this gap, we performed an exhaustive study of variants currently catalogued as deleterious in short QT syndrome according to the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Analysis of the 32 variants described in the literature determined that only nine (28.12%) have a conclusive pathogenic role. All definitively pathogenic variants are located in KCNQ1, KCNH2, or KCNJ2; three genes encoding potassium channels. Other variants located in genes encoding calcium or sodium channels are associated with electrical alterations concomitant with shortened QT intervals but do not guarantee a diagnosis of short QT syndrome. We recommend caution regarding previously reported variants classified as pathogenic. An exhaustive re-analysis is necessary to clarify the role of each variant before routinely translating genetic findings to the clinical setting.


This article provides a short literature overview on female child sexual offenders (FCSO) focusing on the discrepancy between prevalence rates from different sources, characteristics of FCSO and their victims, as well as the societal “culture of denial” surrounding these women. FCSO are a powerful social taboo. Even professionals in the healthcare or justice system were shown to respond inappropriately in cases of child sexual abuse committed by women. As a result, offences of FCSO may be underreported and therefore difficult to research. The lack of scientific data on FSCO lowers the quality of child protection and treatment services. We therefore deem it particularly necessary for professionals in health care to break the social taboo that is FCSO and to further stimulate research on the topic of FCSO. We provide some general implications for professionals in health care systems as well as specific recommendations for researchers. We end with an overall conclusion.


We aimed to test the association between low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, and all-cause mortality in non-statin users. A total of 347,971 subjects in Kangbuk Samsung Health Study (KSHS.57.4% men, mean follow up: 5.64 ± 3.27 years) were tested. To validate these associations, we analyzed data from another cohort (Korean genome and epidemiology study, KoGES, 182,943 subjects). All subjects treated with any lipid-lowering therapy and who died during the first 3 years of follow up were excluded. Five groups were defined according to baseline LDL-C concentration (<70, 70-99, 100-129, 130-159, ≥160 mg/dL). A total of 2028 deaths occurred during follow-up in KSHS. The lowest LDL-C group (LDL < 70 mg/dL) had a higher risk of all-cause mortality (HR 1.95, 1.55-2.47), CVD mortality (HR 2.02, 1.11-3.64), and cancer mortality (HR 2.06, 1.46-2.90) compared to the reference group (LDL 120-139 mg/dL). In the validation cohort, 2338 deaths occurred during follow-up. The lowest LDL-C group (LDL < 70 mg/dL) had a higher risk of all-cause mortality (HR 1.81, 1.44-2.28) compared to the reference group. Low levels of LDL-C concentration are strongly and independently associated with increased risk of cancer, CVD, and all-cause mortality. These findings suggest that more attention is needed for subjects with no statin-induced decrease in LDL-C concentrations.


Background: Most pregnancy-related medical complications appear to resolve at delivery or shortly thereafter. Common examples are preterm labor, placental abruption, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. Women who developed such complications are known to be at increased risk of developing similar complications in future pregnancies. It has recently become evident that these women are at an increased risk of long term medical complications. Methods: A search through scientific publications in English regarding the association of obstetric complications and long-term maternal illness. Results: There is a clear association between various obstetric complications and long-term effects on maternal health. Conclusions: Women with a history of adverse pregnancy outcomes are at increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases later in life. Data increasingly links maternal vascular, metabolic, and inflammatory complications of pregnancy with an increased risk of vascular disease in later life.

Concepts: Medicine, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Obstetrics, Gestational diabetes, Placenta, Caesarean section


The geographic spread of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections from the epicenter of Wuhan, China, has provided an opportunity to study the natural history of the recently emerged virus. Using publicly available event-date data from the ongoing epidemic, the present study investigated the incubation period and other time intervals that govern the epidemiological dynamics of COVID-19 infections. Our results show that the incubation period falls within the range of 2-14 days with 95% confidence and has a mean of around 5 days when approximated using the best-fit lognormal distribution. The mean time from illness onset to hospital admission (for treatment and/or isolation) was estimated at 3-4 days without truncation and at 5-9 days when right truncated. Based on the 95th percentile estimate of the incubation period, we recommend that the length of quarantine should be at least 14 days. The median time delay of 13 days from illness onset to death (17 days with right truncation) should be considered when estimating the COVID-19 case fatality risk.