Relative influences of sex, race, environment, and HIV infection on body composition in adults.
BACKGROUND: The factors that control body composition in disease are uncertain. OBJECTIVE: We planned to compare the relative influences of HIV infection, sex, race, and environment on body composition. METHODS: We analyzed results of body composition studies performed by bioelectrical impedance analysis in 1415 adults from 2 cohorts: white and African American men and women from the United States, and African men and women (279 HIV-infected and 1136 control). The effects of sex and HIV infection on weight, body cell mass, and fat-free mass were analyzed by using both unadjusted and age-, weight-, and height-adjusted data. RESULTS: Control men weighed more and had more body cell mass and fat-free mass than did control women, although control women had more fat. The strongest correlates with body composition were height and weight, followed by sex. HIV infection, age, environment, and race. Control men and women weighed more and had more body cell mass, fat-free mass, and fat than did HIV-infected men. However, differences in body composition between HIV-infected and control groups were strongly influenced by sex. Of the differences in weight between HIV-infected and uninfected subjects, fat-free mass accounted for 51% in men but only 18% in women, in whom the remainder was fat. Sex effects were similar in African and American groups. CONCLUSIONS: Sex has a marked effect on the changes in body composition during HIV infection, with women losing disproportionately more fat than men. Sex-related differences in body composition were narrower in the HIV-infected groups. Race and environment had smaller effects than sex and HIV infection. (+info)
Clinical, biochemical and molecular genetic features of Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy.
Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) has traditionally been considered a disease causing severe and permanent visual loss in young adult males. In nearly all families with LHON it is associated with one of three pathogenic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations, at bp 11778, 3460 or 14484. The availability of mtDNA confirmation of a diagnosis of LHON has demonstrated that LHON occurs with a wider range of age at onset and more commonly in females than previously recognised. In addition, analysis of patients grouped according to mtDNA mutation has demonstrated differences both in the clinical features of visual failure and in recurrence risks to relatives associated with each of the pathogenic mtDNA mutations. Whilst pathogenic mtDNA mutations are required for the development of LHON, other factors must be reponsible for the variable penetrance and male predominance of this condition. Available data on a number of hypotheses including the role of an additional X-linked visual loss susceptibility locus, impaired mitochondrial respiratory chain activity, mtDNA heteroplasmy, environmental factors and autoimmunity are discussed. Subacute visual failure is seen in association with all three pathogenic LHON mutations. However, the clinical and experimental data reviewed suggest differences in the phenotype associated with each of the three mutations which may reflect variation in the disease mechanisms resulting in this common end-point. (+info)
Mitochondrial involvement in Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia and Friedreich's ataxia.
Respiratory chain dysfunction has been identified in several neurodegenerative disorders. In Friedreich's ataxia (FA) and Huntington's disease (HD), where the respective mutations are in nuclear genes encoding non-respiratory chain mitochondrial proteins, the defects in oxidative phosphorylation are clearly secondary. In Parkinson's disease (PD) the situation is less clear, with some evidence for a primary role of mitochondrial DNA in at least a proportion of patients. The pattern of the respiratory chain defect may provide some clue to its cause; in PD there appears to be a selective complex I deficiency; in HD and FA the deficiencies are most severe in complex II/III with a less severe defect in complex IV. Aconitase activity in HD and FA is severely decreased in brain and muscle, respectively, but appears to be normal in PD brain. Free radical generation is thought to be of importance in both HD and FA, via excitotoxicity in HD and abnormal iron handling in FA. The oxidative damage observed in PD may be secondary to the mitochondrial defect. Whatever the cause(s) and sequence of events, respiratory chain deficiencies appear to play an important role in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. The mitochondrial abnormalities induced may converge on the function of the mitochondrion in apoptosis. This mode of cell death is thought to play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases and it is tempting to speculate that the observed mitochondrial defects in PD, HD and FA result directly in apoptotic cell death, or in the lowering of a cell's threshold to undergo apoptosis. Clarifying the role of mitochondria in pathogenesis may provide opportunities for the development of treatments designed to reverse or prevent neurodegeneration. (+info)
Pterygium and its relationship to the dry eye in the Bantu.
A comparative study was performed on two groups of Bantus in Johannesburg to see if there was any relationship between the "dry eye" and pterygia, but no correlation was found. (+info)
Plasma leptin concentrations in Pima Indians living in drastically different environments.
OBJECTIVE: Plasma leptin, an important signal for the regulation of energy stores, is known to be influenced by many hormonal factors, but may also be affected by behavioral and environmental factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of lifestyle (diet composition, level of physical activity) on plasma leptin concentrations among Pima Indians living in drastically different environments. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We studied 224 Mexican Pima Indians (115 women, 109 men) living a traditional lifestyle in a remote, mountainous area of northwest Mexico and 418 U.S. Pima Indians (281 women, 137 men) living a North American lifestyle on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona. We hypothesized that the absolute value of leptin would be lower in Mexican Pima Indians because of their lower percent body fat, but could be further influenced by their lifestyle, independent of body composition. RESULTS: Leptin concentration (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]) was strongly correlated with percent fat (bioimpedance) in Mexican Pima Indians (r = 0.83, P < 0.0001) and U.S. Pima Indians (r = 0.86, P < 0.0001). Among U.S. Pima Indians, independent of percent fat, subjects with type 2 diabetes had lower leptin than nondiabetic subjects (difference = 6.9 +/- 1.0 ng/ml, P < 0.002). Among nondiabetic subjects, Mexican Pima Indians had lower absolute leptin concentrations than U.S. Pima Indians, but higher after adjustment for percent body fat, waist circumference, age, and sex. In a subset of 70 pairs of subjects matched for sex and percent body fat, leptin concentration was 4.4 +/- 1.0 ng/ml (P < 0.0001) higher in Mexican Pima Indians versus U.S. Pima Indians. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that independent of body composition, leptin concentration may be increased by environmental factors, such as a high-carbohydrate diet and a high level of physical activity. (+info)
Lipoprotein(a) levels and apolipoprotein(a) isoforms related to life style risk factors.
Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] has been considered to be a predictor of premature coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. Lp(a) levels are largely genetically determined, but the detailed mechanism of Lp(a) elevation is uncertain. We examined the association between Lp(a) levels and apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)] phenotypes as well as that of Lp(a) level and other various conditions. The subjects were 280 healthy Japanese (102 males and 178 females) aged 39 to 70 years who were living in a rural community in 1992. We obtained apo(a) phenotypes determined by SDS-PAGE as well as Lp(a) levels and other cardiovascular risk factors. We combined apo(a) phenotypes form 4 groups according to molecular weights (from high apo(a) molecular weight to low: I, II, III and IV). Lp(a) levels were associated with apo(a) phenotype-groups, that is, they were inversely associated with apo(a) molecular weight. Small apo(a) phenotypes were less frequent than large ones. The median Lp(a) level was higher in smoking (29.2 mg/dL) than in non-smoking subjects (18.5 mg/dL) in phenotype-group III. Adjusted means of total cholesterol and fibrinogen levels in apo(a) phenotype-group IV were the highest of all phenotype-groups. Age, apo(a) phenotype, smoking status, total cholesterol and fibrinogen were positively correlated with Lp(a) levels by multiple regression analysis. Lp(a) levels were found to be mainly associated with apo(a) phenotype, but varied broadly within the same apo(a) phenotype at various conditions, such as smoking status and high total cholesterol. (+info)
Alternatives to minimize the environmental impact of large swine production units.
Large swine production facilities have become controversial additions to the agricultural landscape as their numbers and sizes have increased. In addition to being larger enterprises, these units have involved greater specialization, the influx of outside capital, and the employment of labor without extensive investment in the enterprise. Major complaints have included water pollution and odors. Water pollution complaints have been related to surface and groundwater resources. Accidental spills, structural failure, and purposeful discharges have been noted. Odor problems are most often related to manure management techniques. Large anaerobic lagoons and irrigation of lagoon effluent have the potential to emit odors that travel long distances. Fortunately, technology and management alternatives exist to achieve higher levels of environmental acceptability. More effective water pollution and odor control alternatives generally increase construction and operating costs. Producers, regulatory officials, and the local public have an opportunity to interact to achieve progress in establishing acceptable compromises. This article identifies the range of existing and evolving alternative strategies and provides some assistance to producers and neighbors in achieving the necessary equilibrium. (+info)
Ocular development and involution in the European cave salamander, Proteus anguinus laurenti.
The anatomy and development of the eye of Proteus anguinus are described. The relationships between organogenesis of the eye in embryos and larva and its involution in the young and the adult are discussed. The availability (in breeding cultures) of a significant number of Proteus embryos (which are normally rare) allowed experimental analysis of the effects of light, xenoplastic differentiation and thyroid hormones on the development of the eye. The results of this study suggest that development and involution of the eye of Proteus are controlled by genetic factors which are not greatly influenced by environment, and one can, therefore, consider the microphthalmy of Proteus as a relict characteristic which is the result of a specific development with disturbance of the normal ontogenic process. (+info)