• Black African migrants: the barriers with accessing and utilizing health promotion services in the UK

      Ochieng, Bertha (Oxford University Press, 2013-04)
      The inequalities for different ethnicities and social classes in accessing health services is well documented, but although a number of recent policy developments have aimed to tackle health inequalities, very little is known about the experiences of Black African migrant communities in accessing health promotion information and services. The aim of the study were to examine the experiences of Black African migrant families in accessing health promotion services.
    • Decentralization and district health services in Nepal: understanding the views of service users and service providers

      Regmi, Krishna; Naidoo, Jennie; Pilkington, Paul A.; Greer, Alan; University of the West of England (Oxford University Press, 2010-09)
      Within the decentralization framework of Government, the Ministry of Health (MoH) Nepal initiated the decentralization of primary care services closer to citizens. This paper aims to examine and understand the effect of decentralization at the district health service from the perspectives of service users and providers.
    • An exploratory study examining the influence of religion on attitudes towards organ donation among the Asian population in Luton, UK

      Randhawa, Gurch (Oxford University Press, 1998)
      Currently the demand for transplant organs far outstrips the supply in the UK. This problem is even more severe for the Asian population, who have been shown to be disproportionately over-represented on transplant waiting lists in some regions of the UK. Several commentators have suggested that religious and cultural traditions may be the major determinant preventing Asians from donating organs. An exploratory qualitative study was undertaken with the aim of examining the influence of religious beliefs, amongst other things, on the extent and direction of public attitudes towards organ donation in a cross-section of the Asian population in Luton. This study indicates that, in the population studied, culture and religion play a much less prohibitive part in determining the level of organ donation than previously suggested. However, there is a desire to be aware of the religious stances so that people can make a more informed decision. The emphasis should clearly been a reconsideration of the presently inadequate approaches to organ procurement and on devising and supplementing these with more appropriate ones. An example of the failure to inform effectively the relevant populations about important developments is that only two of the 32 Muslims in the survey had heard of the 'fatwa' by the Muslim Legislative Council permitting organ donation.
    • Muscle wasting in patients with chronic heart failure: results from the studies investigating co-morbidities aggravating heart failure (SICA-HF)

      Fülster, Susann; Tacke, Matthias; Sandek, Anja; Ebner, Nicole; Tschöpe, Carsten; Doehner, Wolfram; Anker, Stefan D.; von Haehling, Stephan (Oxford University Press, 2012-11-23)
      Aims To assess the prevalence and clinical impact of reductions in the skeletal muscle mass of patients with chronic heart failure (HF). Chronic HF is accompanied by co-morbidities that influence the quality of life and outcomes. Methods and results We prospectively enrolled 200 patients with chronic HF. The appendicular skeletal muscle mass of the arms and the legs combined, was assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. We analysed the muscle strength in arms and legs, and all patients underwent a 6-min walk test, a 4-m walk test, and spiroergometry testing. Muscle wasting was defined as the appendicular muscle mass 2 SD below the mean of a healthy reference group of adults aged 18–40 years, as suggested for the diagnosis of muscle wasting in healthy ageing (sarcopenia). Muscle wasting was detected in 39 (19.5%) subjects. Patients with muscle wasting had significantly lower values for handgrip and quadriceps strength as well as lower total peak oxygen consumption (peakVO2, 1173 ± 433 vs. 1622 ± 456 mL/min), lower exercise time (7.7 ± 3.8 vs. 10.22 ± 3.0 min, both P < 0.001), and lower left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF, P = 0.05) than patients without. The distance walked during 6 min and the gait speed during the 4-m walk were lower in patients with muscle wasting (both P < 0.05). Serum levels of interleukin-6 were significantly elevated in patients with muscle wasting (P = 0.001). Logistic regression showed muscle wasting to be independently associated with reduced peak VO2 adjusted for age, sex, New York Heart Association class, haemoglobin, LVEF, distance walked in 6 minutes, and the number of co-morbidities (odds ratio 6.53, p = 0.01). Conclusion Muscle wasting is a frequent co-morbidity among patients with chronic HF. Patients with muscle wasting present with reduced exercise capacity and muscle strength, and advanced disease.
    • Overweight and obesity are associated with improved survival, functional outcome, and stroke recurrence after acute stroke or transient ischaemic attack: observations from the TEMPiS trial

      Doehner, Wolfram; Schenkel, Johannes; Anker, Stefan D.; Springer, Jochen; Audebert, Heinrich J. (Oxford University Press, 2013-01)
      The aim of the study was to evaluate the association of the body mass index (BMI) with mortality and with non-fatal functional outcome in patients with acute stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA). Obesity is an established risk factors in primary cardiovascular disease prevention including stroke. The impact of overweight in patients with stroke or TIA on secondary fatal and non-fatal functional outcomes is less well established.
    • Prevention of liver cancer cachexia-induced cardiac wasting and heart failure

      Springer, Jochen; Tschirner, Anika; Haghikia, Arash; von Haehling, Stephan; Lal, Hind; Grzesiak, Aleksandra; Kaschina, Elena; Palus, Sandra; Pötsch, Maeike; von Websky, Karoline; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2013-08-29)
      Aims Symptoms of cancer cachexia (CC) include fatigue, shortness of breath, and impaired exercise capacity, which are also hallmark symptoms of heart failure (HF). Herein, we evaluate the effects of drugs commonly used to treat HF (bisoprolol, imidapril, spironolactone) on development of cardiac wasting, HF, and death in the rat hepatoma CC model (AH-130). Methods and results Tumour-bearing rats showed a progressive loss of body weight and left-ventricular (LV) mass that was associated with a progressive deterioration in cardiac function. Strikingly, bisoprolol and spironolactone significantly reduced wasting of LV mass, attenuated cardiac dysfunction, and improved survival. In contrast, imidapril had no beneficial effect. Several key anabolic and catabolic pathways were dysregulated in the cachectic hearts and, in addition, we found enhanced fibrosis that was corrected by treatment with spironolactone. Finally, we found cardiac wasting and fibrotic remodelling in patients who died as a result of CC. In living cancer patients, with and without cachexia, serum levels of brain natriuretic peptide and aldosterone were elevated. Conclusion Systemic effects of tumours lead not only to CC but also to cardiac wasting, associated with LV-dysfunction, fibrotic remodelling, and increased mortality. These adverse effects of the tumour on the heart and on survival can be mitigated by treatment with either the β-blocker bisoprolol or the aldosterone antagonist spironolactone. We suggest that clinical trials employing these agents be considered to attempt to limit this devastating complication of cancer.
    • Searching for an operational definition of frailty: a Delphi method based consensus statement: the frailty operative definition-consensus conference project

      Rodríguez-Mañas, Leocadio; Féart, Catherine; Mann, Giovanni; Viña, Jose; Chatterji, Somnath; Chodzko-Zajko, Wojtek; Gonzalez-Colaço Harmand, Magali; Bergman, Howard; Carcaillon, Laure; Nicholson, Caroline; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2013-01)
      Background. There is no consensus regarding the definition of frailty for clinical uses. Methods. A modified Delphi process was used to attempt to achieve consensus definition. Experts were selected from different fields and organized into five Focus Groups. A questionnaire was developed and sent to experts in the area of frailty. Responses and comments were analyzed using a pre-established strategy. Statements with an agreement more than or equal to 80% were accepted. Results. Overall, 44% of the statements regarding the concept of frailty and 18% of the statements regarding diagnostic criteria were accepted. There was consensus on the value of screening for frailty and about the identification of six domains of frailty for inclusion in a clinical definition, but no agreement was reached concerning a specific set of clinical/laboratory biomarkers useful for diagnosis. Conclusions. There is agreement on the usefulness of defining frailty in clinical settings as well as on its main dimensions. However, additional research is needed before an operative definition of frailty can be established.