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Informal employment and health status in Central America.

  • López Ruiz, María, 1982-
  • Artazcoz Lazcano, Lucía, 1963-
  • Martínez Martínez, José Miguel, 1974-
  • Rojas, Marianela
  • Benavides, Fernando G. (Fernando García)
BACKGROUND: Informal employment is assumed to be an important but seldom studied social determinant of health, affecting a large number of workers around the world. Although informal employment arrangements constitute a permanent, structural pillar of many labor markets in low- and middle-income countries, studies about its relationship with health status are still scarce. In Central America more than 60% of non-agricultural workers have informal employment. Therefore, we aimed to assess differences in self-perceived and mental health status of Central Americans with different patterns of informal and formal employment. METHODS:/nEmployment profiles were created by combining employment relations (employees, self-employed, employers), social security coverage (yes/no) and type of contract--only for employees--(written, oral, none), in a cross-sectional study of 8,823 non-agricultural workers based on the I Central American Survey of Working Conditions and Health of 2011. Using logistic regression models, adjusted odds ratios (aOR) by country, age and occupation, of poor self-perceived and mental health were calculated by sex. Different models were first fitted separately for the three dimensions of employment conditions, then for employment profiles as independent variables. RESULTS: Poor self-perceived health was reported by 34% of women and 27% of men, and 30% of women and 26% of men reported poor mental health. Lack of social security coverage was associated with poor self-perceived health (women, aOR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.13-1.67; men, aOR: 1.36, 95% CI: 1.13-1.63). Almost all employment profiles with no social security coverage were significantly associated with poor self-perceived and poor mental health in both sexes. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that informal employment is a significant factor in social health inequalities among Central American workers, which could be diminished by policies aimed at increasing social security coverage.
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Identification and functional characterization of an ovarian aquaporin from the cockroach Blattella germanica L. (Dictyoptera, Blattellidae)

  • Herráiz Yebes, Alba, 1984-
  • Chauvigné, François
  • Cerdà, Joan
  • Bellés, Xavier, 1952-
  • Piulachs i Bagà, M. Dolors
Aquaporins (AQPs) are membrane proteins that form water channels, allowing rapid movement of water across cell membranes. AQPs have been reported in species of all life kingdoms and in almost all tissues, but little is known about them in insects. Our purpose was to explore the occurrence of AQPs in the ovary of the phylogenetically basal insect Blattella germanica (L.) and to study their possible role in fluid homeostasis during oogenesis. We isolated an ovarian AQP from B. germanica (BgAQP) that has a deduced amino acid sequence showing six potential transmembrane domains, two NPA motifs and an ar/R constriction region, which are typical features of the AQP family. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that BgAQP belongs to the PRIP group of insect AQPs, previously suggested to be water specific. However, ectopic expression of BgAQP in Xenopus laevis oocytes demonstrated that this AQP transports water and modest amounts of urea, but not glycerol, which suggests that the PRIP group of insect AQPs may have heterogeneous solute preferences. BgAQP was shown to be highly expressed in the ovary, followed by the fat body and muscle tissues, but water stress did not significantly modify the ovarian expression levels. RNA interference (RNAi) reduced BgAQP mRNA levels in the ovary but the oocytes developed normally. The absence of an apparent ovarian phenotype after BgAQP RNAi suggests that other functionally redundant AQPs that were not silenced in our experiments might exist in the ovary of B. germanica., Financial support for this work was provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation [grant number BFU2008-00484 to M.-D.P., grant number CGL2008-03517/BOS to X.B., grant number AGL2010-15597 to J.C.]; and Generalitat de Catalunya [grant number 2005 SGR 00053]. Laboratorio/nInternacional de Cambio Global (LINC-Global) is gratefully acknowledged. A.H. received a pre-doctoral research grant (JAE-LINCG program) from Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). F.C. was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from Juan de la Cierva Programme (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation)
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Office Hysteroscopic Laser Enucleation of Submucous Myomas without Mass Extraction: A Case Series Study.

  • Haimovich Segal, Sergio Mario
  • López-Yarto Elejabeitia, Maite
  • Urresta Ávila, Julio
  • Saavedra Tascón, Alejandro
  • Hernández Sánchez, José Luis
  • Carreras Collado, Ramón
Background and Objectives. A new two-step hysteroscopic myomectomy carried out in the office setting and without anesthesia was feasible for the excision of submucous myomas. The objective of this study was to assess whether removal of submucous myomas from the uterine cavity after hysteroscopic laser enucleation is necessary. Methods. Between June 2009 and April 2013, all outpatients with symptomatic myomatosis (bleeding, pelvic pain, and infertility) assessed ultrasonographically were eligible to participate in a prospective study. All patients underwent office hysteroscopic enucleation of submucous myomas. Enucleated myomas were left in the uterine cavity. Neither anesthesia nor antibiotic prophylaxis was used. Results. Sixty-one women (mean age: 47.3 years) were included. Regardless of hysteroscopic localization and grading, all myomas were enucleated. The mean (standard deviation, SD) diameter of the myoma as measured by the ultrasound scan was 22.6 (8.5) mm. In 29 cases (47.5%), the diameter of the resected myoma was >20 mm and in 10 cases (16.4%) >30 mm. After a mean follow-up of 68.2 (16.5) days, none of the patients showed a residual myoma inside the uterine cavity. Conclusions. The present results indicate that leaving laser-enucleated submucous myoma in the uterine cavity is a feasible and safe therapeutic option.
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Inequities in access to health care in different health systems: a study in municipalities of central Colombia and north-eastern Brazil

  • García Subirats, Irene, 1982-
  • Vargas, Ingrid
  • Mogollón Pérez, Amparo Susana
  • Paepe, Pierre de
  • Ferreira da Silva, Mª Rejane
  • Unger, Jean Pierre
  • Borrell i Thió, Carme
  • Vázquez, María Luisa
INTRODUCTION: Health system reforms are undertaken with the aim of improving equity of access to health care. Their impact is generally analyzed based on health care utilization, without distinguishing between levels of care. This study aims to analyze inequities in access to the continuum of care in municipalities of Brazil and Colombia. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted based on a survey of a multistage probability sample of people who had had at least one health problem in the prior three months (2,163 in Colombia and 2,167 in Brazil). The outcome variables were dichotomous variables on the utilization of curative and preventive services. The main independent variables were income, being the holder of a private health plan and, in Colombia, type of insurance scheme of the General System of Social Security in Health (SGSSS). For each country, the prevalence of the outcome variables was calculated overall and stratified by levels of per capita income, SGSSS insurance schemes and private health plan. Prevalence ratios were computed by means of Poisson regression models with robust variance, controlling for health care need. RESULTS: There are inequities in favor of individuals of a higher socioeconomic status: in Colombia, in the three different care levels (primary, outpatient secondary and emergency care) and preventive activities; and in Brazil, in the use of outpatient secondary care services and preventive activities, whilst lower-income individuals make greater use of the primary care services. In both countries, inequity in the use of outpatient secondary care is more pronounced than in the other care levels. Income in both countries, insurance scheme enrollment in Colombia and holding a private health plan in Brazil all contribute to the presence of inequities in utilization. CONCLUSIONS: Twenty years after the introduction of reforms implemented to improve equity in access to health care, inequities, defined in terms of unequal use for equal need, are still present in both countries. The design of the health systems appears to determine access to the health services: two insurance schemes in Colombia with different benefits packages and a segmented system in Brazil, with a significant private component., The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 223123. Moreover, a grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for Development (Spain) was awarded to Irene Garcia-Subirats for the development of the fieldwork (Beca MAEC-AECID 2010–2011 and 2011–2012)
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Cross-cultural adaptation of the work role functioning questionnaire to Spanish spoken in Spain

  • Ramada Rodilla, José María, 1961-
  • Serra, Consol
  • Amick, Benjamin C.
  • Castaño, Juan R.
  • Delclòs i Clanchet, Jordi, 1956-
PURPOSE: The Work Role Functioning Questionnaire (WRFQ) is a tool developed in the United States to measure work disability and assess the perceived impact of health problems on worker ability to perform jobs. We translated and adapted the WRFQ to Spanish spoken in Spain and assessed preservation of its psychometric properties. METHODS: Cross-cultural adaptation of the WRFQ was performed following a systematic 5-step procedure: (1) direct translation, (2) synthesis, (3) back-translation, (4) consolidation by an expert committee and (5) pre-test. Psychometric properties were evaluated by administering the questionnaire to 40 patients with different cultural levels and health problems. Applicability, usability, readability and integrity of the WRFQ were assessed, together with its validity and reliability. RESULTS: Questionnaire translation, back translation and consolidation were carried out without relevant difficulties. Idiomatic issues requiring reformulation were found in the instructions, response options and in 2 items. Participants appreciated the applicability, usability, readability and integrity of the questionnaire. The results indicated good face and content validity. Internal consistency was satisfactory for all subscales (Cronbach's alpha between 0.88 and 0.96), except for social demands (Cronbach's alpha = 0.56). Test-retest reliability showed good stability, with intraclass correlation coefficients between 0.77 and 0.93 for all subscales. Construct validity was considered preserved based on the comparison of median scores for each patient group and subscale. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate the cross-cultural adaptation of the WRFQ to Spanish was satisfactory and preserved its psychometric properties, except for the subscale of social demands, whose internal consistency should be interpreted with caution., This project has been partially supported by a grant from the Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias (FIS: PI12/02556), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Subdirección General de Evaluación y Fomento de la Investigación, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
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Barriers in access to healthcare in countries with different health systems. A cross-sectional study in municipalities of central Colombia and north-eastern Brazil

  • García Subirats, Irene, 1982-
  • Vargas, Ingrid
  • Mogollón Pérez, Amparo Susana
  • Paepe, Pierre de
  • Ferreira da Silva, Mª Rejane
  • Unger, Jean Pierre
  • Vázquez, María Luisa
There are few comprehensive studies available on barriers encountered from the initial seeking of healthcare through to the resolution of the health problem; in other words, on access in its broad domain. For Colombia and Brazil, countries with different healthcare systems but common stated principles, there have been no such analyses to date. This paper compares factors that influence access in its broad domain in two municipalities of each country, by means of a cross-sectional study based on a survey of a multistage probability sample of people who had had at least one health problem within the last three months (2163 in Colombia and 2155 in Brazil). The results reveal important barriers to healthcare access in both samples, with notable differences between and within countries, once differences in sociodemographic characteristics and health needs are accounted for. In the Colombian study areas, the greatest barriers were encountered in initial access to healthcare and in resolving the problem, and similarly when entering the health service in the Brazilian study areas. Differences can also be detected in the use of services: in Colombia greater geographical and economic barriers and the need for authorization from insurers are more relevant, whereas in Brazil, it is the limited availability of health centres, doctors and drugs that leads to longer waiting times. There are also differences according to enrolment status and insurance scheme in Colombia, and between areas in Brazil. The barriers appear to be related to the Colombian system's segmented, non-universal nature, and to the involvement of insurance companies, and to chronic underfunding of the public system in Brazil. Further research is required, but the results obtained reveal critical points to be tackled by health policies in both countries., The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement nº 223123 which project is entitled/n“Impact on equity of access and efficiency of Integrated Health care Networks (IHN) in Colombia and Brazil” (Equity-LA). Moreover, a grant of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation to Development/n(Spain) was provided to Irene Garcia-Subirats, for the development of the fieldwork (Beca MAEC-AECID 2010e2011 and 2011e2012)
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DnaK functions as a central hub in the E. colichaperone network

  • Calloni, Giulia
  • Chen, Taotao
  • Schermann, Sonya M.
  • Chang, Hung-chun
  • Genevaux, Pierre
  • Agostini, Federico, 1985-
  • Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano
Cellular chaperone networks prevent potentially toxic protein aggregation and ensure proteome integrity. Here, we used Escherichia coli as a model to understand the organization of these networks, focusing on the cooperation of the DnaK system with the upstream chaperone Trigger factor (TF) and the downstream GroEL. Quantitative proteomics revealed that DnaK interacts with at least 700 mostly cytosolic proteins, including 180 relatively aggregation-prone proteins that utilize DnaK extensively during and after initial folding. Upon deletion of TF, DnaK interacts increasingly with ribosomal and other small, basic proteins, while its association with large multidomain proteins is reduced. DnaK also functions prominently in stabilizing proteins for subsequent folding by GroEL. These proteins accumulate on DnaK upon GroEL depletion and are then degraded, thus defining DnaK as a central organizer of the chaperone network. Combined loss of DnaK and TF causes proteostasis collapse with disruption of GroEL function, defective ribosomal biogenesis, and extensive aggregation of large proteins., The research leading to these results has received funding from EU Framework 7 Integrated Project PROSPECTS, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 594), and the Körber Foundation is acknowledged. G.C. was supported by an EMBO long-term fellowship
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ccSOL omics: a webserver for solubility prediction of endogenous and heterologous expression in Escherichia coli

  • Agostini, Federico, 1985-
  • Cirillo, Davide
  • Livi, Carmen Maria
  • Ponti, Riccardo delli
  • Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano
SUMMARY: Here we introduce ccSOL omics, a webserver for large-scale calculations of protein solubility. Our method allows (i) proteome-wide predictions; (ii) identification of soluble fragments within each sequences; (iii) exhaustive single-point mutation analysis. RESULTS: Using coil/disorder, hydrophobicity, hydrophilicity, β-sheet and α-helix propensities, we built a predictor of protein solubility. Our approach shows an accuracy of 79% on the training set (36 990 Target Track entries). Validation on three independent sets indicates that ccSOL omics discriminates soluble and insoluble proteins with an accuracy of 74% on 31 760 proteins sharing <30% sequence similarity. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: ccSOL omics can be freely accessed on the web at http://s.tartaglialab.com/page/ccsol_group. Documentation and tutorial are available at http://s.tartaglialab.com/static_files/shared/tutorial_ccsol_omics.html. CONTACT: gian.tartaglia@crg.es/nSUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online., The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013), through the European Research Council,under grant agreement RIBOMYLOME 309545, and from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (SAF2011-26211). We also acknowledge support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, ‘Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa 2013–2017’ (SEV-2012-0208)
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Prevalencia del consumo de hipnosedantes en población ocupada y factores de estrés laboral asociados

  • Colell Ortega, Esther, 1961-
  • Sánchez Niubò, Albert
  • Domingo i Salvany, Antònia
  • Delclòs i Clanchet, Jordi, 1956-
  • Benavides, Fernando G. (Fernando García)
OBJECTIVE: To explore the prevalence of the use of hypnotics and sedatives in a sample of the Spanish working population and to examine its association with certain work-related stress factors./nMETHODS: Using data from the 2007 Spanish Household Survey on Alcohol and Drugs (Encuesta Domiciliaria sobre Alcohol y Drogas en España [EDADES]), we analyzed the distribution of the use of hypnotics and sedatives in the previous month in the working population aged 16 to 64 years old (n=13,005). Associations with exposure to certain work-related stress factors (noxious working environment, precariousness, workload, and social support) were examined using logistic regression modelling. RESULTS: The prevalence of the use of hypnotics and sedatives among women in the previous month doubled that of men (6.5% and 3.3%, respectively), while use among the oldest age group was twice that of the youngest group in both sexes (10.2% in women and 5.5% in men older than 45 years), and was four times higher among those reporting poor health (18.9% in women and 11% in men). Concerning work-related stress, exposure to moderate (OR: 1.96; 95%CI: 1.31-2.92) and high (OR: 1.95; 95%CI: 1.14-3.34) levels of precariousness in men and moderate levels in women (OR: 1.43; 95%CI: 1.03-1.99) was associated with the use of hypnotics and sedatives. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of the use of hypnotics and sedatives was high in women and in workers older than 45 years. Further research is needed on the relationship between the use of hypnotics and sedatives and workers' health, and on the role that work-related stress factors play in this association, Trabajo financiado parcialmente por la Delegación del Gobierno para el Plan Nacional sobre Drogas, Ministerio de Salud y Política Social: PNSD 2011/I073. FIS-Redes de investigación cooperativa: RD06/0001/1018 y RD12/0028/0018. AGAUR: 2009 SGR 00718. A. Sánchez-Niubò ha estado parcialmente financiado por el Instituto de Salud Carlos III: CA08/00214
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Pharmacokinetic Comparison of Soy Isoflavone Extracts in Human Plasma.

  • Rodríguez-Morató, Jose, 1987-
  • Farré Albaladejo, Magí
  • Pérez Mañá, Clara
  • Papaseit Fontanet, Esther
  • Martínez Riera, Roser
  • Torre Fornell, Rafael de la
  • Pizarro Lozano, Mª Nieves
The soy isoflavones daidzein and genistein produce several biological activities related to health benefits. A number of isoflavone extracts are commercially available, but there is little information concerning the specific isoflavone content of these products or differences in their bioavailability and pharmacokinetics. This study describes the development and validation of an analytical method to detect and quantify daidzein, genistein, and equol in human plasma using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The method was applied in a crossover, randomized, bioavailability study. Twelve healthy volunteers were administered the same total isoflavones dose from two isoflavone supplement preparations (Super-Absorbable Soy Isoflavones (Life Extension, USA) and Fitoladius (Merck, Spain)). The pharmacokinetic parameters (AUC0-24/dose and Cmax/dose) of the isoflavones from the two preparations differed significantly. Such differences in bioavailability and kinetics may have relevant effects on the health benefits derived from their intake., Funded by grants from the Ministerio de Sanidad (Investigación Clínica Independiente, EC-10-166), Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria-ISCIII-FEDER RTA (RD12/0028/0009), CIBEROBN (CB06/03/0028), Generalitat de Catalunya (AGAUR 2014SGR680, predoctoral fellowship FI-DGR 2013 for JRM) and PN I+D+I 2008-2011 and ISCIII CA11/00215 for NP. CPM and EP are Rio Hortega fellows (ISC-III, CM12/00085 and CM13/00016). The author's work was independent of the sources of funding.
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