LAM KID

[Vitamin D deficiency and infections]

LUDWIG Endre, KRIVÁN Gergely

SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

LAM KID - 2012;2(03)

[Studies performed in the past few years have confirmed that vitamin D is essential for maintaining the optimal immune defense, and its immunomodulatory effect has a role in the defense against infections as well. A lot of data suggest that low serum 25-(OH)-D concentration is associated with an increased frequency of certain infections and it adversely influences pathological processes. Data on this adverse effect are available mostly in case of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, respiratory viral infections in general, HIV, hepatitis C and sepsis. The outcomes of severe infections are usually influenced by a number of factors and it seems that vitamin D deficiency is one of those factors that shift the process towards an unfavourable outcome. Further studies should evaluate the significance of this role and the influence of vitamin D supplementation on pathological processes.]

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LAM KID

[Efficiency of osteoporosis treatment in Hungary - An analysis of the Hungarian National Insurance Company’s data]

LAKATOS Péter, TÓTH Emese, SZEKERES László, POÓR Gyula, HÉJJ Gábor, TAKÁCS István

[The treatment of osteoporosis and its consequences place a significant burden on the health care of developed countries. Modern therapeutical approaches are able to efficiently decrease the risk of osteoporotic bone fractures. However, we do not know whether the interventions introduced in the past 15 years have significantly reduced the number of osteoporotic fractures in real life, and if they have, how cost-effective this effect was. To answer these questions, we have analysed data of the Hungarian National Insurance Company collected between 2004-2010. During these 7 years, the number of bone fractures among patients treated for osteoporosis continuously decreased. This was also observed in the incidence of hip fractures. Interestingly, the mortality of osteoporotic patients was significantly lower than that of the same age group in the average population. Besides the efficient treatment of osteoporosis, this finding is also due to the outstanding general care provided by the specialised osteoporosis centers of the country. As a consequence of the reduction in fractures, 3.4 billion HUF was saved per year by the insurance company, which is approximately equal to the 3.5 billion HUF spent on the reimbursement of medicines used for the treatment of osteoporosis, which means that the investments show a return. The calculation of the quality- adjusted life years, which is the internationally accepted method of the WHO for the study of cost-effectiveness, shows that the above results were achieved in a remarkably cost-efficient way. At the same time, it is noteworthy and calls for caution that the decrease in reimbursement by the insurance company in 2007 resulted in a 51% drop in the number of patients receiving treatment, which radically reduced the observed efficiency.]

LAM KID

[The effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on articular cartilage]

GÁTI Tamás, JUHÁSZ István, ROJKOVICH Bernadette

[In developed countries, the treatment of osteoarthritis costs up to 1-2% of the GNP. The poor hygroscopy of hyaline cartilage and of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) molecules that are components of proteoglycans plays a key role in the development of the disease. Age-related osteoarthritis mostly affects the weight-bearing joints of the lower extremities, the hips and knees, and - more frequently than the former ones - the small joints of the hands, causing chronic pain and disability. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used for the treatment of osteoarthritis-related pain influence not only pain but also cartilage metabolism, and - among others - GAG molecules. NSAIDs diminish the biosynthesis of prostaglandins (PG) that have a role in inflammatory processes, and influence oxygen free radicals, the levels of interleukins (ILs) and the function of metalloproteinases. The ideal NSAID for the joints stimulates cartilage formation, reduces cartilage resorption, and the level of katabolic cytokines. Aceclofenac was found to have the most beneficial effect on multiple aspects of cartilage metabolism.]

LAM KID

[Estimating the risk of new fracture - Which factors confer an increased fracture risk?]

TAKÁCS István

[This risk of osteoporosis-related fractures is influenced by a number of well-known risk factors. Among the approaches to quantify bone fracture risk, the FRAX questionnaire is the most widespread in everyday practice. However, this method only provides a probability percentage for the physician, and it is unable to specify or weigh the factors that may have a particular importance in evaluating individual fracture risk, or choosing the appropriate therapy in patients with previous osteoporotic fracture. This summary aims to provide practical help for the evaluation of individual fracture risk in patients who have had bone fractures.]

LAM KID

[Why twins are different? - About twin research]

ERDŐS Edina, BÁLINT Bálint László

[Twin studies had an important role in the development of medicine. In this review, we present the available data of Hungarian twin studies and the number of twins in Hungary on the basis of statistical data. Comparing these data with international ones and taking into account probable prevalences, we aim to provide an estimation of the number of twins in Hungary who have cancerous diseases. Our estimation suggests that creation of a national database for such twins is feasible and could provide a great help for a better understanding of the causes and mechanisms of cancerous diseases.]

LAM KID

[Association between osteoporosis and nutrition during the history of human evolution]

KISS Zoltán, KISS István, JÓZSA László

[From the Palaeolithic age to the twentieth century, nutritional habits as well as the quality and composition of nutritients changed dramatically. The protein-based calorie intake of former Homo species had been replaced by a carbohydrate-based nutrition since the Neolithic revolution (the transition to agriculture). The start of food production also changed the range of nutrients and the start of sedentary lifestyle. At the same time, approximately five thousand years ago osteoporosis appeared. In this paper, the authors give a short review of eating habits and foods of early Homo species in the Palaeolithic Age and of Homo sapiens in Neolithic Age, Antiquity, Middle Ages and Modern Age, and discuss the possible relationship of nutrition and osteoporosis.]

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LAM Extra for General Practicioners

[VITAMIN D TREATMENT: HORMONE THERAPY FOR PATIENTS WHO NEED IT OR SIMPLY A SUPPLEMENTATION FOR EVERYONE?]

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[Various medical associations issue different recommendations for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency. These significant differences are partly explained by the different definition of normal vitamin D level and the use of completely different mathematical models to predict the increase in vitamin D level as a response to therapy. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the target vitamin D level is 20 ng/ml, whereas the Endocrine Society (ES) recommends 30 ng/m as the miminum target value. According to the ES, a 1 ng/ml increase of vitamin D level can be reached by a daily intake of 100 NE, while the IOM recommends 3.6 ng/ml. Moreover, the IOM states that the effect of therapy on serum level is nonlinear. These differences show that the ES and IOM have different views on the risk of adverse effects. The IOM recommends 400 IU vitamin D daily for children younger than 1 year, 800 IU for those above 70 years and 600 IU/per day for everyone else. The ES recommend 400-1000 IU daily for all infants and 1500- 2000 IU for adults. Screening, however, is not recommended by either society. To decrease uncertainty concerning the side effects of higher-dose vitamin D treatment, it is important to understand, use and support the function of the pharmacovigilance system of the pharmaceutical industry that manufactures and markets various (prescription, over-the-counter) preparations. This is what the author aims to highlight in the second part of this article. Using this system, both the doctor and the patient can help support and accept the justification of higher-dose vitamin D therapy.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Physiological-pathological muscle atrophy in elderly - interventions potencially inhibiting this progressive process ]

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Hypertension and nephrology

[The role of vitamin D receptor and the risk reducing effect of vitamin D receptor agonists in chronic kidney disease]

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[Calcium supplementation and the risk of cardiovascular disease - Real apprehension or picking the spin?]

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[Some data shows that calcium supplementation, a basic intervention for treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, may increase the risk of atherosclerotic vascular disease. Coronary artery calcified plaque is a marker for atheromatous plaque burden and predicts future risk of cardiovascular events. However, the deposition of calcium into the vascular wall is due to an active mechanism, involving such genes and proteins which play role in bone metabolism. In this work the data about the cardiovascular side effect of calcium supplementation are reviewed. Also, I demonstrate studies with the conclusions that calcium supplements with or without vitamin D do not increase the risk of cardiovascular events, especially that of myocardial infarction.]

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[Osteoporotic patient’s use of prescription drugs - pilot study]

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[BACKGROUND - In Hungary, the number of the highest mortality hip fractures is between 12 000-15 000 per year. The cost of treating hip fractures is several times higher than that of preventive medical therapy. Thus, the compliance of patients with osteoporosis is of great importance. METHODS - Using the informatical database of St. András Rheumatology Hospital at Héviz, we collected one year’s prescription drugs for osteoporosis and compared them with the number of drugs obtained by the patients, determined from National Health Insurance data. RESULTS - In general, the patients obtained 75% of prescription drugs. From the 4354 boxes of prescribed antiporotics, 3637 contained bisphosphonate (not considering vitamin D and calcium). Within this group, 88% of combination preparations were obtained, which is a greater ratio than that of non-combination bisphosphonates (84%). CONCLUSIONS - On the basis of our results, we posit that prescription of a combination preparation somewhat improves the patients’ compliance. The low concordance of vitamin D and calcium preparations is worrying.]