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Evropi Theodoratou - Top 30 Publications

Nature, Nurture, and Cancer Risks: Genetic and Nutritional Contributions to Cancer.

It is speculated that genetic variants are associated with differential responses to nutrients (known as gene-diet interactions) and that these variations may be linked to different cancer risks. In this review, we critically evaluate the evidence across 314 meta-analyses of observational studies and randomized controlled trials of dietary risk factors and the five most common cancers (breast, lung, prostate, colorectal, and stomach). We also critically evaluate the evidence across 13 meta-analyses of observational studies of gene-diet interactions for the same cancers. Convincing evidence for association was found only for the intake of alcohol and whole grains in relation to colorectal cancer risk. Three nutrient associations had highly suggestive evidence and another 15 associations had suggestive evidence. Among the examined gene-diet interactions, only one had moderately strong evidence.

Serum uric acid levels and multiple health outcomes: umbrella review of evidence from observational studies, randomised controlled trials, and Mendelian randomisation studies.

Objective To map the diverse health outcomes associated with serum uric acid (SUA) levels.Design Umbrella review.Data sources Medline, Embase, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and screening of citations and references.Eligibility criteria Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies that examined associations between SUA level and health outcomes, meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials that investigated health outcomes related to SUA lowering treatment, and Mendelian randomisation studies that explored the causal associations of SUA level with health outcomes.Results 57 articles reporting 15 systematic reviews and144 meta-analyses of observational studies (76 unique outcomes), 8 articles reporting 31 meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials (20 unique outcomes), and 36 articles reporting 107 Mendelian randomisation studies (56 unique outcomes) met the eligibility criteria. Across all three study types, 136 unique health outcomes were reported. 16 unique outcomes in meta-analyses of observational studies had P<10(-6), 8 unique outcomes in meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials had P<0.001, and 4 unique outcomes in Mendelian randomisation studies had P<0.01. Large between study heterogeneity was common (80% and 45% in meta-analyses of observational studies and of randomised controlled trials, respectively). 42 (55%) meta-analyses of observational studies and 7 (35%) meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials showed evidence of small study effects or excess significance bias. No associations from meta-analyses of observational studies were classified as convincing; five associations were classified as highly suggestive (increased risk of heart failure, hypertension, impaired fasting glucose or diabetes, chronic kidney disease, coronary heart disease mortality with high SUA levels). Only one outcome from randomised controlled trials (decreased risk of nephrolithiasis recurrence with SUA lowering treatment) had P<0.001, a 95% prediction interval excluding the null, and no large heterogeneity or bias. Only one outcome from Mendelian randomisation studies (increased risk of gout with high SUA levels) presented convincing evidence. Hypertension and chronic kidney disease showed concordant evidence in meta-analyses of observational studies, and in some (but not all) meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials with respective intermediate or surrogate outcomes, but they were not statistically significant in Mendelian randomisation studies.Conclusion Despite a few hundred systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and Mendelian randomisation studies exploring 136 unique health outcomes, convincing evidence of a clear role of SUA level only exists for gout and nephrolithiasis.

Causes of death in children younger than five years in China in 2015: an updated analysis.

Substantial progress in reducing the child mortality rate has been made globally in the last two decades. However, for China, the number of children dying from preventable diseases is still very large. It is important to have regularly updated information on the distribution of causes of death (COD) in children to inform policy and research. In this study, we aim to estimate the COD spectrum in children younger than five years old from 2009 to 2015 with a focus on the year 2015 and to provide an updated COD prediction model for China.

From cell biology to immunology: Controlling metastatic progression of cancer via microRNA regulatory networks.

Recently, the study of microRNAs has expanded our knowledge of the fundamental processes of cancer biology and the underlying mechanisms behind tumor metastasis. Extensive research in the fields of microRNA and its novel mechanisms of actions against various cancers has more recently led to the trial of a first cancer-targeted microRNA drug, MRX34. Yet, these microRNAs are mostly being studied and clinically trialed solely based on the understanding of their cell biologic effects, thus, neglecting the important immunologic effects that are sometimes opposite of the cell biologic effects. Here, we summarize both the cell biologic and immunologic effects of various microRNAs and discuss the importance of considering both effects before using them in clinical settings. We stress the importance of understanding the miRNA's effect on cancer metastasis from a "systems" perspective before developing a miRNA-targeted therapeutic in treating cancer metastasis.

Systematic meta-analyses and field synopsis of genetic and epigenetic studies in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease.

We provide a comprehensive field synopsis of genetic and epigenetic associations for paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). A systematic review was performed and included 84 genetic association studies reporting data for 183 polymorphisms in 71 genes. Meta-analyses were conducted for 20 SNPs in 10 genes of paediatric Crohn's disease (CD) and for 8 SNPs in 5 genes of paediatric ulcerative colitis (UC). Five epigenetic studies were also included, but formal meta-analysis was not possible. Venice criteria and Bayesian false discovery probability test were applied to assess the credibility of associations. Nine SNPs in 4 genes were considered to have highly credible associations with paediatric CD, of which four variants (rs2066847, rs12521868, rs26313667, rs1800629) were not previously identified in paediatric GWAS. Differential DNA methylation in NOD2 and TNF-α, dysregulated expression in let-7 and miR-124 were associated with paediatric IBD, but not as yet replicated. Highly credible SNPs associated with paediatric IBD have also been implicated in adult IBD, with similar magnitudes of associations. Early onset and distinct phenotypic features of paediatric IBD might be due to distinct epigenetic changes, but these findings need to be replicated. Further progress identifying genetic and epigenetic susceptibility of paediatric IBD will require international collaboration, population diversity and harmonization of protocols.

Barriers to Hospital Deliveries among Ethnic Minority Women with Religious Beliefs in China: A Descriptive Study Using Interviews and Survey Data.

China has made great progress in improving hospital delivery-the coverage of hospital delivery has increased to above 95% in most regions- some regions lag behind owing to geographic and economic inequality, particularly the poor ethnic minority areas of the Sichuan Province. This study explores factors which may influence hospital delivery from multiple perspectives, with implications for practice and policy.

Glycosylation of plasma IgG in colorectal cancer prognosis.

In this study we demonstrate the potential value of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) glycosylation as a novel prognostic biomarker of colorectal cancer (CRC). We analysed plasma IgG glycans in 1229 CRC patients and correlated with survival outcomes. We assessed the predictive value of clinical algorithms and compared this to algorithms that also included glycan predictors. Decreased galactosylation, decreased sialylation (of fucosylated IgG glycan structures) and increased bisecting GlcNAc in IgG glycan structures were strongly associated with all-cause (q < 0.01) and CRC mortality (q = 0.04 for galactosylation and sialylation). Clinical algorithms showed good prediction of all-cause and CRC mortality (Harrell's C: 0.73, 0.77; AUC: 0.75, 0.79, IDI: 0.02, 0.04 respectively). The inclusion of IgG glycan data did not lead to any statistically significant improvements overall, but it improved the prediction over clinical models for stage 4 patients with the shortest follow-up time until death, with the median gain in the test AUC of 0.08. These glycan differences are consistent with significantly increased IgG pro-inflammatory activity being associated with poorer CRC prognosis, especially in late stage CRC. In the absence of validated biomarkers to improve upon prognostic information from existing clinicopathological factors, the potential of these novel IgG glycan biomarkers merits further investigation.

IgG Glycome in Colorectal Cancer.

Alternative glycosylation has significant structural and functional consequences on IgG and consequently also on cancer immunosurveillance. Because of technological limitations, the effects of highly heritable individual variations and the differences in the dynamics of changes in IgG glycosylation on colorectal cancer were never investigated before.

Global and regional estimates of COPD prevalence: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

The burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) across many world regions is high. We aim to estimate COPD prevalence and number of disease cases for the years 1990 and 2010 across world regions based on the best available evidence in publicly accessible scientific databases.

China's human resources for maternal and child health: a national sampling survey.

In order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 and 5, the Chinese Government has invested greatly in improving maternal and child health (MCH) with impressive results. However, one of the most important barriers for further improvement is the uneven distribution of MCH human resources. There is little information about the distribution, quantity and capacity of the Chinese MCH human resources and we sought to investigate this.

Prevalence of schizophrenia in China between 1990 and 2010.

Dramatic development and changes in lifestyle in many low and middle-income countries (LMIC) over the past three decades may have affected mental health of their populations. Being the largest country and having the most striking record of development, industrialization and urbanization, China provides an important opportunity for studying the nature and magnitude of possible effects.

Recurrent Coding Sequence Variation Explains Only A Small Fraction of the Genetic Architecture of Colorectal Cancer.

Whilst common genetic variation in many non-coding genomic regulatory regions are known to impart risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), much of the heritability of CRC remains unexplained. To examine the role of recurrent coding sequence variation in CRC aetiology, we genotyped 12,638 CRCs cases and 29,045 controls from six European populations. Single-variant analysis identified a coding variant (rs3184504) in SH2B3 (12q24) associated with CRC risk (OR = 1.08, P = 3.9 × 10(-7)), and novel damaging coding variants in 3 genes previously tagged by GWAS efforts; rs16888728 (8q24) in UTP23 (OR = 1.15, P = 1.4 × 10(-7)); rs6580742 and rs12303082 (12q13) in FAM186A (OR = 1.11, P = 1.2 × 10(-7) and OR = 1.09, P = 7.4 × 10(-8)); rs1129406 (12q13) in ATF1 (OR = 1.11, P = 8.3 × 10(-9)), all reaching exome-wide significance levels. Gene based tests identified associations between CRC and PCDHGA genes (P < 2.90 × 10(-6)). We found an excess of rare, damaging variants in base-excision (P = 2.4 × 10(-4)) and DNA mismatch repair genes (P = 6.1 × 10(-4)) consistent with a recessive mode of inheritance. This study comprehensively explores the contribution of coding sequence variation to CRC risk, identifying associations with coding variation in 4 genes and PCDHG gene cluster and several candidate recessive alleles. However, these findings suggest that recurrent, low-frequency coding variants account for a minority of the unexplained heritability of CRC.

The role of host genetic factors in respiratory tract infectious diseases: systematic review, meta-analyses and field synopsis.

Host genetic factors have frequently been implicated in respiratory infectious diseases, often with inconsistent results in replication studies. We identified 386 studies from the total of 24,823 studies identified in a systematic search of four bibliographic databases. We performed meta-analyses of studies on tuberculosis, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, SARS-Coronavirus and pneumonia. One single-nucleotide polymorphism from IL4 gene was significant for pooled respiratory infections (rs2070874; 1.66 [1.29-2.14]). We also detected an association of TLR2 gene with tuberculosis (rs5743708; 3.19 [2.03-5.02]). Subset analyses identified CCL2 as an additional risk factor for tuberculosis (rs1024611; OR = 0.79 [0.72-0.88]). The IL4-TLR2-CCL2 axis could be a highly interesting target for translation towards clinical use. However, this conclusion is based on low credibility of evidence - almost 95% of all identified studies had strong risk of bias or confounding. Future studies must build upon larger-scale collaborations, but also strictly adhere to the highest evidence-based principles in study design, in order to reduce research waste and provide clinically translatable evidence.

Systematic meta-analyses and field synopsis of genetic association studies in colorectal adenomas.

Low penetrance genetic variants, primarily single nucleotide polymorphisms, have substantial influence on colorectal cancer (CRC) susceptibility. Most CRCs develop from colorectal adenomas (CRA). Here we report the first comprehensive field synopsis that catalogues all genetic association studies on CRA, with a parallel online database [].

Assembling GHERG: Could "academic crowd-sourcing" address gaps in global health estimates?

In recent months, the World Health Organization (WHO), independent academic researchers, the Lancet and PLoS Medicine journals worked together to improve reporting of population health estimates. The new guidelines for accurate and transparent health estimates reporting (likely to be named GATHER), which are eagerly awaited, represent a helpful move that should benefit the field of global health metrics. Building on this progress and drawing from a tradition of Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG)'s successful work model, we would like to propose a new initiative - "Global Health Epidemiology Reference Group" (GHERG). We see GHERG as an informal and entirely voluntary international collaboration of academic groups who are willing to contribute to improving disease burden estimates and respect the principles of the new guidelines - a form of "academic crowd-sourcing". The main focus of GHERG will be to identify the "gap areas" where not much information is available and/or where there is a lot of uncertainty present about the accuracy of the existing estimates. This approach should serve to complement the existing WHO and IHME estimates and to represent added value to both efforts.

Causes of accidental childhood deaths in China in 2010: A systematic review and analysis.

Infectious causes of childhood deaths in the world have decreased substantially in the 21st century. This trend has exposed accidental deaths as an increasingly important future challenge. Presently, little is known about the cause structure of accidental childhood deaths in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings. In this paper, we aim to establish cause structure for accidental deaths in children aged 0-4 years in China in the year 2010.

Urbanization and the prevalence of schizophrenia in China between 1990 and 2010.

Prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and analysis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small joints of the body. It is one of the leading causes of chronic morbidity in high-income countries, but little is known about the burden of this disease in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).

Inflammatory bowel disease associates with proinflammatory potential of the immunoglobulin G glycome.

Glycobiology is an underexplored research area in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and glycans are relevant to many etiological mechanisms described in IBD. Alterations in N-glycans attached to the immunoglobulin G (IgG) Fc fragment can affect molecular structure and immunological function. Recent genome-wide association studies reveal pleiotropy between IBD and IgG glycosylation. This study aims to explore IgG glycan changes in ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD).

Modulation of genetic associations with serum urate levels by body-mass-index in humans.

We tested for interactions between body mass index (BMI) and common genetic variants affecting serum urate levels, genome-wide, in up to 42569 participants. Both stratified genome-wide association (GWAS) analyses, in lean, overweight and obese individuals, and regression-type analyses in a non BMI-stratified overall sample were performed. The former did not uncover any novel locus with a major main effect, but supported modulation of effects for some known and potentially new urate loci. The latter highlighted a SNP at RBFOX3 reaching genome-wide significant level (effect size 0.014, 95% CI 0.008-0.02, Pinter= 2.6 x 10-8). Two top loci in interaction term analyses, RBFOX3 and ERO1LB-EDARADD, also displayed suggestive differences in main effect size between the lean and obese strata. All top ranking loci for urate effect differences between BMI categories were novel and most had small magnitude but opposite direction effects between strata. They include the locus RBMS1-TANK (men, Pdifflean-overweight= 4.7 x 10-8), a region that has been associated with several obesity related traits, and TSPYL5 (men, Pdifflean-overweight= 9.1 x 10-8), regulating adipocytes-produced estradiol. The top-ranking known urate loci was ABCG2, the strongest known gout risk locus, with an effect halved in obese compared to lean men (Pdifflean-obese= 2 x 10-4). Finally, pathway analysis suggested a role for N-glycan biosynthesis as a prominent urate-associated pathway in the lean stratum. These results illustrate a potentially powerful way to monitor changes occurring in obesogenic environment.

Reply to F.J.S. Conway et Al.

Global, regional, and national estimates of pneumonia burden in HIV-infected children in 2010: a meta-analysis and modelling study.

Globally, pneumonia is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children younger than 5 years. Underlying HIV infection is an important risk factor for pneumonia morbidity and mortality in children. There are, however, no global or country level estimates of pneumonia burden in HIV-infected children. We assessed the role of HIV in pneumonia incidence and mortality and estimated the number of pneumonia cases and deaths in HIV-infected children younger than 5 years in 133 high pneumonia-burden countries in 2010.

An analysis of women's and children's health professional requirements in China in 2010 based on workload.

To make health services more equitable and accessible for women and children and to achieve a universal coverage, human resources for women and children's health (WCH) should be evaluated. However, since there is still no consensus on the real situation of Chinese WCH professionals, we aim with this study to compare the actual and required amount of WCH professionals for China.

Plasma vitamin D concentration influences survival outcome after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

We investigated whether the plasma level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) influences survival outcome.

Association of vitamin D status with arterial blood pressure and hypertension risk: a mendelian randomisation study.

Low plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration is associated with high arterial blood pressure and hypertension risk, but whether this association is causal is unknown. We used a mendelian randomisation approach to test whether 25(OH)D concentration is causally associated with blood pressure and hypertension risk.

The role of glycosylation in IBD.

A number of genetic and immunological studies give impetus for investigating the role of glycosylation in IBD. Experimental mouse models have helped to delineate the role of glycosylation in intestinal mucins and to explore the putative pathogenic role of glycosylation in colitis. These experiments have been extended to human studies investigating the glycosylation patterns of intestinal mucins as well as levels of glycans of serum glycoproteins and expression of glycan receptors. These early human studies have generated interesting hypotheses regarding the pathogenic role of glycans in IBD, but have generally been restricted to fairly small underpowered studies. Decreased glycosylation has been observed in the intestinal mucus of patients with IBD, suggesting that a defective inner mucus layer might lead to increased bacterial contact with the epithelium, potentially triggering inflammation. In sera, decreased galactosylation of IgG has been suggested as a diagnostic marker for IBD. Advances in glycoprofiling technology make it technically feasible and affordable to perform high-throughput glycan pattern analyses and to build on previous work investigating a much wider range of glycan parameters in large numbers of patients.

Authors' reply to Boucher.

Comparative performance of four methods for high-throughput glycosylation analysis of immunoglobulin G in genetic and epidemiological research.

The biological and clinical relevance of glycosylation is becoming increasingly recognized, leading to a growing interest in large-scale clinical and population-based studies. In the past few years, several methods for high-throughput analysis of glycans have been developed, but thorough validation and standardization of these methods is required before significant resources are invested in large-scale studies. In this study, we compared liquid chromatography, capillary gel electrophoresis, and two MS methods for quantitative profiling of N-glycosylation of IgG in the same data set of 1201 individuals. To evaluate the accuracy of the four methods we then performed analysis of association with genetic polymorphisms and age. Chromatographic methods with either fluorescent or MS-detection yielded slightly stronger associations than MS-only and multiplexed capillary gel electrophoresis, but at the expense of lower levels of throughput. Advantages and disadvantages of each method were identified, which should inform the selection of the most appropriate method in future studies.

Vitamin D and multiple health outcomes: umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies and randomised trials.

To evaluate the breadth, validity, and presence of biases of the associations of vitamin D with diverse outcomes.

Breastfeeding for reducing the risk of pneumonia morbidity and mortality in children under two: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.

Suboptimal breastfeeding practices among infants and young children <24 months of age are associated with elevated risk of pneumonia morbidity and mortality. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantify the protective effects of breastfeeding exposure against pneumonia incidence, prevalence, hospitalizations and mortality.