Improving the Safety Performance of Workers by Assessing the Impact of Safety Culture on Workers’ Safety Behaviour in Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry: A Pilot Study in the Niger Delta Region

Interest in the development of appropriate safety culture in the oil and gas industry has taken centre stage among stakeholders in the industry. Human behaviour has been identified as a major contributor to occupational accidents, where abnormal activities associated with safety management are taken as normal behaviour. Poor safety culture is one of the major factors that influence employee’s safety behaviour at work, which may consequently result in injuries and accidents and strengthening such a culture can improve workers safety performance. Nigeria oil and gas industry has contributed to the growth and development of the country in diverse ways. However, in terms of safety and health of workers, this industry is a dangerous place to work as workers are often exposed to occupational safety and health hazard. To ascertain the impact of employees’ safety and how it impacts health and safety compliance within the local industry, online safety culture survey targeting frontline workers within the industry was administered covering major subjects that include; perception of management commitment and style of leadership; safety communication method and its resultant impact on employees’ behaviour; employee safety commitment and training needs. The preliminary result revealed that 54% of the participants feel that there is a lack of motivation from the management to work safely. In addition, 55% of participants revealed that employers place more emphasis on work delivery over employee’s safety on the installation. It is expected that the study outcome will provide measures aimed at strengthening and sustaining safety culture in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Survey of Epidemiology and Mechanisms of Badminton Injury Using Medical Check-Up and Questionnaire of School Age Badminton Players

Badminton is one type of racket sports that requires repetitive overhead motion, with the shoulder in abduction/external rotation and requires players to perform jumps, lunges, and quick directional changes. These characteristics could be stressful for body regions that may cause badminton injuries. Regarding racket players including badminton players, there have not been any studies that have utilized medical check-up to evaluate epidemiology and mechanism of injuries. In addition, epidemiology of badminton injury in school age badminton players is unknown. The first purpose of this study was to investigate the badminton injuries, physical fitness parameters, and intensity of shoulder pain using medical check-up so that the mechanisms of shoulder injuries might be revealed. The second purpose of this study was to survey the distribution of badminton injuries in elementary school age players so that injury prevention can be implemented as early as possible. The results of this study revealed that shoulder pain occurred in all players, and present shoulder pain players had smaller weight, greater shoulder external rotation (ER) gain, significantly thinner circumference of upper limbs and greater trunk extension. Identifying players with specific of these factors may enhance the prevention of badminton injury. This study also shows that there are high incidences of knee, ankle, plantar, and shoulder injury or pain in elementary school age badminton players. Injury prevention program might be implemented for elementary school age players.

Fatal Road Accident Causer's Driving Aptitude in Hungary

Those causing fatal traffic accidents are traumatized, which negatively influences their cognitive functions and their personality. In order to clarify how much the trauma of causing a fatal accident effects their driving skills and personality traits, the results of a psychological aptitude and a personality test of drivers carelessly causing fatal accidents and of drivers not causing any accidents were compared separately. The sample (N = 354) consists of randomly selected drivers from the Transportation Aptitude and Examination Centre database who caused fatal accidents (Fatal group, n = 177) or did not cause accidents (Control group, n = 177). The aptitude tests were taken between 2014 and 2019. The comparison of the 2 groups was done according to 3 aspects: 1. Categories of aptitude (suitable, restricted, unsuited); 2. Categories of causes (ability, personality, ability and personality) within the restricted or unsuited (altogether: non-suitable subgroups); 3. Categories of ability and personality within the non-suitable subgroups regardless of the cause-category. Within ability deficiency, the two groups include those, whose ability factor is impaired or limited. This is also true in case of personality failure. Compared to the control group, the number of restricted drivers causing fatal accidents is significantly higher (p < .000) and the number of unsuited drivers is higher on a tendency-level (p = .06). Compared to the control group in the fatal non-suitable subgroup, the ratio of restricted suitability and the unsuitability due to ability factors is exclusively significantly lower (p < .000). The restricted suitability and the unsuitability due to personality factors are more significant in the fatal non-suitable subgroup (p < .000). Incapacity due to combination of ability and personality is also significantly higher in the fatal group (p = .002). Compared to the control group both ability and personality factors are also significantly higher in the fatal non-suitable subgroup (p < .000). Overall, the control group is more eligible for driving than drivers who have caused fatalities. The ability and personality factors are significantly higher in the case of fatal accident causers who are non-suitable for driving. Moreover the concomitance of ability and personality factors occur almost exclusively to drivers who caused fatal accidents. Further investigation is needed to understand the causes and how the aptitude test results for the fatal group could improve over time.

The Cardiac Diagnostic Prediction Applied to a Designed Holter

We have designed a Holter that measures the heart´s activity for over 24 hours, implemented a prediction methodology, and generate alarms as well as indicators to patients and treating physicians. Various diagnostic advances have been developed in clinical cardiology thanks to Holter implementation; however, their interpretation has largely been conditioned to clinical analysis and measurements adjusted to diverse population characteristics, thus turning it into a subjective examination. This, however, requires vast population studies to be validated that, in turn, have not achieved the ultimate goal: mortality prediction. Given this context, our Insight Research Group developed a mathematical methodology that assesses cardiac dynamics through entropy and probability, creating a numerical and geometrical attractor which allows quantifying the normalcy of chronic and acute disease as well as the evolution between such states, and our Tigum Research Group developed a holter device with 12 channels and advanced computer software. This has been shown in different contexts with 100% sensitivity and specificity results.

Modeling and Analysis of a Cycling Prosthetic

There are currently many people living with limb loss in the USA. The main causes for amputation can range from vascular disease, to trauma, or cancer. This number is expected increase over the next decade. Many patients have a single prosthetic for the first year but end up getting a second one to accommodate their changing physique. Afterwards, the prosthesis gets replaced every three to five years depending on how often it is used. This could cost the patient up to $500,000 throughout their lifetime. Complications do not end there, however. Due to the absence of nerves, it becomes more difficult to traverse terrain with a prosthetic. Moving on an incline or decline becomes difficult, thus curbs and stairs can be a challenge. Certain physical activities, such as cycling, could be even more strenuous. It will need to be relearned to accommodate for the change in weight, center of gravity, and transfer of energy from the leg to the pedal. The purpose of this research project is to develop a new, alternate below-knee cycling prosthetic using Dieter & Schmidt’s design process approach. It will be subjected to fatigue analysis under dynamic loading to observe the limitations as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the prosthetic. Benchmark comparisons will be made between existing prosthetics and the proposed one, examining the benefits and disadvantages. The resulting prosthetic will be 3D printed using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polycarbonate (PC) plastic.

Age, Body Composition, Body Mass Index and Chronic Venous Diseases in Postmenopausal Women

Chronic venous diseases (CVD) are one of the common, though controversial problems in medicine. It is generally accepted that this pathology predominantly occurs in women. The issue of excessive weight as a risk factor for CVD is still considered debatable. To the author's best knowledge, today in Ukraine, there are barely any studies that describe the relationship between CVD and obesity. Our study aims to determine the association between age, body composition, obesity and CVD in postmenopausal women. The study was conducted in D. F. Chebotarev Institute of Gerontology, National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine. We have examined 96 postmenopausal women aged 46-85 years (mean age – 66.19 ± 0.96 years), who were divided into two groups depending on the presence of CVD. The women were examined by vascular surgeons. For the diagnosis of CVD, we used clinical, anatomic and pathophysiologic classifications. We also performed clinical, ultrasound and densitometry examinations. We found that the CVD frequency in postmenopausal women increased with age (from 72% in those aged 45-59 years to 84% in those aged 75-89 years). A significant correlation between the total fat mass and age was determined in postmenopausal women with CVD. We also observed a significant correlation between the lower extremities’ fat mass and age in both examined groups. A significant correlation between body mass index and age was determined only in postmenopausal women without CVD.

Significance of Bike-Frame Geometric Factors for Cycling Efficiency and Muscle Activation

With the advocacy of green transportation and green traveling, cycling has become increasingly popular nowadays. Physiology and bike design are key factors for the influence of cycling efficiency. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the significance of bike-frame geometric factors on cycling efficiency and muscle activation for different body sizes of non-professional Asian male cyclists. Participants who represented various body sizes, as measured by leg and back lengths, carried out cycling tests using a tailor-assembled road bike with different ergonomic design configurations including seat-height adjustments (i.e., 96%, 100%, and 104% of trochanteric height) and bike frame sizes (i.e., small and medium frames) for an assessable distance of 1 km. A specific power meter and self-developed adaptable surface electromyography (sEMG) were used to measure average pedaling power and cadence generated and muscle activation, respectively. The results showed that changing the seat height was far more significant than the body and bike frame sizes. The sEMG data evidently provided a better understanding of muscle activation as a function of different seat heights. Therefore, the interpretation of this study is that the major bike ergonomic design factor dominating the cycling efficiency of Asian participants with different body sizes was the seat height.

Levels and Trends of Under-Five Mortality in South Africa from 1998 to 2012

Childhood mortality is a key sign of the coverage of child survival interventions, social and economic progressions. Although the level of under-five mortality has been declining, it is still unacceptably high. The primary aim of this paper is to establish and analyse the levels and trends of under-five mortality for the periods 1998, 2003 and 2012 in South Africa. Methods: The data used for analysis came from the 1998 SADHS, the 2003 SADHS and the 2012 SABSSM which collected information on the survival status of children. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of the survival function method was used to determine the probabilities of failure (death) from birth up to 59 months. Results and Conclusion: The overall U5MR declined by 28.2% from 53.1 in 1998 to 38.1 in 2012. The U5MR of male children declined from 59.2 in 1998 to 46.2 in 2003 and dropped further to 41.4 in 2012. The U5MR of children of mothers aged 40 years and older increased from 64.0 in 1998 to 89.0 in 2003 and rose further to 129.9 in 2012. The U5MR of children of mothers with education level of 12 years or more increased from 32.2 in 1998 to 35.2 in 2003 and declined substantially to 17.5 in 2012.

Relationship between the Use of Hormonal Contraceptives and the Promotion of Changes in Hemodynamic Factors that Predispose to Cardiovascular Risk

The use of hormonal contraceptive drugs is widely used in different age groups, mainly due to easy acquisition and due to a large number of prescriptions. Besides, several studies point to the high cardiovascular risk concerning the use of hormonal contraceptives. In this study, we evaluated 620 Brazilian women to demonstrate the correlation between the hormonal contraceptives uses with the increase of the predisposition of risk for cardiovascular diseases. Our data demonstrated that concomitant use of contraceptives showed a significant reduction activated partial thromboplastin time and prothrombin time similar to hypercoagulability clinical conditions. Besides, as a compensation mechanism, there was an increase in the Fibrinogen levels. We also verified a significant increase at the total cholesterol and platelet aggregation up to 10%. Therefore, it was evidenced through this study that the use of hormonal contraceptives may increase cardiovascular risk. Besides, our data represents an alert since, in Brazil, the primary contraceptive hormone prescribed in public health units consists of second-generation drugs, which are the ones that most present associations with cardiovascular risk.

A Study to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Simulation on Anaesthetic Non-Technical Skills in the Management of Major Trauma Patients

Background: Dynamic, challenging instances during the management of major trauma patients requires optimal team intervention to ensure patient safety and effective crisis management. These factors highlight the importance of increased awareness in both technical and non-technical skills (NTS) training. Simulation based training (SBT) is an effective tool that replicates and teaches the required clinical skills, resulting in teamwork improvement, better patient safety, and care. Aims: This study investigates change in NTS, during the management of major trauma patients, using SBT. We also investigated the relationship between NTS performance and participation in previous NTS workshop (NTSW), years of experience, previous simulation (PS), previous exposure to major trauma patient management (MTPM) and group size. Methods: NTS behaviours were assessed by a single rater using previously validated framework for observing and rating Anaesthetists’ Non-Technical Skills (ANTS) for anaesthetists and Anaesthetic Non-Technical Skills for Anaesthetic Practitioners (ANTS-AP) for anaesthetic nurses during SBT. Two anaesthetists (one senior, one junior) together with one to four registered anaesthetic nurses formed 17 teams. The SBT consisted of 3 major trauma scenarios: 1) Major haemorrhage following multiple stab wounds to the torso, 2) Traumatic brain injury complicated by unanticipated difficult intubation, and 3) Penetrating neck injury with major haemorrhage, complicated by a failed intubation. The scores of each NTS category for each scenario are evaluated for significance in change and used to correlate whether NTS during the simulation were affected by previous NTSW, PS, previous exposure to MTPM and group size. Results: The resulting anaesthetists and anesthetic nurses’ p-values were < 0.05 indicating a significant improvement in all NTS resulting from score differences between scenarios 1 & 2 and 1 & 3. Anaesthetists’ NTS categories were not influenced by PS, previous NTSW, and exposure to MTPM. However, anaesthetic nurses NTS categories were influenced by PS, exposure to MTPM but not by NTSW. Conclusions: SBT has shown to be effective in improving the NTS for both anaesthetists and anaesthetic nurses. This enhances safety and team performance for MTPM. The impact of SBT in the clinical environment for patient management and safety warrants further research.

Pilot Trial of Evidence-Based Integrative Group Therapy to Improve Executive Functioning among Adults: Implications for Community Mental Health and Training Clinics

Objective: Executive functioning (EF) deficits underlie several mental health diagnoses including ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Community mental health clinics face extensive waitlists for services with many referrals involving EF deficits. A pilot trial of a four-week group therapy was developed using key components from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and mindfulness with an aim to improve EF skills and offer low-fee services. Method: Eight adults (M = 34.5) waiting for services at a community clinic were enrolled in a four-week group therapy at an in-house training clinic for doctoral trainees. Baseline EF, pre-/post-intervention ADHD and distress symptoms, group satisfaction, and curriculum helpfulness were assessed. Results: Downward trends in ADHD and distress symptoms pre/post-intervention were not significant. Favorable responses on group satisfaction and helpfulness suggest clinical utility. Conclusion: Preliminary pilot data from a brief group therapy to improve EF may be an efficacious, acceptable, and feasible intervention for adults waiting for services at community mental health and training clinics where there are high demands and limits to services and staffs.

Simulation and Analysis of Polyetheretherketone Implants for Diaphysis Femur Fracture

In the present work, reverse engineering approach has been used to create a 3D model of a fractured femur diaphysis bone using the computed tomography (CT) scan data. Thereafter, a counter fit fixation plate of polyetheretherketone (PEEK) composite has been designed and analyzed considering static physiological loading conditions. Static stress distribution and deformation analysis of the plate have been performed. From the analysis, it has been found that the stresses and deformation developed are quite low. This implies that these designed fixation plates will be able to provide stable fixation and thus resulting in improved fracture union.

Morphology of Indian Female Athletes of Different Track and Field Events

Participation in games and sports in the contemporary times has become more competing with the developed scientific knowledge, skills and methods, along with the equipment and applied research in the field. In spite of India being a large country having vast resources and potential, its performance in the world of sports on the whole needs sincere attention for better achievements. Beside numerous factors responsible for the dismal performance of a sportsperson, the physique and body composition, including the size, shape and form are known to play a significant role. The present investigation was undertaken to study the specific morphological characteristics of Indian female Track and Field athletes. A total of 300 athletes were randomly selected as sample for the purpose of the study from the six events having 50 athletes in each event including 100m., 400m., Shot Put, Discus Throw, Long Jump and High Jump. The study included body weight, body fat percentage, lean body weight, endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy as variables. The data were computed statistically by using Mean, Standard Deviation and Analysis of Variance. The post-hoc analysis was conducted where the F-ratio was found to be significant at .05 level. The study concluded that there is a significant difference with regard to the selected variables among the Indian female athletes of different track and field events.

The Evaluation of Complete Blood Cell Count-Based Inflammatory Markers in Pediatric Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity is defined as a severe chronic disease characterized by a low-grade inflammatory state. Therefore, inflammatory markers gained utmost importance during the evaluation of obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS), a disease characterized by central obesity, elevated blood pressure, increased fasting blood glucose and elevated triglycerides or reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) values. Some inflammatory markers based upon complete blood cell count (CBC) are available. In this study, it was questioned which inflammatory marker was the best to evaluate the differences between various obesity groups. 514 pediatric individuals were recruited. 132 children with MetS, 155 morbid obese (MO), 90 obese (OB), 38 overweight (OW) and 99 children with normal BMI (N-BMI) were included into the scope of this study. Obesity groups were constituted using age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization. MetS components were determined to be able to specify children with MetS. CBC were determined using automated hematology analyzer. HDL-C analysis was performed. Using CBC parameters and HDL-C values, ratio markers of inflammation, which cover neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), derived neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (dNLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), monocyte-to-HDL-C ratio (MHR) were calculated. Statistical analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was considered as p < 0.05. There was no statistically significant difference among the groups in terms of platelet count, neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, monocyte count, and NLR. PLR differed significantly between OW and N-BMI as well as MetS. Monocyte-to HDL-C value exhibited statistical significance between MetS and N-BMI, OB, and MO groups. HDL-C value differed between MetS and N-BMI, OW, OB, MO groups. MHR was the ratio, which exhibits the best performance among the other CBC-based inflammatory markers. On the other hand, when MHR was compared to HDL-C only, it was suggested that HDL-C has given much more valuable information. Therefore, this parameter still keeps its value from the diagnostic point of view. Our results suggest that MHR can be an inflammatory marker during the evaluation of pediatric MetS, but the predictive value of this parameter was not superior to HDL-C during the evaluation of obesity.

The Potential Involvement of Platelet Indices in Insulin Resistance in Morbid Obese Children

Association between insulin resistance (IR) and hematological parameters has long been a matter of interest. Within this context, body mass index (BMI), red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets were involved in this discussion. Parameters related to platelets associated with IR may be useful indicators for the identification of IR. Platelet indices such as mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW) and plateletcrit (PCT) are being questioned for their possible association with IR. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between platelet (PLT) count as well as PLT indices and the surrogate indices used to determine IR in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 167 children participated in the study. Three groups were constituted. The number of cases was 34, 97 and 36 children in the normal BMI, MO and metabolic syndrome (MetS) groups, respectively. Sex- and age-dependent BMI-based percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used for the definition of morbid obesity. MetS criteria were determined. BMI values, homeostatic model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory (DONMA-lab) index values were computed. PLT count and indices were analyzed using automated hematology analyzer. Data were collected for statistical analysis using SPSS for Windows. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation were calculated. Mean values of PLT-related parameters in both control and study groups were compared by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey post hoc tests to determine whether a significant difference exists among the groups. The correlation analyses between PLT as well as IR indices were performed. Statistically significant difference was accepted as p-value < 0.05. Increased values were detected for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p > 0.05) in MO group compared to those observed in children with N-BMI. Significant increases for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p < 0.05) were observed in MetS group in comparison with the values obtained in children with N-BMI (p < 0.01). Significantly lower MPV and PDW values were obtained in MO group compared to the control group (p < 0.01). HOMA-IR (p < 0.05), DONMA-lab index (p < 0.001) and ALT/AST (p < 0.001) values in MO and MetS groups were significantly increased compared to the N-BMI group. On the other hand, DONMA-lab index values also differed between MO and MetS groups (p < 0.001). In the MO group, PLT was negatively correlated with MPV and PDW values. These correlations were not observed in the N-BMI group. None of the IR indices exhibited a correlation with PLT and PLT indices in the N-BMI group. HOMA-IR showed significant correlations both with PLT and PCT in the MO group. All of the three IR indices were well-correlated with each other in all groups. These findings point out the missing link between IR and PLT activation. In conclusion, PLT and PCT may be related to IR in addition to their identities as hemostasis markers during morbid obesity. Our findings have suggested that DONMA-lab index appears as the best surrogate marker for IR due to its discriminative feature between morbid obesity and MetS.

Development of Sports Nation on the Way of Health Management

The future of the nation is the embodiment of a healthy society. A key segment of government policy is the development of health and a health-oriented environment. As a result, sport as an activator of health is an important area for development. In Hungary, sport is a strategic sector with the aim of developing a sports nation. The function of sport in the global society is multifaceted, which is manifested in both social and economic terms. The economic importance of sport is gaining ground in the world, with implications for Central and Eastern Europe. Smaller states, such as Hungary, cannot ignore the economic effects of exploiting the effects of sport. The relationship between physical activity and health is driven by the health economy towards the nation's economic factor. In our research, we analyzed sport as a national strategy sector and its impact on age groups. By presenting the current state of health behavior, we get an idea of the directions where development opportunities require even more intervention. The foundation of the health of a nation is the young age group, whose shaping of health will shape the future generation. Our research was attended by university students from the Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences who will be experts in the field of health in the future. The other group is the elderly, who are a growing social group due to demographic change and are a key segment of the labor market and consumer society. Our study presents the health behavior of the two age groups, their differences, and similarities. The survey also identifies gaps in the development of a health management strategy that national strategies should take into account.

Descriptive Study of Role Played by Exercise and Diet on Brain Plasticity

In today's world, everyone has become so busy in their to-do tasks and daily routine that they tend to ignore some of the basal components of our life, including exercise and diet. This comparative study analyzes the pathways of the relationship between exercise and brain plasticity and also includes another variable diet to study the effects of diet on learning by answering questions including which diet is known to be the best learning supporter and what are the recommended quantities of the same. Further, this study looks into inter-relation between diet and exercise, and also some other approach of the relation between diet and exercise on learning apart from through Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).

Assessment of Obesity Parameters in Terms of Metabolic Age above and below Chronological Age in Adults

Chronologic age (CA) of individuals is closely related to obesity and generally affects the magnitude of obesity parameters. On the other hand, close association between basal metabolic rate (BMR) and metabolic age (MA) is also a matter of concern. It is suggested that MA higher than CA is the indicator of the need to improve the metabolic rate. In this study, the aim was to assess some commonly used obesity parameters, such as obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR, BMR-to-weight ratio, in several groups with varying differences between MA and CA values. The study comprises adults, whose ages vary between 18 and 79 years. Four groups were constituted. Group 1, 2, 3 and 4 were composed of 55, 33, 76 and 47 adults, respectively. The individuals exhibiting -1, 0 and +1 for their MA-CA values were involved in Group 1, which was considered as the control group. Those, whose MA-CA values varying between -5 and -10 participated in Group 2. Those, whose MAs above their real ages were divided into two groups [Group 3 (MA-CA; from +5 to + 10) and Group 4 (MA-CA; from +11 to + 12)]. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. TANITA body composition monitor using bioelectrical impedance analysis technology was used to obtain values for obesity degree, visceral adiposity, BMR and BMR-to-weight ratio. The compiled data were evaluated statistically using a statistical package program; SPSS. Mean ± SD values were determined. Correlation analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was accepted as p < 0.05. The increase in BMR was positively correlated with obesity degree. MAs and CAs of the groups were 39.9 ± 16.8 vs 39.9 ± 16.7 years for Group 1, 45.0 ± 15.3 vs 51.4 ± 15.7 years for Group 2, 47.2 ± 12.7 vs 40.0 ± 12.7 years for Group 3, and 53.6 ± 14.8 vs 42 ± 14.8 years for Group 4. BMI values of the groups were 24.3 ± 3.6 kg/m2, 23.2 ± 1.7 kg/m2, 30.3 ± 3.8 kg/m2, and 40.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2 for Group 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. Values obtained for BMR were 1599 ± 328 kcal in Group 1, 1463 ± 198 kcal in Group 2, 1652 ± 350 kcal in Group 3, and 1890 ± 360 kcal in Group 4. A correlation was observed between BMR and MA-CA values in Group 1. No correlation was detected in other groups. On the other hand, statistically significant correlations between MA-CA values and obesity degree, BMI as well as BMR/weight were found in Group 3 and in Group 4. It was concluded that upon consideration of these findings in terms of MA-CA values, BMR-to-weight ratio was found to be much more useful indicator of the severe increase in obesity development than BMR. Also, the lack of associations between MA and BMR as well as BMR-to-weight ratio emphasize the importance of consideration of MA-CA values rather than MA.

Associations between Surrogate Insulin Resistance Indices and the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Children

A well-defined insulin resistance (IR) is one of the requirements for the good understanding and evaluation of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, underlying causes for the development of IR are not clear. Endothelial dysfunction also participates in the pathogenesis of this disease. IR indices are being determined in various obesity groups and also in diagnosing MetS. Components of MetS have been well established and used in adult studies. However, there are some ambiguities particularly in the field of pediatrics. The aims of this study were to compare the performance of fasting blood glucose (FBG), one of MetS components, with some other IR indices and check whether FBG may be replaced by some other parameter or ratio for a better evaluation of pediatric MetS. Five-hundred and forty-nine children were involved in the study. Five groups were constituted. Groups 109, 40, 100, 166, 110, 24 children were included in normal-body mass index (N-BMI), overweight (OW), obese (OB), morbid obese (MO), MetS with two components (MetS2) and MetS with three components (MetS3) groups, respectively. Age and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used for the classification of obesity groups. MetS components were determined. Aside from one of the MetS components-FBG, eight measures of IR [homeostatic model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR), homeostatic model assessment of beta cell function (HOMA-%β), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), insulin (INS), insulin-to-FBG ratio (INS/FBG), the product of fasting triglyceride and glucose (TyG) index, McAuley index] were evaluated. Statistical analyses were performed. A p value less than 0.05 was accepted as the statistically significance degree. Mean values for BMI of the groups were 15.7 kg/m2, 21.0 kg/m2, 24.7 kg/m2, 27.1 kg/m2, 28.7 kg/m2, 30.4 kg/m2 for N-BMI, OW, OB, MO, MetS2, MetS3, respectively. Differences between the groups were significant (p < 0.001). The only exception was MetS2-MetS3 couple, in spite of an increase detected in MetS3 group. Waist-to-hip circumference ratios significantly differed only for N-BMI vs, OB, MO, MetS2; OW vs MO; OB vs MO, MetS2 couples. ALT and ALT/AST did not differ significantly among MO-MetS2-MetS3. HOMA-%β differed only between MO and MetS2. INS/FBG, McAuley index and TyG were not significant between MetS2 and MetS3. HOMA-IR and FBG were not significant between MO and MetS2. INS was the only parameter, which showed statistically significant differences between MO-MetS2, MO-MetS3, and MetS2-MetS3. In conclusion, these findings have suggested that FBG presently considered as one of the five MetS components, may be replaced by INS during the evaluation of pediatric morbid obesity and MetS.

Association of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor with Iron as well as Vitamin D, Folate and Cobalamin in Pediatric Metabolic Syndrome

The impact of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on cognition and functions of the brain is being investigated. Iron deficiency and deficiencies of B9 (folate) as well as B12 (cobalamin) vitamins are best-known nutritional anemias. They are associated with cognitive disorders and learning difficulties. The antidepressant effects of vitamin D are known and the deficiency state affects mental functions negatively. The aim of this study is to investigate possible correlations of MetS with serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), iron, folate, cobalamin and vitamin D in pediatric patients. 30 children, whose age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles vary between 85 and 15, 60 morbid obese children with above 99th percentiles constituted the study population. Anthropometric measurements were taken. BMI values were calculated. Age- and sex-dependent BMI percentile values were obtained using the appropriate tables prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO). Obesity classification was performed according to WHO criteria. Those with MetS were evaluated according to MetS criteria. Serum BDNF was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Serum folate was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Serum cobalamin concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin D status was determined by the measurement of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol [25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 25(OH)D] using high performance liquid chromatography. Statistical evaluations were performed using SPSS for Windows, version 16. The p values less than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Although statistically insignificant, lower folate and cobalamin values were found in MO children compared to those observed for children with normal BMI. For iron and BDNF values, no alterations were detected among the groups. Significantly decreased vitamin D concentrations were noted in MO children with MetS in comparison with those in children with normal BMI (p ≤ 0.05). The positive correlation observed between iron and BDNF in normal-BMI group was not found in two MO groups. In THE MetS group, the partial correlation among iron, BDNF, folate, cobalamin, vitamin D controlling for waist circumference and BMI was r = -0.501; p ≤ 0.05. None was calculated in MO and normal BMI groups. In conclusion, vitamin D should also be considered during the assessment of pediatric MetS. Waist circumference and BMI should collectively be evaluated during the evaluation of MetS in children. Within this context, BDNF appears to be a key biochemical parameter during the examination of obesity degree in terms of mental functions, cognition and learning capacity. The association observed between iron and BDNF in children with normal BMI was not detected in MO groups possibly due to development of inflammation and other obesity-related pathologies. It was suggested that this finding may contribute to mental function impairments commonly observed among obese children.