Relationship between Iron-Related Parameters and Soluble Tumor Necrosis Factor-Like Weak Inducer of Apoptosis in Obese Children

Iron is physiologically essential. However, it also participates in the catalysis of free radical formation reactions. Its deficiency is associated with amplified health risks. This trace element establishes some links with another physiological process related to cell death, apoptosis. Both iron deficiency and iron overload are closely associated with apoptosis. Soluble tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (sTWEAK) has the ability to trigger apoptosis and plays a dual role in the physiological versus pathological inflammatory responses of tissues. The aim of this study was to investigate the status of these parameters as well as the associations among them in children with obesity, a low-grade inflammatory state. The study was performed on groups of children with normal body mass index (N-BMI) and obesity. 43 children were included in each group. Based upon age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentile tables prepared by the World Health Organization, children whose values varied between 85 and 15 were included in N-BMI group. Children, whose BMI percentile values were between 99 and 95, comprised obese (OB) group. Institutional ethical committee approval and informed consent forms were taken prior to the study. Anthropometric measurements (weight, height, waist circumference, hip circumference, head circumference, neck circumference) and blood pressure values (systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure) were recorded. Routine biochemical analyses, including serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), transferrin saturation percent (Tf Sat %) and ferritin, were performed. sTWEAK levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. study data were evaluated using appropriate statistical tests performed by the statistical program SPSS. Serum iron levels were 91 ± 34 mcrg/dl and 75 ± 31 mcrg/dl in N-BMI and OB children, respectively. The corresponding values for TIBC, Tf Sat %, ferritin were 265 mcrg/dl vs. 299 mcrg/dl, 37.2 ± 19.1% vs. 26.7 ± 14.6%, and 41 ± 25 ng/ml vs 44 ± 26 ng/ml. In N-BMI and OB groups, sTWEAK concentrations were measured as 351 ng/L and 325 ng/L, respectively (p > 0.05). Correlation analysis revealed significant associations between sTWEAK levels and iron related parameters (p < 0.05) except ferritin. In conclusion, iron contributes to apoptosis. Children with iron deficiency have decreased apoptosis rate in comparison with that of healthy children. sTWEAK is an inducer of apoptosis. OB children had lower levels of both iron and sTWEAK. Low levels of sTWEAK are associated with several types of cancers and poor survival. Although iron deficiency state was not observed in this study, the correlations detected between decreased sTWEAK and decreased iron as well as Tf Sat % values were valuable findings, which point out decreased apoptosis. This may induce a proinflammatory state, potentially leading to malignancies in the future lives of OB children.

Challenge of Net-Zero Carbon Construction and Measurement of Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission Reduction to Climate Change, Economy and Job Growths in Hong Kong and Australia

Under the Paris Agreement 2015, the countries committed to address and combat the climate change and its negative impacts and agree to the target of reducing the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission substantially by limiting the global temperature to 2 0C above the pre-industrial level in this century. An international submit named “26th United Nations Climate Conference” (COP26) was held in Glasgow in 2021 with all committed countries agreed to finalize the outstanding element in Paris Agreement and Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5 0C. In this paper, we will focus on the basic approach of waste strategy, recycling policy, circular economy strategy, net-zero strategy and sustainability strategy and the importance of the elements which affect the carbon emission, waste generation and energy conservation will be further reviewed with recommendation for future study.

The Evaluation of New Generation Cardiovascular Risk Markers in Childhood Obesity

Obesity, as excessive fat accumulation in the body, is a global health problem. The prevalence of obesity and its complications increase due to easy access to high-energy food and decreased physical activity. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) constitute a significant part of obesity-related morbidity and mortality. Since the effects of obesity on cardiovascular system may start during childhood without clinical findings, elucidating the mechanisms of cardiovascular changes associated with childhood obesity became more important. In this study, we aimed to investigate some biochemical parameters which may be involved in obesity-related pathologic processes of CVDs. One hundred and seventy-seven children were included in the study, and they were divided into four groups based upon WHO criteria and presence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS): children with normal-BMI, obesity, morbid obesity, and MetS. High-sensitive cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT), cardiac myosin binding protein C (cMyBP-C), trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), soluble tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer (sTWEAK), chromogranin A (CgA), multimerin-2 levels, and other biochemical parameters were measured in serum samples. Anthropometric measurements and clinical findings of the children were recorded. Statistical analyses were performed. Children with normal-BMI had significantly higher CgA levels than children with obesity, morbid obesity, and MetS (p < 0.05). Cardiac MyBP-C levels of children with MetS were significantly higher than of children with normal-BMI and OB children (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in hs-cTnT, sTWEAK, TMAO and multimerin-2 between the groups (p>0.05). These results suggested that cMyBP-C and CgA molecules may be involved in the pathogenesis of obesity-related CVDs.

Associations among Fetuin A, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Children with Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Obesity is a disease with an ever-increasing prevalence throughout the world. The metabolic network associated with obesity is very complicated. In metabolic syndrome (MetS), it becomes even more difficult to understand. Within this context, hormones, cytokines, and many others participate in this complex matrix. The collaboration among all of these parameters is a matter of great wonder. Cortisol, as a stress hormone, is closely associated with obesity. Thyroid hormones are involved in the regulation of energy as well as glucose metabolism with all of its associates. Fetuin A has been known for years; however, the involvement of this parameter in obesity discussions is rather new. Recently, it has been defined as one of the new generation markers of obesity. In this study, the aim was to introduce complex interactions among all to be able to make clear comparisons, at least for a part of this complicated matter. Morbid obese (MO) children participated in the study. Two groups with 46 MO children and 43 with MetS were constituted. All children included in the study were above 99th age- and sex-adjusted body mass index (BMI) percentiles according to World Health Organization criteria. Forty-three morbid obese children in the second group also had MetS components. Informed consent forms were filled by the parents of the participants. The institutional ethics committee has given approval for the study protocol. Data as well as the findings of the study were evaluated from a statistical point of view. Two groups were matched for their age and gender compositions. Significantly higher body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, thyrotropin, and insulin values were observed in the MetS group. Triiodothyronine concentrations did not differ between the groups. Elevated levels for thyroxin, cortisol, and fetuin-A were detected in the MetS group compared to the first group (p > 0.05). In MO MetS- group, cortisol was correlated with thyroxin and fetuin-A (p < 0.05). In the MO MetS+ group, none of these correlations were present. Instead, a correlation between cortisol and thyrotropin was found (p < 0.05). In conclusion, findings have shown that cortisol was the key player in severely obese children. The association of this hormone with the participants of thyroid hormone metabolism was quite important. The lack of association with fetuin A in the morbid obese MetS+ group has suggested the possible interference of MetS components in the behavior of this new generation obesity marker. The most remarkable finding of the study was the unique correlation between cortisol and thyrotropin in the morbid obese MetS+ group, suggesting that thyrotropin may serve as a target along with cortisol in the morbid obese MetS+ group. This association may deserve specific attention during the development of remedies against MetS in the pediatric population.

The Association of Vitamin B₁₂ with Body Weight-and Fat-Based Indices in Childhood Obesity

Vitamin deficiencies are common in obese individuals. Particularly, the status of vitamin B12 and its association with vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin D is under investigation in recent time. Vitamin B12 is closely related to many vital processes in the body. In clinical studies, its involvement in fat metabolism draws attention from the obesity point of view. Obesity, in its advanced stages and in combination with metabolic syndrome (MetS) findings, may be a life-threatening health problem. Pediatric obesity is particularly important, because it may be a predictor of the severe chronic diseases during adulthood period of the child. Due to its role in fat metabolism, vitamin B12 deficiency may disrupt metabolic pathways of the lipid and energy metabolisms in the body. The association of low B12 levels with obesity degree may be an interesting topic to be investigated. Obesity indices may be helpful at this point. Weight- and fat-based indices are available. Of them, body mass index (BMI) is in the first group. Fat mass index (FMI), fat-free mass index (FFMI) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment-II (D2I) index lie in the latter group. The aim of this study is to clarify possible associations between vitamin B12 status and obesity indices in pediatric population. The study comprises a total of 122 children. 32 children were included in the normal-body mass index (N-BMI) group. 46 and 44 children constitute groups with morbid obese children without MetS and with MetS, respectively. Informed consent forms and the approval of the institutional ethics committee were obtained. Tables prepared for obesity classification by World Health Organization were used. MetS criteria were defined. Anthropometric and blood pressure measurements were taken. BMI, FMI, FFMI, D2I were calculated. Routine laboratory tests were performed. Vitamin B9, B12, D concentrations were determined. Statistical evaluation of the study data was performed. Vitamin B9 and vitamin D levels were reduced in MetS group compared to children with N-BMI (p > 0.05). Significantly lower values were observed in vitamin B12 concentrations of MetS group (p < 0.01). Upon evaluation of blood pressure as well as triglyceride levels, there exist significant increases in morbid obese children. Significantly decreased concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were observed. All of the obesity indices and insulin resistance index exhibit increasing tendency with the severity of obesity. Inverse correlations were calculated between vitamin D and insulin resistance index as well as vitamin B12 and D2I in morbid obese groups. In conclusion, a fat-based index, D2I, was the most prominent body index, which shows strong correlation with vitamin B12 concentrations in the late stage of obesity in children. A negative correlation between these two parameters was a confirmative finding related to the association between vitamin B12 and obesity degree. 

Spexin and Fetuin A in Morbid Obese Children

Spexin, expressed in the central nervous system, has attracted much interest in feeding behavior, obesity, diabetes, energy metabolism and cardiovascular functions. Fetuin A is known as the negative acute phase reactant synthesized in the liver. Eosinophils are early indicators of cardiometabolic complications. Patients with elevated platelet count, associated with hypercoagulable state in the body, are also more liable to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). In this study, the aim is to examine the profiles of spexin and fetuin A concomitant with the course of variations detected in eosinophil as well as platelet counts in morbid obese children. 34 children with normal-body mass index (N-BMI) and 51 morbid obese (MO) children participated in the study. Written-informed consent forms were obtained prior to the study. Institutional ethics committee approved the study protocol. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used to classify healthy and obese children. Mean age ± SEM of the children were 9.3 ± 0.6 years and 10.7 ± 0.5 years in N-BMI and MO groups, respectively. Anthropometric measurements of the children were taken. BMI values were calculated from weight and height values. Blood samples were obtained after an overnight fasting. Routine hematologic and biochemical tests were performed. Within this context, fasting blood glucose (FBG), insulin (INS), triglycerides (TRG), high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations were measured. Homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values were calculated. Spexin and fetuin A levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Data were evaluated from the statistical point of view. Statistically significant differences were found between groups in terms of BMI, fat mass index, INS, HOMA-IR and HDL-C. In MO group, all parameters increased as HDL-C decreased. Elevated concentrations in MO group were detected in eosinophils (p < 0.05) and platelets (p > 0.05). Fetuin A levels decreased in MO group (p > 0.05). However, decrease was statistically significant in spexin levels for this group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, these results have suggested that increases in eosinophils and platelets exhibit behavior as cardiovascular risk factors. Decreased fetuin A behaved as a risk factor suitable to increased risk for cardiovascular problems associated with the severity of obesity. Along with increased eosinophils, increased platelets and decreased fetuin A, decreased spexin was the parameter, which reflects best its possible participation in the early development of CVD risk in MO children.

Hematologic Inflammatory Markers and Inflammation-Related Hepatokines in Pediatric Obesity

Obesity in children particularly draws attention, because it may threaten the individual’s future life due to many chronic diseases it may lead to. Most of these diseases including obesity itself altogether are related to inflammation. For this reason, inflammation-related parameters gain importance. Within this context, complete blood cell counts, ratios or indices derived from these counts have recently found some platform to be used as inflammatory markers. So far, mostly adipokines were investigated within the field of obesity. Metabolic inflammation is closely associated with cellular dysfunction. In this study, hematologic inflammatory markers and cytokines produced predominantly by the liver (fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) and fetuin A) were investigated in pediatric obesity. Two groups were constituted from 76 obese children based on World Health Organization criteria. Group 1 was composed of children, whose age- and sex-adjusted body mass index (BMI) percentiles were between 95 and 99. Group 2 consists of children, who are above 99th percentile. The first and the latter groups were defined as obese (OB) and morbid obese (MO). Anthropometric measurements of the children were performed. Informed consent forms and the approval of the institutional ethics committee were obtained. Blood cell counts and ratios were determined by automated hematology analyzer. The related ratios and indexes were calculated. Statistical evaluation of the data was performed by SPSS program. There was no statistically significant difference in terms of neutrophil-to lymphocyte ratio, monocyte-to-high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio between the groups. Mean platelet volume and platelet distribution width values were decreased (p < 0.05), total platelet count, red cell distribution width (RDW) and systemic immune inflammation index values were increased (p < 0.01) in MO group. Both hepatokines were increased in the same group, however increases were not statistically significant. In this group, also a strong correlation was calculated between FGF-21 and RDW when controlled by age, hematocrit, iron and ferritin (r = 0.425; p < 0.01). In conclusion, the association between RDW, a hematologic inflammatory marker, and FGF-21, an inflammation-related hepatokine, found in MO group is an important finding discriminating between OB and MO children. This association is even more powerful when controlled by age and iron-related parameters.

HaskellFL: A Tool for Detecting Logical Errors in Haskell

Understanding and using the functional paradigm is a challenge for many programmers. Looking for logical errors in code may take a lot of a developer’s time when a program grows in size. In order to facilitate both processes, this paper presents HaskellFL, a tool that uses fault localization techniques to locate a logical error in Haskell code. The Haskell subset used in this work is sufficiently expressive for those studying Functional Programming to get immediate help debugging their code and to answer questions about key concepts associated with the functional paradigm. HaskellFL was tested against Functional Programming assignments submitted by students enrolled at the Functional Programming class at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and against exercises from the Exercism Haskell track that are publicly available in GitHub. This work also evaluated the effectiveness of two fault localization techniques, Tarantula and Ochiai, in the Haskell context. Furthermore, the EXAM score was chosen to evaluate the tool’s effectiveness, and results showed that HaskellFL reduced the effort needed to locate an error for all tested scenarios. The results also showed that the Ochiai method was more effective than Tarantula.

Calcium Biochemical Indicators in a Group of Schoolchildren with Low Socioeconomic Status from Barranquilla, Colombia

Calcium is an essential element for good growth and development of the organism, and its requirement is increased at school age. Low socio-economic populations of developing countries such as Colombia may have food deficiency of this mineral in schoolchildren that could be reflected in calcium biochemical indicators, bone alterations and anthropometric indicators. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate some calcium biochemical indicators in a group of schoolchildren of low socioeconomic level from Barranquilla city and to correlate with body mass index. 60 schoolchildren aged 7 to 15 years were selected from Jesus’s Heart Educational Institution in Barranquilla-Atlántico, apparently healthy, without suffering from infectious or gastrointestinal diseases, without habits of drinking alcohol or smoking another hallucinogenic substance and without taking supplementation with calcium in the last six months or another substance that compromises bone metabolism. The research was approved by the ethics committee at Universidad del Atlántico. The selected children were invited to donate a blood and urine sample in a fasting time of 12 hours, the serum was separated by centrifugation and frozen at ˗20 ℃ until analyzed and the same was done with the urine sample. On the day of the biological collections, the weight and height of the students were measured to determine the nutritional status by BMI using the WHO tables. Calcium concentrations in serum and urine (SCa, UCa), alkaline phosphatase activity total and of bone origin (SAPT, SBAP) and urinary creatinine (UCr) were determined by spectrophotometric methods using commercial kits. Osteocalcin and Cross-linked N-telopeptides of type I collagen (NTx-1) in serum were measured with an enzyme-linked inmunosorbent assay. For statistical analysis the Statgraphics software Centurium XVII was used. 63% (n = 38) and 37% (n = 22) of the participants were male and female, respectively. 78% (n = 47), 5% (n = 3) and 17% (n = 10) had a normal, malnutrition and high nutritional status, respectively. The averages of evaluated indicators levels were (mean ± SD): 9.50 ± 1.06 mg/dL for SCa; 181.3 ± 64.3 U/L for SAPT, 143.8 ± 73.9 U/L for SBAP; 9.0 ± 3.48 ng/mL for osteocalcin and 101.3 ± 12.8 ng/mL for NTx-1. UCa level was 12.8 ± 7.7 mg/dL that adjusted with creatinine ranged from 0.005 to 0.395 mg/mg. Considering serum calcium values, approximately 7% of school children were hypocalcemic, 16% hypercalcemic and 77% normocalcemic. The indicators evaluated did not correlate with the BMI. Low values ​​were observed in calcium urinary excretion and high in NTx-1, suggesting that mechanisms such as increase in renal retention of calcium and in bone remodeling may be contributing to calcium homeostasis.

Body Mass Index, Components of Metabolic Syndrome and Hyperuricemia among Women in Postmenopausal Period

In recent years, the problem of hyperuricemia is getting a particular importance due to its increased incidence in the world population. The aim of this study was to determine uriс acid level in blood serum, incidence of hyperuricemia among women in postmenopausal period and their association with body mass index and some components of metabolic syndrome (triglyceride, cholesterol, systolic and diastolic pressure). We examined 412 women in postmenopausal period. They were divided in to the following groups: I group (BMI = 18,5-24,9), II group (BMI = 25,0-29,9), III group (BMI = 30,0-34,9), IV group (BMI > 35). We determined uric acid level among women during postmenopausal period depending on their body mass index. The higher level of uric acid was found in patients with the maximal body mass index (BMI > 35). In the I group it was 277,52 ± 8,40; in the II group – 286,81 ± 7,79; in the III group – 291,81 ± 7,56; in the IV group – 327,17 ± 12,17. Incidence of hyperuricemia among women in the I group was 10,2%, in the II group – 15,9%; in the III group – 21,2%, in the IV group – 34,2%. We found an interdependence between an uric acid level and BMI in the examined women (r = 0,21, p < 0,05). We determined that the highest level of triglyceride (F = 18,62, p < 0,05), cholesterol (F = 3,64, p < 0,05), atherogenic coefficient (F = 22,64, p < 0,05), systolic (F = 10,5, p < 0,05) and diastolic pressure (F = 4,30, p < 0,05) was among women with hyperuricemia. It was an interdependence between an uric acid level and triglyceride (r = 0,26, p < 0,05), atherogenic coefficient (r = 0,24, p < 0,05) among women in postmenopausal period.

Obesity and Bone Mineral Density in Patients with Large Joint Osteoarthritis

Along with the global aging of population, the number of people with somatic diseases is increasing, including such interrelated pathologies as obesity, osteoarthritis (OA) and osteoporosis (OP). The objective of the study is to examine the connection between body mass index (BMI), OA and bone mineral density (BMD) of lumbar spine, femoral neck and trabecular bone score (TBS) in postmenopausal women with OA. We have observed 359 postmenopausal women (50-89 years old) and divided them into four groups by age: 50-59 yrs, 60-69 yrs, 70-79 yrs and over 80 years old. In addition, according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Clinical classification criteria for knee and hip OA, we divided them into 2 groups: group I – 117 females with symptomatic OA (including 89 patients with knee OA, 28 patients with hip OA) and group II –242 women with a normal functional activity of large joints. Analysis of data was performed taking into account their BMI, classified by World Health Organization (WHO). Diagnosis of obesity was established when BMI was above 30 kg/m2. In woman with obesity, a symptomatic OA was detected in 44 postmenopausal women (41.1%), a normal functional activity of large joints - in 63 women (58.9%). However, in women with normal BMI – 73 women, who account for 29.0% of cases, a symptomatic OA was detected. According to a chi-squared (χ2) test, a significantly higher level of BMI was detected in postmenopausal women with OA (χ2 = 5.05, p = 0.02). Women with a symptomatic OA had a significantly higher BMD of lumbar spine compared with women who had a normal functional activity of large joints. No significant differences of BMD of femoral necks or TBS were detected in either the group with OA or with a normal functional activity of large joints.

A Qualitative Study of Health-Related Beliefs and Practices among Vegetarians

The process of becoming a vegetarian involves changes in several life aspects, including health. Despite its relevance, however, little research has been carried out to analyze vegetarians' self-perceived health, and even less empirical attention has received in the Romanian population. This study aimed to assess health-related beliefs and practices among vegetarian adults in a Romanian sample. We have undertaken 20 semi-structured interviews (10 males, 10 females) based on a snowball sample with a mean age of 31 years. The interview guide was divided into three sections: causes of adopting the diet, general aspects (beliefs, practices, tensions, and conflicts) and consequences of adopting the diet (significant changes, positive aspects, and difficulties, physical and mental health). Additional anamnestic data were reported by means of a questionnaire. Data analyses were performed using Tropes text analysis software (v. 8.2) and SPSS software (v. 24.0.) Findings showed that most of the participants considered a vegetarian diet as a natural and healthy choice as opposed to meat-eating, which is not healthy, and its consumption should be moderated among omnivores. A higher proportion of participants (65%) had an average body mass index (BMI), and several women even assumed having certain affections that no longer occur after following a vegetarian diet. Moreover, participants admitted having better moods and mental health status, given their self-contentment with the dietary choice. Relatives were perceived as more skeptical about their practices than others, and especially women had this view. This study provides a valuable insight into health-related beliefs and practices and how a vegetarian diet might interact.

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.

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.

Agreement between Basal Metabolic Rate Measured by Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis and Estimated by Prediction Equations in Obese Groups

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is widely used and an accepted measure of energy expenditure. Its principal determinant is body mass. However, this parameter is also correlated with a variety of other factors. The objective of this study is to measure BMR and compare it with the values obtained from predictive equations in adults classified according to their body mass index (BMI) values. 276 adults were included into the scope of this study. Their age, height and weight values were recorded. Five groups were designed based on their BMI values. First group (n = 85) was composed of individuals with BMI values varying between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2. Those with BMI values varying from 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2 constituted Group 2 (n = 90). Individuals with 30.0-34.9 kg/m2, 35.0-39.9 kg/m2, > 40.0 kg/m2 were included in Group 3 (n = 53), 4 (n = 28) and 5 (n = 20), respectively. The most commonly used equations to be compared with the measured BMR values were selected. For this purpose, the values were calculated by the use of four equations to predict BMR values, by name, introduced by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations University (UNU), Harris and Benedict, Owen and Mifflin. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, post-Hoc Tukey and Pearson’s correlation tests were performed by a statistical program designed for Windows (SPSS, version 16.0). p values smaller than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Mean ± SD of groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for measured BMR in kcal were 1440.3 ± 210.0, 1618.8 ± 268.6, 1741.1 ± 345.2, 1853.1 ± 351.2 and 2028.0 ± 412.1, respectively. Upon evaluation of the comparison of means among groups, differences were highly significant between Group 1 and each of the remaining four groups. The values were increasing from Group 2 to Group 5. However, differences between Group 2 and Group 3, Group 3 and Group 4, Group 4 and Group 5 were not statistically significant. These insignificances were lost in predictive equations proposed by Harris and Benedict, FAO/WHO/UNU and Owen. For Mifflin, the insignificance was limited only to Group 4 and Group 5. Upon evaluation of the correlations of measured BMR and the estimated values computed from prediction equations, the lowest correlations between measured BMR and estimated BMR values were observed among the individuals within normal BMI range. The highest correlations were detected in individuals with BMI values varying between 30.0 and 34.9 kg/m2. Correlations between measured BMR values and BMR values calculated by FAO/WHO/UNU as well as Owen were the same and the highest. In all groups, the highest correlations were observed between BMR values calculated from Mifflin and Harris and Benedict equations using age as an additional parameter. In conclusion, the unique resemblance of the FAO/WHO/UNU and Owen equations were pointed out. However, mean values obtained from FAO/WHO/UNU were much closer to the measured BMR values. Besides, the highest correlations were found between BMR calculated from FAO/WHO/UNU and measured BMR. These findings suggested that FAO/WHO/UNU was the most reliable equation, which may be used in conditions when the measured BMR values are not available.

Lattice Boltzmann Simulation of MHD Natural Convection Heat Transfer of Cu-Water Nanofluid in a Linearly/Sinusoidally Heated Cavity

In this numerical study, natural convection of Cu–water nanofluid in a cavity submitted to different heating modes on its vertical walls is analyzed. Maxwell-Garnetts (MG) and Brinkman models have been utilized for calculating the effective thermal conductivity and dynamic viscosity of nanofluid, respectively. Influences of Rayleigh number (Ra = 103−106), nanoparticle volume concentration (f = 0-0.04) and Hartmann number (Ha = 0-90) on the flow and heat transfer characteristics have been examined. The results indicate that the Hartmann number influences the heat transfer at Ra = 106 more than other Raleigh numbers, as the least effect is observed at Ra = 103. Moreover, the results show that the solid volume fraction has a significant influence on heat transfer, depending on the value of Hartmann, heat generation or absorption coefficient and Rayleigh numbers.

Seismic Performance of Reinforced Concrete Frame Structure Based on Plastic Rotation

The principal objective of this study is the evaluation of the seismic performance of reinforced concrete frame structures, taking into account of the behavior laws, reflecting the real behavior of materials, using CASTEM2000 software. A finite element model used is based in modified Takeda model with Timoshenko elements for columns and beams. This model is validated on a Vecchio experimental reinforced concrete (RC) frame model. Then, a study focused on the behavior of a RC frame with three-level and three-story in order to visualize the positioning the plastic hinge (plastic rotation), determined from the curvature distribution along the elements. The results obtained show that the beams of the 1st and 2nd level developed a very large plastic rotations, or these rotations exceed the values corresponding to CP (Collapse prevention with cp qCP = 0.02 rad), against those developed at the 3rd level, are between IO and LS (Immediate occupancy and life Safety with qIO = 0.005 rad and rad qLS = 0.01 respectively), so the beams of first and second levels submit a very significant damage.