Publications by authors named "Carla Lubrano"

60 Publications

Central obesity, smoking habit, and hypertension are associated with lower antibody titres in response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2021 May 6:e3465. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Aims: To explore variables associated with the serological response following COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

Methods: Eighty-six healthcare workers adhering to the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 were enrolled in January-February 2021. All subjects underwent two COVID-19 mRNA vaccine inoculations (Pfizer/BioNTech) separated by 3 weeks. Blood samples were collected before the 1st and 1-4 weeks after the second inoculation. Clinical history, demographics, and vaccine side effects were recorded. Baseline anthropometric parameters were measured, and body composition was performed through dual-energy-X-ray absorptiometry.

Results: Higher waist circumference was associated with lower antibody (Ab) titres (R = -0.324, p = 0.004); smokers had lower levels compared to non-smokers [1099 (1350) vs. 1921 (1375), p = 0.007], as well as hypertensive versus normotensive [650 ± 1192 vs. 1911 (1364), p = 0.001] and dyslipideamic compared to those with normal serum lipids [534 (972) vs 1872 (1406), p = 0.005]. Multivariate analysis showed that higher waist circumference, smoking, hypertension, and longer time elapsed since second vaccine inoculation were associated with lower Ab titres, independent of BMI, age. and gender.

Conclusions: Central obesity, hypertension, and smoking are associated with lower Ab titres following COVID-19 vaccination. Although it is currently impossible to determine whether lower SARS-CoV-2 Abs lead to higher likelihood of developing COVID-19, it is well-established that neutralizing antibodies correlate with protection against several viruses including SARS-CoV-2. Our findings, therefore, call for a vigilant approach, as subjects with central obesity, hypertension, and smoking could benefit from earlier vaccine boosters or different vaccine schedules.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dmrr.3465DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8209952PMC
May 2021

Microbiological Profiles of Dental Implants in Metabolic Syndrome Patients: A Case-Control Study.

Antibiotics (Basel) 2021 Apr 16;10(4). Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Oral and Maxillo-Facial Sciences, "Sapienza" University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

There is a lack of knowledge on the possible influence of systemic conditions on peri-implantitis. The aim of this case-control study is to evaluate the difference in terms of oral pathogens' concentrations in the peri-implant sulcus of a group of patients affected by metabolic syndrome (Mets) compared to healthy subjects. For each patient, peri-implant sulcular biofilm samples were obtained by inserting two sterile endodontic paper points in the deepest aspect of the peri-implant sulcus for 30 s. The quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to evaluate total bacterial counts of six pathogens. Patients were screened for peri-implant diseases and clinical and radiographic parameters were recorded. A total of 50 patients was enrolled in the study, 25 affected by Mets and 25 healthy. Significantly higher bacterial counts were discovered for ( = 0.0008), ( = 0.0477) and ( = 0.034) in MetS patients compared to healthy subjects. Performing a sub-group analysis, considering peri-implant status and dividing patients by MetS diagnosis, no statistically significant ( < 0.05) differences were found. For the first time, a correlation between MetS presence and a greater prevalence of some bacterial species in the peri-implant sulcus was reported, irrespectively from peri-implant status (health vs. disease).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10040452DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8072842PMC
April 2021

Ketogenic Diet as a Preventive and Supportive Care for COVID-19 Patients.

Nutrients 2021 Mar 20;13(3). Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Severe obesity is associated with an increased risk of admission to intensive care units and need for invasive mechanical ventilation in patients with COVID-19. The association of obesity and COVID-19 prognosis may be related to many different factors, such as chronic systemic inflammation, the predisposition to severe respiratory conditions and viral infections. The ketogenic diet is an approach that can be extremely effective in reducing body weight and visceral fat in the short term, preserving the lean mass and reducing systemic inflammation. Therefore, it is a precious preventive measure for severely obese people and may be considered as an adjuvant therapy for patients with respiratory compromise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13031004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8003632PMC
March 2021

Case Report: Pituitary Morphology and Function Are Preserved in Female Patients With Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Under Pharmacological Treatment.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2020 8;11:613054. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension is a neurological disorder primarily affecting overweight women of childbearing age. It is often characterized by radiologic evidence of empty sella (ES), which is in turn frequently associated with pituitary dysfunction, with the somatotropic axis most commonly affected. No recent evidence is available relative to the presence of pituitary hormone deficiencies in adult patients with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) under pharmacological therapy. We therefore explored pituitary function and morphology in a small cohort of female patients with IIH treated with acetazolamide. Fifteen female patients aged 42 ± 13 years with IIH lasting between 12 and 18 months were evaluated. All patients were affected by recurrent headaches in addition to visual changes of variable severity. IIH diagnosis was made after exclusion of other causes of raised intracranial pressure, and a specific ophthalmological evaluation was conducted to assess for the presence of papilledema. No particular endocrinological disturbances were detected during the enrolment visits, except for a high obesity prevalence (87%, BMI 35.16 ± 8.21 kg/m), one case of total thyroidectomy for papillary thyroid carcinoma and two patients with irregular menses and mild hirsutism. All the participants underwent a pituitary MRI with contrast, and two different operators performed pituitary measurements in coronal and sagittal scans for morphologic assessment. Blood samples for the anterior pituitary axis evaluation were collected, and the somatotropic axis was further evaluated with a GHRH + Arginine test; other dynamic tests were performed in case of suspected hormonal deficiency. Despite ES being found in 73% of the patients, pituitary volume was preserved, ranging from 213.85 to 642.27mm (389.20 ± 125.53mm); mean coronal pituitary height was 4.53 ± 1.33 mm. Overall, baseline anterior pituitary hormones levels were within normal ranges, and none of the patients with ES had an altered response to the GHRH + arginine stimulation test. We found one patient suffering from iatrogenic hyperthyroidism and two diagnosed with subclinical primary hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Two young patients were suspected of having polycystic ovary syndrome, and they were therefore further investigated. In conclusion, this case series shows that, despite the high prevalence of ES, the pituitary function of IIH patients treated with acetazolamide is preserved. To date, there is no evidence regarding the trend over time or upon treatment discontinuation in regard to the pituitary function of patients with IIH, and it is therefore not possible to infer whether our finding would be replicable in such settings. We therefore suggest an endocrine follow-up over time in order to monitor for potential pituitary dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.613054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7819854PMC
May 2021

Nickel Sensitivity Is Associated with GH-IGF1 Axis Impairment and Pituitary Abnormalities on MRI in Overweight and Obese Subjects.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Dec 20;21(24). Epub 2020 Dec 20.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena, 324, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Nickel (Ni) is a ubiquitous metal, the exposure of which is implied in the development of contact dermatitis (nickel allergic contact dermatitis (Ni-ACD)) and Systemic Ni Allergy Syndrome (SNAS), very common among overweight/obese patients. Preclinical studies have linked Ni exposure to abnormal production/release of Growth Hormone (GH), and we previously found an association between Ni-ACD/SNAS and GH-Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) axis dysregulation in obese individuals, altogether suggesting a role for this metal as a pituitary disruptor. We herein aimed to directly evaluate the pituitary gland in overweight/obese patients with signs/symptoms suggestive of Ni allergy, exploring the link with GH secretion; 859 subjects with overweight/obesity and suspected of Ni allergy underwent Ni patch tests. Among these, 106 were also suspected of GH deficiency (GHD) and underwent dynamic testing as well as magnetic resonance imaging for routine follow up of benign diseases or following GHD diagnosis. We report that subjects with Ni allergies show a greater GH-IGF1 axis impairment, a higher prevalence of Empty Sella (ES), a reduced pituitary volume and a higher normalized T2 pituitary intensity compared to nonallergic ones. We hypothesize that Ni may be detrimental to the pituitary gland, through increased inflammation, thus contributing to GH-IGF1 axis dysregulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21249733DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7766406PMC
December 2020

MicroRNA Modulation by Dietary Supplements in Obesity.

Biomedicines 2020 Nov 27;8(12). Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161 Rome, Italy.

The prevalence of obesity has dramatically increased over the last decades. Weight loss obtained through diet and exercise leads to a significant decrease in morbidity and mortality. Recently, there has been growing interest in the possible beneficial effects of dietary supplements (DSs), including polyphenols, fatty acids, and other plant-derived substances, as adjuvants in the management of obesity and metabolic diseases. Specifically, polyphenols, widely spread in vegetables and fruits, significantly modulate adipose tissue activities, contrasting inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity in preclinical and clinical studies. Remarkably, polyphenols are involved in complex microRNA networks, which play crucial roles in metabolic processes. The administration of different polyphenols and other plant-derived compounds led to significant changes in the microRNA expression profile in peripheral tissues in a growing number of preclinical studies. In particular, these compounds were able to revert obesity-induced microRNA dysregulation, leading to the inhibition of adipogenesis and the induction of weight loss. Furthermore, through microRNA modulation, they attenuated key metabolic alterations, including insulin resistance and lipid anomalies, in animal models of obesity. Some of them were also able to reduce proinflammatory cytokines in adipose tissue. The aim of this review is to summarize current evidence about the effect of plant-derived DSs on microRNA expression in obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8120545DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759905PMC
November 2020

Blood SIRT1 Shows a Coherent Association with Leptin and Adiponectin in Relation to the Degree and Distribution of Adiposity: A Study in Obesity, Normal Weight and Anorexia Nervosa.

Nutrients 2020 Nov 14;12(11). Epub 2020 Nov 14.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Physiopathology, Food Science and Endocrinology, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is a sensor of cell energy availability, and with leptin and adiponectin, it regulates metabolic homeostasis. Widely studied in tissues, SIRT1 is under evaluation as a plasmatic marker. We aimed at assessing whether circulating SIRT1 behaves consistently with leptin and adiponectin in conditions of deficiency, excess or normal fat content. Eighty subjects were evaluated: 27 with anorexia nervosa (AN), 26 normal-weight and 27 with obesity. Bloodstream SIRT1, leptin and adiponectin (ELISA), total and trunk fat mass (FM) %, abdominal visceral adipose tissue, liver steatosis and epicardial fat thickness (EFT) were assessed. For each fat store, the coefficient of determination (R) was used to evaluate the prediction capability of SIRT1, leptin and adiponectin. Plasma SIRT1 and adiponectin coherently decreased with the increase of FM, while the opposite occurred with leptin. Mean levels of each analyte were different between groups ( < 0.005). A significant association between plasma variables and FM depots was observed. SIRT1 showed a good predictive strength for FM, particularly in the obesity group, where the best R was recorded for EFT (R = 0.7). Blood SIRT1, adiponectin and leptin behave coherently with FM and there is synchrony between them. The association of SIRT1 with FM is substantially superimposable to that of adiponectin and leptin. Given its homeostatic roles, SIRT1 may deserve to be considered as a plasma clinical/biochemical parameter of adiposity and metabolic health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12113506DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7696683PMC
November 2020

Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diets to Treat Patients With Obesity and Chronic Kidney Disease.

J Ren Nutr 2021 Jul 22;31(4):340-341. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Department of Experimental Medicine, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.jrn.2020.09.001DOI Listing
July 2021

Liver disease in obesity and underweight: the two sides of the coin. A narrative review.

Eat Weight Disord 2020 Nov 4. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161, Rome, Italy.

Purpose: Malnutrition, whether characterized by not enough or too much nutrient intake, is detrimental to the liver. We herein provide a narrative literature revision relative to hepatic disease occurrence in over or undernourished subjects, to shed light on the paradox where both sides of malnutrition lead to similar liver dysfunction and fat accumulation.

Methods: Medline, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library were searched for publications up to July 2020. Articles discussing the association between both chronic and acute liver pathology and malnutrition were evaluated together with studies reporting the dietary intake in subjects affected by malnutrition.

Results: The association between overnutrition and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is well recognized, as the beneficial effects of calorie restriction and very low carbohydrate diets. Conversely, the link between undernutrition and liver injury is more complex and less understood. In developing countries, early exposure to nutrient deficiency leads to marasmus and kwashiorkor, accompanied by fatty liver, whereas in developed countries anorexia nervosa is a more common form of undernutrition, associated with liver injury. Weight gain in undernutrition is associated with liver function improvement, whereas no study on the impact of macronutrient distribution is available. We hypothesized a role for very low carbohydrate diets in the management of undernutrition derived liver pathology, in addition to the established one in overnutrition-related NAFLD.

Conclusions: Further studies are warranted to update the knowledge regarding undernutrition-related liver disease, and a specific interest should be paid to macronutrient distribution both in the context of refeeding and relative to its role in the development of hepatic complications of anorexia nervosa.

Level Of Evidence: Narrative review, Level V.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40519-020-01060-wDOI Listing
November 2020

Current Evidence to Propose Different Food Supplements for Weight Loss: A Comprehensive Review.

Nutrients 2020 Sep 20;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 20.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

The use of food supplements for weight loss purposes has rapidly gained popularity as the prevalence of obesity increases. Navigating through the vast, often low quality, literature available is challenging, as is providing informed advice to those asking for it. Herein, we provide a comprehensive literature revision focusing on most currently marketed dietary supplements claimed to favor weight loss, classifying them by their purported mechanism of action. We conclude by proposing a combination of supplements most supported by current evidence, that leverages all mechanisms of action possibly leading to a synergistic effect and greater weight loss in the foreseen absence of adverse events. Further studies will be needed to confirm the weight loss and metabolic improvement that may be obtained through the use of the proposed combination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12092873DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7551574PMC
September 2020

Is Growth Hormone Insufficiency the Missing Link Between Obesity, Male Gender, Age, and COVID-19 Severity?

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2020 11 25;28(11):2038-2039. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena, Rome, Italy.

Evidence has emerged regarding an increased risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with worse prognosis in elderly male patients with obesity, and blunted growth hormone (GH) secretion represents a feature of this population subgroup. Here, a comprehensive review of the possible links between GH-insulinlike growth factor 1 axis impairment and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity is offered. First, unequivocal evidence suggests that immune system dysregulation represents a key element in determining SARS-CoV-2 severity, as well as the association with adult-onset GH deficiency (GHD); notably, if GH is physiologically involved in the development and maintenance of the immune system, its pharmacological replacement in GHD patients seems to positively influence their inflammatory status. In addition, the impaired fibrinolysis associated with GHD may represent a further link between GH-insulin-like growth factor 1 axis impairment and COVID-19 severity, as it has been associated with both conditions. In conclusion, several sources of evidence have supported a relationship between GHD and COVID-19, and they also shed light upon potential beneficial effects of recombinant GH treatment on COVID-19 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.23000DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7461181PMC
November 2020

Is obesity the missing link between COVID-19 severity and air pollution?

Environ Pollut 2020 Nov 3;266(Pt 3):115327. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

UNESCO Chair for Health Education and Sustainable Development Federico II University of Naples Corso Umberto I, 40 - 80138, Napoli, Centralino, Italy.

In the previous publication "Can atmospheric pollution be considered a co-factor in extremely high level of SARS-CoV-2 lethality in Northern Italy?" Conticini et al. hypothesized that the surplus of lethality of the novel SARS-CoV-2 in Northern Italy may be at least in part explained by the evidence of highest pollution reported in this area, as both severe COVID-19 and smog exposure are correlated to an innate immune system hyper-activation with subsequent lung inflammation and injury. Since this hypothesis alone does not fully explain why specific subgroups of patients are at major risk, we hypothesized that obesity may be one of the links between COVID-19 severity and high level of air pollution. First, obesity is a predisposing factor for SARS-Cov-2 infection and worse COVID-19 outcomes, and unequivocal evidence demonstrated that fat mass excess is independently associated with several pulmonary diseases and lung inflammation. Moreover, it has been shown that obesity may intensify the detrimental effects of air pollution on the lungs, and this is not surprising if we consider that these conditions share an excessive activation of the immune system and a lung inflammatory infiltrate. Finally, fat mass excess has also been speculated to be itself a consequence of air pollutants exposure, which has been proved to induce metabolic disruption and weight gain in murine models. In conclusion, although many variables must be taken into account in the analysis of the pandemic, our observations suggest that obesity may act as effect modifier of smog-induced lung-injury, and the concomitant presence of these two factors could better explain the higher virulence, faster spread and greater mortality of SARS-CoV-2 in Northern Italy compared to the rest of the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115327DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7397942PMC
November 2020

Visceral fat shows the strongest association with the need of intensive care in patients with COVID-19.

Metabolism 2020 10 23;111:154319. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Background: Obesity was recently identified as a major risk factor for worse COVID-19 severity, especially among the young. The reason why its impact seems to be less pronounced in the elderly may be due to the concomitant presence of other comorbidities. However, all reports only focus on BMI, an indirect marker of body fat.

Aim: To explore the impact on COVID-19 severity of abdominal fat as a marker of body composition easily collected in patients undergoing a chest CT scan.

Methods: Patients included in this retrospective study were consecutively enrolled among those admitted to an Emergency Department in Rome, Italy, who tested positive for SARS-Cov-2 and underwent a chest CT scan in March 2020. Data were extracted from electronic medical records.

Results: 150 patients were included (64.7% male, mean age 64 ± 16 years). Visceral fat (VAT) was significantly higher in patients requiring intensive care (p = 0.032), together with age (p = 0.009), inflammation markers CRP and LDH (p < 0.0001, p = 0.003, respectively), and interstitial pneumonia severity as assessed by a Lung Severity Score (LSS) (p < 0.0001). Increasing age, lymphocytes, CRP, LDH, D-Dimer, LSS, total abdominal fat as well as VAT were found to have a significant univariate association with the need of intensive care. A multivariate analysis showed that LSS and VAT were independently associated with the need of intensive care (OR: 1.262; 95%CI: 1.0171-1.488; p = 0.005 and OR: 2.474; 95%CI: 1.017-6.019; p = 0.046, respectively).

Conclusions: VAT is a marker of worse clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19. Given the exploratory nature of our study, further investigation is needed to confirm our findings and elucidate the mechanisms underlying such association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2020.154319DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7377788PMC
October 2020

Baseline HOMA IR and Circulating FGF21 Levels Predict NAFLD Improvement in Patients Undergoing a Low Carbohydrate Dietary Intervention for Weight Loss: A Prospective Observational Pilot Study.

Nutrients 2020 Jul 18;12(7). Epub 2020 Jul 18.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major cause of liver disease. Very low-calorie ketogenic diets (VLCKD) represent a feasible treatment as they induce profound weight loss and insulin resistance (IR) improvement. Despite the recognized benefits on NAFLD deriving from pharmacological administration of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), whose endogenous counterpart is a marker of liver injury, little is known about its physiology in humans.

Aim: To identify predictors of NAFLD improvement as reflected by the reduction of the non-invasive screening tool hepatic steatosis index (HSI) in obese patients undergoing a weight loss program.

Methods: Sixty-five obese patients underwent a 90-day dietary program consisting of a VLCKD followed by a hypocaloric low carbohydrate diet (LCD). Anthropometric parameters, body composition, and blood and urine chemistry were assessed.

Results: Unlike most parameters improving mainly during the VLCKD, the deepest HSI change was observed after the LCD ( = 0.02 and < 0.0001, respectively). Baseline HOMA-IR and serum FGF21 were found to be positive (R = 0.414, = 0009) and negative (R = 0.364, = 0.04) independent predictors of HSI reduction, respectively.

Conclusions: We suggest that patients with IR and NAFLD derive greater benefit from a VLCKD, and we propose a possible role of human FGF21 in mediating NAFLD amelioration following nutritional manipulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12072141DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400878PMC
July 2020

Scientific evidence underlying contraindications to the ketogenic diet: An update.

Obes Rev 2020 10 10;21(10):e13053. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

First identified as a feasible treatment for intractable epilepsy, the ketogenic diet (KD) has recently gained popularity thanks to growing evidence on applications such as weight loss, most importantly, but also NAFLD, cancer, neurologic conditions and chronic pain. As with any treatment, whether pharmacologic or not, the KD might not be an appropriate intervention for every individual, and a number of contraindications have been proposed, now deeply rooted into clinical practice, excluding de facto many patients that could benefit from its use. However, many of these concerns were expressed due to the absence of clinical studies conducted on fragile populations, and an assessment of lately emerged evidence relative to KD safety is currently lacking and much needed. We herein provide a critical revision of the literature behind each safety alert, in order to guide through the treatment options in the case of subjects with an indication to the KD and a borderline safe situation. Based on available evidence, the possible use of this diet as a therapeutic intervention should be assessed on a patient-to-patient basis by adequately skilled medical doctors, keeping in mind current recommendations, but reading them through the knowledge of the current state of the art.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539910PMC
October 2020

Very-Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diets With Whey, Vegetable, or Animal Protein in Patients With Obesity: A Randomized Pilot Study.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 09;105(9)

Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Rome "La Sapienza," Rome, Italy.

Context: We compared the efficacy, safety, and effect of 45-day isocaloric very-low-calorie ketogenic diets (VLCKDs) incorporating whey, vegetable, or animal protein on the microbiota in patients with obesity and insulin resistance to test the hypothesis that protein source may modulate the response to VLCKD interventions.

Subjects And Methods: Forty-eight patients with obesity (19 males and 29 females, homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) index ≥ 2.5, aged 56.2 ± 6.1 years, body mass index [BMI] 35.9 ± 4.1 kg/m2) were randomly assigned to three 45-day isocaloric VLCKD regimens (≤800 kcal/day) containing whey, plant, or animal protein. Anthropometric indexes; blood and urine chemistry, including parameters of kidney, liver, glucose, and lipid metabolism; body composition; muscle strength; and taxonomic composition of the gut microbiome were assessed. Adverse events were also recorded.

Results: Body weight, BMI, blood pressure, waist circumference, HOMA index, insulin, and total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased in all patients. Patients who consumed whey protein had a more pronounced improvement in muscle strength. The markers of renal function worsened slightly in the animal protein group. A decrease in the relative abundance of Firmicutes and an increase in Bacteroidetes were observed after the consumption of VLCKDs. This pattern was less pronounced in patients consuming animal protein.

Conclusions: VLCKDs led to significant weight loss and a striking improvement in metabolic parameters over a 45-day period. VLCKDs based on whey or vegetable protein have a safer profile and result in a healthier microbiota composition than those containing animal proteins. VLCKDs incorporating whey protein are more effective in maintaining muscle performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa336DOI Listing
September 2020

Obesity treatment within the Italian national healthcare system tertiary care centers: what can we learn?

Eat Weight Disord 2021 Apr 25;26(3):771-778. Epub 2020 May 25.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Introduction: The prevalence of obesity is soaring all over the world, and Italy is reaching the same pace. Similar to other countries, the Italian healthcare system counts on a three-tier model for obesity care, and each region has freedom in the implementation of guidelines. No national record is currently available to monitor the actual situation throughout the country.

Purpose: To provide a report of the current status on the availability of specialized public obesity care services in Italy.

Methods: Regional prevalence of obesity was extrapolated from publicly available data. Data on facilities for the management of obesity were retrieved from records provided by national scientific societies. Whenever possible, data was verified through online research and direct contact.

Results: We report a north-south and east-west gradient regarding the presence of obesity focused facilities, with an inverse correlation with the regional prevalence of obesity (R = 0.25, p = 0.03). Medical-oriented centers appear homogeneous in the multidisciplinary approach, the presence of a bariatric surgery division, the availability of support materials and groups, with no major difference on follow-up frequency. Surgery-oriented centers have a more capillary territorial distribution than the medically oriented, but not enough data was retrieved to provide a thorough description of their characteristics.

Conclusion: Obtaining a clear picture of the situation and providing consistent care across the country is a challenging task due to the decentralized organization of regions. We provide a first sketch, reporting that the model is applied unevenly, and we suggest feasible actions to improve the situation in our country and elsewhere.

Level Of Evidence: Level V, narrative review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40519-020-00936-1DOI Listing
April 2021

Letter to the Editor: "Our Response to COVID-19 as Endocrinologists and Diabetologists".

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 07;105(7)

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa229DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7197545PMC
July 2020

Sarcopenic obesity and insulin resistance: Application of novel body composition models.

Nutrition 2020 Jul - Aug;75-76:110765. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

School of Life Sciences, The University of Nottingham Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Objectives: Sarcopenic obesity (SO) is characterized by the co-occurrence of high adiposity (HA) and low muscle mass (LM) and has been associated with an increased risk for cardiometabolic diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between markers of insulin sensitivity and SO defined by three novel body composition models: body composition phenotypes; truncal fat mass to appendicular skeletal mass (TrFM/ASM) ratio load capacity; and fat mass to fat-free mass (FM/FFM) ratio load capacity.

Methods: The study included 314 participants 18 to 65 y of age. Body composition was assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. The first model includes four phenotypes: low adiposity-high muscle mass (LA-HM), high adiposity-high muscle mass (HA-HM), low adiposity-low muscle mass (LA-LM), and high adiposity-low muscle mass (HA-LM). The second and third load-capacity models stratified participants into three centile groups: <15th, 15th to 84th and ≥85th. A 2-h oral glucose tolerance test was performed and insulin sensitivity was calculated using the Matsuda Index. Glycated hemoglobin and highly sensitive C-reactive protein also were measured.

Results: Lower insulin sensitivity was observed in the HA-LM (P < 0.001) and in the ≥85th centile groups of the TrFM/ASM ratio (P < 0.001) and the FM/FFM ratio (P = 0.001) compared with the other body composition phenotypes. The HA-LM and ≥85th centile group of the TrFM/ASM ratio model showed significantly higher (P < 0.001) concentrations of glycated hemoglobin compared with the other phenotypes.

Conclusions: SO defined by both the four body composition phenotypes and TrFM/ASM definitions was associated with increased impairment of insulin sensitivity and glycemic control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2020.110765DOI Listing
June 2021

Impact of Disability, Psychological Status, and Comorbidity on Health-Related Quality of Life Perceived by Subjects with Obesity.

Obes Facts 2020 24;13(2):191-200. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Division of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Obesity is a rapidly growing public health problem affecting an increasing number of countries worldwide and creating substantial financial and health burdens. Obesity has a negative impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) with reference to physical and mental health status, social relationships, and economic factors. The aim of the present study is to investigate the association of number of comorbidities, psychological status, and disability level with HRQoL in a sample of subjects with obesity.

Methods: A total of 273 subjects with obesity (199 women and 74 men) were recruited. Medical history and anthropometric measurements were carried out. The Italian version of the Laval questionnaire, the TSD-OC (SIO test for obesity-related disabilities), and SCL-90 (Symptom Checklist-90) tests were administered. The association between HRQoL (global and different domains scores of the Laval questionnaire - dependent variable) and age, body mass index (BMI), comorbidity, TSD-OC, and SCL-90 was analysed using a stepwise linear regression model.

Results: BMI, disability (TSD-OC global score), and psychological symptoms (SCL-90 global severity index) were found to be the main determinants of HRQoL. Single domains of HRQoL (symptoms, activity/mobility, personal hygiene/clothing, emotions, social interaction, and sexual life) showed different patterns of associations with each domain of the Laval questionnaire. BMI, pain, and social life disruptions were found to be significantly associated with most of the HRQoL domains while age, comorbidities, psychological problems (depression, interpersonal symptoms, somatization), and disability were associated with only some domains of the Laval questionnaire. Education, psychological symptoms (obsessive-compulsive, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation), and disability domains (stiffness, housework, outdoor activities, occupational activities) were not associated with any of the dimensions of the Laval questionnaire.

Discussion/conclusion: The present study identified key determinants of QoL in subjects with obesity, which could help in refining the multidimensional diagnostic assessment of obesity as well as designing more effective interventions to improve HRQoL in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000506079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7250341PMC
September 2020

Beneficial effects of the ketogenic diet on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A comprehensive review of the literature.

Obes Rev 2020 08 24;21(8):e13024. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major cause of chronic liver disease, characterized by hepatic fat accumulation and possible development of inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer. The ketogenic diet (KD), with its drastic carbohydrate reduction, is a now popular weight loss intervention, despite safety concerns on a possible association with fatty liver. However, KDs were also reported to be beneficial on hepatic pathology, with ketone bodies recently proposed as effective modulators of inflammation and fibrosis. If the beneficial impact of weight loss on NAFLD is established, less is known on the effect of macronutrient distribution on such outcome. In a hypocaloric regimen, the latter seems not to be crucial, whereas at higher calorie intake, macronutrient ratio and, theoretically, ketosis, may become important. KDs could positively impact NAFLD for their very low carbohydrate content, and whether ketosis plays an additional role is unknown. Indeed, several mechanisms may directly link ketosis and NAFLD improvement, and elucidating these aspects would pave the way for new therapeutic strategies. We herein aimed at providing an accurate revision of current literature on KDs and NAFLD, focusing on clinical evidence, metabolic pathways involved, and strict categorization of dietary interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7379247PMC
August 2020

Very Low-Calorie Ketogenic Diet: A Safe and Effective Tool for Weight Loss in Patients With Obesity and Mild Kidney Failure.

Nutrients 2020 Jan 27;12(2). Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Very low-calorie ketogenic diets (VLCKD) are an effective and increasingly used tool for weight loss. Traditionally considered high protein, ketogenic diets are often looked at with concern by clinicians due to the potential harm they pose to kidney function. We herein evaluated the efficacy and safety of a VLCKD in patients with obesity and mild kidney failure. A prospective observational real-life study was conducted on ninety-two patients following a VLCKD for approximately 3 months. Thirty-eight had mild kidney failure and fifty-four had no renal condition and were therefore designated as control. Anthropometric parameters, bioelectrical impedance and biochemistry data were collected before and at the end of the dietary intervention. The average weight loss was nearly 20% of initial weight, with a significant reduction in fat mass. We report an improvement of metabolic parameters and no clinically relevant variation regarding liver and kidney function. Upon stratification based on kidney function, no differences in the efficacy and safety outcomes were found. Interestingly, 27.7% of patients with mild renal failure reported normalization of glomerular filtrate after dietary intervention. We conclude that, when conducted under the supervision of healthcare professionals, a VLCKD is an effective and safe treatment for weight loss in patients with obesity, including those affected by mild kidney failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12020333DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071259PMC
January 2020

The decline in muscle strength and muscle quality in relation to metabolic derangements in adult women with obesity.

Clin Nutr 2019 10 10;38(5):2430-2435. Epub 2019 Feb 10.

Department of Experimental Medicine-Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.

Background & Aims: The metabolic and functional characteristics related to sarcopenic obesity have not been thoroughly explored in the earlier stages of the aging process. The aim of the present study was to examine the phenotype of sarcopenic obesity, in terms of lean body mass, muscle strength and quality, in adult women with and without the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), and its relationship with the features of myosteatosis.

Methods: Study participants were enrolled at the Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. Body composition was assessed by DXA. The Handgrip strength test (HGST) was performed. HGST was normalized to arm lean mass to indicate muscle quality; intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) and intramyocellular lipid content (IMCL) were measured by magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, as indicators of myosteatosis. Different indices of sarcopenia were calculated, based on appendicular lean mass (ALM, kg) divided by height squared, or weight. The NCEP-ATPIII criteria were used to diagnose the MetS. HOMA-IR was calculated. The physical activity level (PAL) was assessed through the IPAQ questionnaire.

Results: 54 women (age: 48 ± 14 years, BMI: 37.9 ± 5.4 kg/m) were included. 54% had the MetS (metabolically unhealthy, MUO). HGST/arm lean mass was lower in MUO women than women without the MetS (6.3 ± 1.8 vs. 7.8 ± 1.6, p = 0.03). No differences emerged in terms of absolute ALM (kg) or other indices of sarcopenia (ALM/h or ALM/weight) between metabolically healthy (MHO) vs. MUO women (p > 0.05). Muscle quality was negatively associated with HOMA-IR (p = 0.02), after adjustment for age, body fat, hs-CRP levels, and PAL. IMAT, but not IMCL, was significantly higher in obese women with the MetS compared to women without the MetS (p > 0.05). No association emerged between HGST/arm lean mass and IMAT or IMCL when HOMA-IR was included in the models.

Conclusion: Insulin resistance, and not sarcopenia or myosteatosis per se, was associated with muscle weakness, resulting in the phenotype of "dynapenic obesity" in middle-aged women with the metabolic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2019.01.028DOI Listing
October 2019

Overweight and obese patients with nickel allergy have a worse metabolic profile compared to weight matched non-allergic individuals.

PLoS One 2018 28;13(8):e0202683. Epub 2018 Aug 28.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Background: A lack of balance between energy intake and expenditure due to overeating or reduced physical activity does not seem to explain entirely the obesity epidemic we are facing, and further factors are therefore being evaluated. Nickel (Ni) is a ubiquitous heavy metal implied in several health conditions. Regarding this, the European Food Safety Authority has recently released an alert on the possible deleterious effects of dietary Ni on human health given the current levels of Ni dietary intake in some countries. Pre-clinical studies have also suggested its role as an endocrine disruptor and have linked its exposure to energy metabolism and glucose homeostasis dysregulation. Ni allergy is common in the general population, but preliminary data suggest it being even more widespread among overweight patients.

Objectives: The aim of this study has been to evaluate the presence of Ni allergy and its association with the metabolic and endocrine profile in overweight and obese individuals.

Methods: We have evaluated 1128 consecutive overweight and obese outpatients. 784 were suspected of being allergic to Ni and 666 were assessed for it. Presence of Ni allergy and correlation with body mass index (BMI), body composition, metabolic parameters and hormonal levels were evaluated.

Results: We report that Ni allergy is more frequent in presence of weight excess and is associated with worse metabolic parameters and impaired Growth Hormone secretion.

Conclusions: We confirm that Ni allergy is more common in obese patients, and we report for the first time its association with worse metabolic parameters and impaired function of the GH-IGF1 axis in human subjects.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0202683PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6112671PMC
February 2019

Inverse Association of Circulating SIRT1 and Adiposity: A Study on Underweight, Normal Weight, and Obese Patients.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2018 7;9:449. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

Section of Medical Physiopathology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Sirtuins (SIRTs) are NAD+-dependent deacetylases, cellular sensors to detect energy availability, and modulate metabolic processes. SIRT1, the most studied family member, influences a number of tissues including adipose tissue. Expression and activity of SIRT1 reduce with weight gain and increase in conditions of starvation. To focus on SIRT1 plasma concentrations in different conditions of adiposity and to correlate SIRT1 with fat content and distribution, energy homeostasis and inflammation in under-weight, normal-weight, and obese individuals. 21 patients with anorexia nervosa, 26 normal-weight and 75 patients with obesity were evaluated. Body fat composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, ultrasound liver adiposity, echocardiographic epicardial fat thickness (EFT), inflammatory (ESR, CRP, and fibrinogen), and metabolic (FPG, insulin, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides) parameters, calculated basal metabolic rate (BMR) and plasma SIRT1 (ELISA) were measured. SIRT1 was significantly higher in anorexic patients compared to normal-weight and obese patients (3.27 ± 2.98, 2.27 ± 1.13, and 1.36 ± 1.31 ng/ml, respectively). Linear regression models for each predictor variable adjusted for age and sex showed that SIRT1 concentration was inversely and significantly correlated with EFT, fat mass %, liver fat content, BMR, weight, BMI, WC, LDL-cholesterol, insulin, ESR. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that age and EFT were the best independent correlates of SIRT1 (β = -0.026 ± 0.011, = 0.025, and β = -0.516 ± 0.083, < 0.001, respectively). Plasma SIRT1 shows a continuous pattern that inversely follows the whole spectrum of adiposity. SIRT1 significantly associates with EFT, a strong index of visceral fat phenotype, better than other indexes of adiposity studied here.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2018.00449DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6090043PMC
August 2018

Testicular histopathology, semen analysis and FSH, predictive value of sperm retrieval: supportive counseling in case of reoperation after testicular sperm extraction (TESE).

BMC Urol 2018 Jul 4;18(1):63. Epub 2018 Jul 4.

Centre for Reproductive Medicine, European Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Background: To provide indicators for the likelihood of sperm retrieval in patients undergoing testicular sperm extraction is a major issue in the management of male infertility by TESE. The aim of our study was to determine the impact of different parameters, including testicular histopathology, on sperm retrieval in case of reoperation in patients undergoing testicular sperm extraction.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 486 patients who underwent sperm extraction for intracytoplasmic sperm injection and testicular biopsy. Histology was classified into: normal spermatogenesis; hypospermatogenesis (reduction in the number of normal spermatogenetic cells); maturation arrest (absence of the later stages of spermatogenesis); and Sertoli cell only (absence of germ cells). Semen analysis and serum FSH, LH and testosterone were measured.

Results: Four hundred thirty patients had non obstructive azoospermia, 53 severe oligozoospermia and 3 necrozoospermia. There were 307 (63%) successful sperm retrieval. Higher testicular volume, lower levels of FSH, and better histological features were predictive for sperm retrieval. The same parameters and younger age were predictive factors for shorter time for sperm recovery. After multivariable analysis, younger age, better semen parameters, better histological features and lower values of FSH remained predictive for shorter time for sperm retrieval while better semen and histology remained predictive factors for successful sperm retrieval. The predictive capacity of a score obtained by summing the points assigned for selected predictors (1 point for Sertoli cell only, 0.33 points for azoospermia, 0.004 points for each FSH mIU/ml) gave an area under the ROC curve of 0.843.

Conclusions: This model can help the practitioner with counseling infertile men by reliably predicting the chance of obtaining spermatozoa with testicular sperm extraction when a repeat attempt is planned.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12894-018-0379-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6032772PMC
July 2018

Nutraceuticals and functional foods for the control of plasma cholesterol levels. An intersociety position paper.

Pharmacol Res 2018 08 30;134:51-60. Epub 2018 May 30.

NFI - Nutrition Foundation of Italy, Italy.

Current evidence shows that cholesterol management either reduces the likelihood of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or slows down its progression. Hence, it is important that all health professionals make appropriate use of all the available intervention strategies to control risk factors: from dietary improvement and positive lifestyle changes to the use of functional foods, food supplements, and drugs. This review examines the effect of the most frequently occurring cholesterol-lowering substances in functional foods or in supplements across Europe, namely plant sterols and stanols, monacolin K found in red yeast rice, berberine and beta-glucans. We conclude that currently available supplements and functional foods can effectively reduce plasma LDL cholesterol levels by about 5 to 25%, either alone or in combination. Suitable candidates for these products are mainly individuals at low absolute cardiovascular risk at a young age or according to classic algorithms. Of note, despite being freely available for purchase, these products should be used following shared agreement between the physician and the patient ("concordance").
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2018.05.015DOI Listing
August 2018

Mangosteen Extract Shows a Potent Insulin Sensitizing Effect in Obese Female Patients: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Pilot Study.

Nutrients 2018 May 9;10(5). Epub 2018 May 9.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy.

There is a widely acknowledged association between insulin resistance and obesity/type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and insulin sensitizing treatments have proved effective in preventing diabetes and inducing weight loss. Obesity and T2DM are also associated with increased inflammation. Mangosteen is a tropical tree, whose fruits—known for their antioxidant properties—have been recently suggested having a possible further role in the treatment of obesity and T2DM. The objective of this pilot study has been to evaluate safety and efficacy of treatment with mangosteen extract on insulin resistance, weight management, and inflammatory status in obese female patients with insulin resistance. Twenty-two patients were randomized 1:1 to behavioral therapy alone or behavioral therapy and mangosteen and 20 completed the 26-week study. The mangosteen group reported a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity (homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance, HOMA-IR −53.22% vs. −15.23%, = 0.004), and no side effect attributable to treatment was reported. Given the positive preliminary results we report and the excellent safety profile, we suggest a possible supplementary role of mangosteen extracts in the treatment of obesity, insulin resistance, and inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu10050586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986466PMC
May 2018

Validation of the Italian version of the Laval questionnaire: health-related quality of life in subjects with obesity.

Health Qual Life Outcomes 2017 May 15;15(1):101. Epub 2017 May 15.

High Specialization Centre for the Care of Obesity ("CASCO"), Department of Experimental Medicine, Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Background: Obesity is associated to increased risk of metabolic comorbidity as well as increased mortality. Notably, obesity is also associated to the impairment of the psychological status and of quality of life. Only three questionnaires are available in the Italian language evaluating the health-related quality of life in subjects with obesity. The aim of the present study was to test the validity and reliability of the Italian version of the Laval Questionnaire.

Methods: The original French version was translated into Italian and back-translated by a French native speaker. 273 subjects with obesity (Body Mass Index ≥ 30 kg/m) were enrolled; the Italian version of the Laval Questionnaire and the O.R.Well-97 questionnaire were administered in order to assess health- related quality of life. The Laval questionnaire consists of 44 items distributed in 6 domains (symptoms, activity/mobility, personal hygiene/clothing, emotions, social interaction, sexual life). Disability and overall psychopathology levels were assessed through the TSD-OC test (SIO test for obesity correlated disabilities) and the SCL-90 (Symptom Checklist-90) questionnaire, respectively. To verify the validity of the Italian version, the analysis of internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and construct validity were performed.

Results: The observed proportion of agreement concordance of results was 50.2% with Cohen's K = 0.336 (CI 95%: 0.267-0.404), indicating a fair agreement between the two tests. Test-retest correlation was statistically significant (ρ = 0.82; p < 0.01); validity (standardized Chronbach's alpha) was considered reliable (α > 0.70). The analysis of construct validity showed a statistically significant association in terms of both total score (ρ = -0.66) and scores at each single domain (p < 0.01). A high correlation (p < 0.01) was observed between Laval questionnaire total and single domain scores and other related measures (Body Mass Index, TSD-OC scores, SCL-90 global severity index), revealing a high construct validity of the test.

Conclusions: The Italian version of the Laval Questionnaire is a valid and reliable measure to assess the health-related quality of life in subjects with obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12955-017-0671-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5432971PMC
May 2017

An Exploratory Study on the Influence of Psychopathological Risk and Impulsivity on BMI and Perceived Quality of Life in Obese Patients.

Nutrients 2017 Apr 26;9(5). Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Department of Experimental Medicine-Medical Physiopathology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy.

The present study aimed to assess the psychological profiles of adult male and female obese patients, as well as to verify the possible influence of their psychopathological risk and impulsivity on their body mass index (BMI) and perceived quality of life. A total of 64 obese subjects accessing a center for care of their obesity were assessed through anthropometric and psychometric measurements. All anthropometric measures in men were higher than in women, while in turn, women showed higher psychopathological symptoms. Furthermore, the symptoms of somatization and psychoticism were predictors for a higher BMI in men, but there was no effect of psychopathological symptoms on the perceived quality of life (QoL) of male subjects. Moreover, in women, somatization and attentional impulsivity were predictors for a higher BMI, whereas no correlation was found between their psychopathological risk and perceived QoL. The results of regression analysis underlined that somatization is a "core" psychopathological symptom in obese subjects regardless of their sex, which is a potential predictor for a higher BMI. The psychological difficulties of the subjects had no effect on their perceived QoL, suggesting that they find it difficult to reflect on the impact that obesity has on their life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9050431DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452161PMC
April 2017
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