Publications by authors named "George Giallouros"

8 Publications

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Heat-related mortality under climate change and the impact of adaptation through air conditioning: A case study from Thessaloniki, Greece.

Environ Res 2021 08 17;199:111285. Epub 2021 May 17.

Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, Democritus University of Thrace, Orestiada, Greece. Electronic address:

Climate change is expected to increase heat-related mortality across the world. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) studies are used to quantify the impact of higher temperatures, taking into account the effect of population adaptation. Although air-conditioning (AC) is one of the main drivers of technological adaptation to heat, the health impacts associated with AC-induced air pollution have not been examined in detail. This study uses the city of Thessaloniki, Greece as a case study and aims to estimate the future heat-related mortality, the residential cooling demand, and the adaptation trade-off between averted heat-related and increased air pollution cardiorespiratory mortality. Using temperature and population projections under different Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CIMP6) Shared Socioeconomic Pathways scenarios (SSPs), a HIA model was developed for the future heat and air pollution cardiorespiratory mortality. Counterfactual scenarios of either black carbon (BC) or natural gas (NG) being the fuel source for electricity generation were included in the HIA. The results indicate that the heat-related cardiorespiratory mortality in Thessaloniki will increase and the excess of annual heat-related deaths in 2080-2099 will range from 2.4 (95% CI: 0.0-20.9) under SSP1-2.6 to 433.7 (95% CI: 66.9-1070) under SSP5-8.5. Population adaptation will attenuate the heat-related mortality, although the latter may be counterbalanced by the higher air pollution-related mortality due to increased AC, especially under moderate SSP scenarios and coal-fired power plants. Future studies examining the health effects of warmer temperatures need to account for the impact of both adaptation and increased penetration and use of AC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111285DOI Listing
August 2021

Mental Health and Perceived Access to Care among People Who Inject Drugs in Athens, Greece.

J Clin Med 2021 Mar 12;10(6). Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Medical School, University of Cyprus, Nicosia 2029, Cyprus.

Poor mental health among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive people who inject drugs (PWID) may contribute to stigma, and together they act as barriers to medical care. This analysis aims to examine factors associated with the mental health of PWID and their network contacts, and the association of poor mental health with the experience of HIV-related stigmatizing events, with HIV-related social support, and with perceived access to care. Data were collected during the Transmission Reduction Intervention Project (TRIP) conducted in Athens, Greece (2013-2015). PWID ( = 292; = 122 HIV-positive) were interviewed both at baseline and follow-up. Items of depression, anxiety, and general positive affect subscales of the Mental Health Inventory were used to explore the psychological distress and well-being of participants at follow-up. Items of the Access to Care Scale were used to evaluate perceived access to medical care at baseline and follow-up. Linear regression showed that unemployment was positively related to depression (β = 1.49, = 0.019), while injecting drug use was a risk factor for a low general positive affect score (β = -3.21, = 0.015). Poor mental health was not linked to HIV-related stigma or social support. Positive perception of access to care was associated in multivariable analyses with low depression (β = -0.22, = 0.049). The perceived access to care score improved from baseline to follow-up ( = 0.019) and HIV-positive participants had a higher score than HIV-negative participants. Future interventions should include targets to improve the mental well-being of participants, reduce psychosocial distress, and minimize perceived barriers to accessing medical care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10061181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8002050PMC
March 2021

Drug Injection-Related and Sexual Behavior Changes in Drug Injecting Networks after the Transmission Reduction Intervention Project (TRIP): A Social Network-Based Study in Athens, Greece.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 03 1;18(5). Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Medical School, University of Cyprus, Nicosia 2029, Cyprus.

The Transmission Reduction Intervention Project (TRIP) was a network-based, enhanced contact tracing approach, targeting recently HIV-infected people who inject drugs (PWID) in Athens, Greece (2013-2015). This analysis examines behavioral changes of participants in TRIP and their determinants between baseline and follow-up visits to the program. All participants of TRIP were tested for HIV and interviewed using a questionnaire with items on drug injection-related and sexual behaviors. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine potential relationships between participants' behaviors and sociodemographic or other characteristics. The analysis included 292 participants. At follow-up, the percentage of participants who injected drugs decreased [92.5%, = 270 versus 72.3%, = 211 ( < 0.001)], and more participants adopted safer behaviors. Employment, age, and gender were significantly associated with some behavioral changes. For instance, unemployed participants were half as likely as the employed to stop drug injection [adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 0.475, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.228, 0.988]. Increasing age was associated with lower probability of sharing syringes at follow-up (aOR: 0.936, 95%CI: 0.887, 0.988). Finally, females were less likely than males to improve their behavior related to sharing cookers, filters, or rinse water (aOR: 0.273, 95% CI: 0.100, 0.745). In conclusion, adoption of safer behaviors was observed following TRIP implementation. Future prevention programs should focus on younger PWID and especially females. Social efforts to support employment of PWID are also important.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052388DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967732PMC
March 2021

Cost-effectiveness analysis of three algorithms for diagnosing primary ciliary dyskinesia: a simulation study.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2019 06 13;14(1):142. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Respiratory Physiology Laboratory, Medical School, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Background: Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) diagnosis relies on a combination of tests which may include (a) nasal Nitric Oxide (nNO), (b) High Speed Video Microscopy (HSVM) and (c) Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). There is variability in the availability of these tests and lack of universal agreement whether diagnostic tests should be performed in sequence or in parallel. We assessed three combinations of tests for PCD diagnosis and estimated net sensitivity and specificity as well as cost-effectiveness (CE) and incremental cost-effectiveness (ICE) ratios.

Methods And Results: A hypothetical initial population of 1000 referrals (expected 320 PCD patients) was followed through a probabilistic decision analysis model which was created to assess the CE of three diagnostic algorithms (a) nNO + TEM in sequence, (b) nNO + HSVM in sequence and (c) nNO/HSVM in parallel followed, in cases with conflicting results, by confirmatory TEM (nNO/HSVM+TEM). Number of PCD patients identified, CE and ICE ratios were calculated using Monte Carlo simulations. Out of 320 expected PCD patients, 313 were identified by nNO/HSVM+TEM, 274 with nNO + HSVM and 198 with nNO + TEM. The nNO/HSVM+TEM had the highest mean annual cost (€209 K) followed by nNO + TEM (€150 K) and nNO + HSVM (€136 K). The nNO + HSVM algorithm dominated the nNO + TEM algorithm (less costly and more effective). The ICE ratio for nNO/HSVM+TEM was €2.1 K per additional PCD patient identified.

Conclusions: The diagnostic algorithm (nNO/HSVM+TEM) with parallel testing outperforms algorithms with tests in sequence. These findings, can inform the dialogue on the development of evidence-based guidelines for PCD diagnostic testing. Future research in understudied aspects of the disease, such as PCD-related quality of life and PCD-associated costs, is needed to help the better implementation of these guidelines across various healthcare systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-019-1116-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567920PMC
June 2019

Identifying, linking, and treating people who inject drugs and were recently infected with HIV in the context of a network-based intervention.

AIDS Care 2019 11 2;31(11):1376-1383. Epub 2019 Apr 2.

Medical School, University of Cyprus , Nicosia , Cyprus.

Identifying and linking people to care soon after HIV infection could limit viral transmission and protect their health. This work aims at describing the continuum of care among recently HIV-infected people who inject drugs (PWID) and participated in an intervention in the context of an HIV outbreak in Athens, Greece. The Transmission Reduction Intervention Project (TRIP) conducted risk network-based contact tracing and screened people for recent HIV infection. A comprehensive approach with a case management component that aimed to remove barriers to accessing care was adopted. Follow-up data on antiretroviral treatment (ART) and HIV-RNA levels were obtained from HIV clinics. TRIP enrolled 45 recently HIV-infected PWID (80% male) with a median viral load at recruitment of 5.43 log copies/mL. Of the recently infected persons in TRIP, 87% were linked to care; of these, 77% started ART; and of those on ART, 89% achieved viral load <200 copies/mL. TRIP and its public health allies managed to get most of the recently HIV-infected PWID who were identified by the program into care and many of them onto ART. This resulted in very low HIV-RNA levels. Treatment as prevention can work if individuals are aided in overcoming difficulties in entry to, or attrition from care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2019.1601671DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6818705PMC
November 2019

Laboratory Assessment of the Anticoagulant Activity of Apixaban in Patients With Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation.

Clin Appl Thromb Hemost 2018 Dec 1;24(9_suppl):194S-201S. Epub 2018 Oct 1.

Laboratory of Haematology & Blood Bank Unit, "Attiko" University Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Our aim is to determine the most appropriate laboratory tests, besides anti-factor Xa (anti-FXa) chromogenic assays, to estimate the degree of anticoagulation with apixaban and compare it with that of rivaroxaban in real-world patients. Twenty patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation treated with apixaban 5 mg twice daily and 20 patients on rivaroxaban 20 mg once daily were studied. Conventional coagulation tests, thrombin generation assay (TGA), and thromboelastometry (nonactivated TEM [NATEM] assay) were performed in the 40 patients and 20 controls. The anti-FXa chromogenic assays were used to measure apixaban and rivaroxaban plasma levels. The NATEM measurements showed no significant difference between the 2 groups of patients. Concerning TGA, endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) was significantly decreased in patients on rivaroxaban as compared to those treated with apixaban ( < .003). A statistically significant, strong inverse correlation between apixaban plasma concentrations and ETP ( < .001) was observed. Apixaban significantly reduces ETP compared to controls, but to a lesser extent than rivaroxaban. Thrombin generation assay might provide additional information on apixaban exposure, which is required in order to individualize treatment especially for patients with a high bleeding risk. Our findings have to be further investigated in studies with larger sample sizes, in the entire range of apixaban exposure, with other direct oral anticoagulants, and in relation to clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1076029618802364DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6714834PMC
December 2018

Epidemiology of breast cancer in Cyprus: Data on newly diagnosed cases and survival rates.

Data Brief 2018 Aug 19;19:353-369. Epub 2018 May 19.

Medical School, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus.

This article presents analyzed data on new diagnoses and mortality of breast cancer, between 2005 and 2013, in the Republic of Cyprus. New diagnoses are presented by demographic and clinical/histological variables that include cancer grade, behaviour, stage, and histological type at diagnosis (always as a primary site). Breast cancer-related deaths are presented by gender. Net survival rates based on cohort and period methods are presented by age group, cancer grade, behaviour, and stage at diagnosis, for all cases and for cases of Greek-Cypriot ethnicity. The unprocessed data of the Cyprus Cancer Registry were provided by the Health Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dib.2018.05.042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5993104PMC
August 2018

Thromboelastometry for diagnosis of neonatal sepsis-associated coagulopathy: an observational study.

Eur J Pediatr 2018 Mar 18;177(3):355-362. Epub 2017 Dec 18.

Laboratory of Haematology and Blood Bank Unit, School of Medicine, "Attiko" University Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 1 Rimini Str, 12462, Athens, Greece.

Our aim was to evaluate the potential role of standard extrinsically activated thromboelastometry (EXTEM) assay in the early detection of neonatal sepsis. We studied 91 hospitalized neonates categorized in two groups: group A included 35 neonates with confirmed sepsis, while group B included 56 neonates with suspected sepsis; 274 healthy neonates served as controls. Whenever sepsis was suspected, EXTEM assay was performed, Score for Neonatal Acute Physiology Perinatal Extension (SNAPPE) and Tοllner score were calculated, and clinical findings and laboratory results were recorded. Septic neonates had significantly prolonged clotting time (CT) and clot formation time (CFT), and reduced maximum clot firmness (MCF), compared to neonates with suspected sepsis (p values 0.001, 0.001, and 0.009, respectively) or healthy neonates (p values 0.001, 0.001, and 0.021, respectively). EXTEM parameters (CT, CFT, MCF) demonstrated a more intense hypocoagulable profile in septic neonates with hemorrhagic diathesis than those without (p values 0.021, 0.007, and 0.033, respectively). In septic neonates, CFT was correlated with platelet count, SNAPPE, Tollner score, and day of full enteral feeding (p values 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, and 0.03, respectively).

Conclusions: A ROTEM hypocoagulable profile at admission seems promising for the early detection of sepsis in neonates while the degree of hypocoagulation may be associated with sepsis severity. What is Known: • The early phase of septicemia might be difficult to be recognized in neonates. In adult septic patients, the diagnostic and prognostic role of thromboelastometry (ROTEM) have been extensively investigated. • Limited data are available on the role of ROTEM as an indicator of early neonatal sepsis. What is New: • ROTEM measurements indicate an early appearance of hypocoagulability in neonatal sepsis, while the degree of hypocoagulation might be associated with severity of sepsis. • ROTEM could be a useful tool in the early detection of sepsis in neonates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-017-3072-zDOI Listing
March 2018
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